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New Maxwell for formZ Early Build (


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Hello Maxwell Users,

New Maxwell plugins are available in the Next Limit Early Builds area. For information about how to access the Early Builds Area, please see: http://www.maxwellrender.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=41692

This new plugin provides a number of new features and important fixes. It requires the current Maxwell Render Suite, version (located in the Next Limit Customer portal).


Please provide feedback by writing to: pylon_support.jpg


    • New "Ambient Field" light type for flooding interiors with soft, diffused light.
    • Maxwell Sea animation option (Sea parameters > Animate )
    • Material Hints Optimized. (To match hints in previous versions of the plugin, adjust "Hint Version" in Extensions > Maxwell Render > Project Settings...)
    • New "Fast" and "Fastest" Material hints.
    • Material Hints in the first category ("Matte" though "Industrial Coating") are ordered from most efficient to least.
    • Any materials using the deprecated hint "Closest Match" are upgraded to the new "Fast" Hint. "Closest Match" is now obsolete.
    • Added 'Blur' parameter for Cone light types ( Cone Light > Maxwell representation > Parameters tab )
    • MXS Reference objects now adopt the name of the MXS scene (in the formZ Object palette)
    • Additional Layers Export option: Duplicate (Layer) Structure.

    • Fixed crash when adjusting auto-translated emitter material, when applied to multiple objects and Fire enabled
    • Fixed occasional unresponsive UI when updating material preview (Windows)
    • Scatter "Orient Toward Z+" parameter now labeled correctly
    • Package For Renderfarm works more than once per session
    • Frosted Glass Hint works with color bitmaps correctly

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The Ambient Field light type is for flooding interiors which would benefit from a diffused fill light, from either an aesthetic or efficiency standpoint. (Used properly, it can improve performance in interiors.)


The Ambient Field is a world-axis aligned bounding box which is filled at rendertime with tiny emitter triangles, each with random position and orientation. The "Quality" parameter (0-100) controls the number of triangles produced. 10% should work in most cases. Use the lowest value that produces acceptable results (if set too low, the light my appear uneven). To adjust the light's proportions, move its origin or COI which represent opposing corners on the box. (The "direction" of the light has no meaning with this light type.)


For instance, if most of your interior is lit by bounce light from a physical sky coming though an open window, consider placing a large Ambient Field in the room, about 2'-4' from the walls and ceiling, and but further from the floor. Like other light types, take care not to get it too close to (or intersect with) objects.


The idea for the Ambient Field light type came to me in a dream a few weeks ago. It is experimental, so if you discover best practices or find additional good ways to put it to use, please post so we can include your hints in the forthcoming documentation.


More later...



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Here's a sample file, with a Physical Sky light and one Ambient Field light, multilight enabled.


The images are all from the same MXI, using multilight.


Physical Sky only. Noise is still visible at SL 17 due to almost 100% indirect lighting.



Physical Sky reinforced with Ambient Field, SL 17:



Physical Sky reinforced with Ambient Field, no sun, SL 17:



Ambient Field only, SL 17:



formZ 8 project, requires Maxwell for formZ



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This is exactly what the doctor ordered.  I know that Maxwell prides itself on being a very physically accurate rendering engine and light simulator.  However, what we often need is a good "fake" for lighting that is easily adjustable and fast.  This new light does just that.  Now the next thing I need is the ability to place a reflection in the windows of a building "exactly where I want it".  Does anyone have a cheat for this?

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  • 2 weeks later...



I'm getting a little confused: Is "fast" more efficient than "fastest"?




    • New "Fast" and "Fastest" Material hints.
    • Material Hints in the first category ("Matte" though "Industrial Coating") are ordered from most efficient to least.


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I tried to use the new ambient field option, but I can't get a result that is usable. Probably my settings are wrong. See link.

The problem I discover is, when using Physical Sky WITH another light source as interior light, rays bouncing al around and the result is a terrible noisy picture.  


What did I do wrong?

Thank you in advance.



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Hi Hugo,


Unfortunately, A PDF does not help us to diagnose your issue. Please send a simple formZ project which reproduces the issue (along with any dependencies, such as MXMs, bitmap textures, etc). Please ZIP the project and dependencies and send via Dropbox (or equivalent) to pylon_support.jpg

We will investigate why this might be happening and report back with a solution.


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Hi Hugo,


We have not yet received your project file. It is important that we address any issues in the beta phase, before this version of Maxwell is publicly released...so, we would greatly appreciate it if you could send the project.


If on the other hand you resolved the issue yourself, it would be helpful to know what the issue was and how you corrected it.



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Hi Hugo,


We responded via email on January 18th, but posting it here for the sake of completeness:


• The Map you sent was called "Grass Color Map 2.jpeg”. The file referenced in you project is "Grass Color Map 2.jpg” I renamed the JPEG you sent and used it, but perhaps the discrepancy is causing a file mapping issue. You should correct this.

• You have the Multilight "Intensity + Color" enabled. The “Color" aspect is useful in only a small minority of cases, and will slow down rendering significantly and use a LOT of disk space and memory. Instead, Use Multilight “Intensity” which is extremely useful, yet uses much less memory and disk space. After you have set your exposure, disable Multilight for best performance during finish renderings (unless you intend to make multiple images with different lighting scenarios from a single rendering).

• I think the only problem you are having regarding noise is that you do not have the SL (and perhaps, Time) limit is not set high enough for an interior rendering. Try setting the Time to 1440 and the SL to 25. Check the rendering periodically. Make a note of when the noise clears. If it is acceptable at, say, SL 18, then you can set that value back in formZ for subsequent interior renderings. It is likely that your render node computer is simply slower and/or more taxed, and that’s why it’s producing a different result with your current settings than when you are rendering directly in the Maxwell application on your work computer. To ensure different render nodes all produce the same result, always set the Time very high (so it it will never be exceeded), and use only the SL to control how much noise is cleared.


Does this help?



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