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Maxwell 5.1 Released!

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RELEASE DATE: Thu, 14 May 2020

Maxwell for formZ Plugin

Changes
    • Built with Maxwell 5.1 SDK

Fixes
    • Embedded texture swatches created by Renderzone procedural materials for the "Shaded" renderer now also render in Maxwell (formZ 9 only)
    • Plugin Roundover Modifier working again

 

Maxwell

New features

  • New Benchwell tools for CPU and GPU benchmarking with online live charts. You can access them from the Tools menu from Maxwell Render.

 

Improvements

  • Asset Reference extension object: assimp library upgraded to 5.0.0 so it gives better support for all the file formats.

  • Upgraded Xrite SDK to 1.7.1 so it gives better support for the latest materials.

 

Fixes

  • The bump map and the normal map were being affected by geometry’s transformations in some situations.

  • Crash computing denoised image in intermediate steps during render.

  • Launching a render with CPU, stopping, changing to GPU and restarting produced an error when starting the voxelization.

  • The RLM could not be installed on MacOS Catalina.

  • The Random Color procedural texture always returned the same color if the object ID color saturation was 255.

  • The command line parameter -mintime was not only setting a minimum time between each time Maxwell saved output images to disk but was forcing a maximum time too.

  • Maxwell CPU failed to render correctly texture channels higher than 0 if channel 0 was not used.

 

Known issues

  • Wrong data issues with TIFF images and LZW compression in Linux platforms (including Maxwell Cloud nodes).

  • MaxwellScatter extension removes MaxwellScatter extension from the scattered objects (if they have).

  • On Mac, Xrite AxF materials make Maxwell close if they are used in the scene.

 

Maxwell GPU

 

 

New features

  • Benchwell tool.

  • Coatings are now supported in the GPU engine.

 

Improvements

  • The maximum number of ray bounces is now set to the same as the CPU production value.

  • Much better support for transparent materials:

    • The attenuation color and behavior now matches the CPU engine result.

    • The transparent materials now produce caustics.

    • The transparent materials now do not produce incorrect white fireflies.

  • Improvements in memory management.

 

Fixes

  • Wrong textures could be accessed on materials in different circumstances. 

  • Several fixes in dielectric (transparent) materials.

  • Bad interactions between emitters and clipmaps who could make light rays turn black (with all emitters) or generate extremely intense fireflies (IES).

  • The bump map and the normal map were being affected by geometry’s transformations in some situations.

  • Some scenes with hidden emitters rendered to black in FIRE GPU and could eventually crash. In general, this affected the scenes with hidden objects.

  • The GPU engine rendered black if no channels were selected (including the Render channel). This has been forced to behave as in the CPU engine and render the Render channel anyway.

  • The MXI file was saved twice after the render ended.

  • The time between SL updates eventually became extremely short.

  • The scenes with procedural geometry (grass, sea, etc.) did not render, even if they were hidden. 

  • The command line option “-removegpus” didn’t work as intended.

  • No tiling texture option still produced tiling in the negative direction of the UV axis.

  • Non-coherent shading on 2 BSDFs on the same additive layer.

  • Maxwell crashed if Fire GPU was active when we apply a material with a coating.

  • A spotlight rendered with GPU could show a black hexagon in the light direction.

 

Known issues

  • Dielectrics materials don’t behave as intended in some scenes.

 

Maxwell Studio

 

New features

  • New search boxes to filter the content of the object, camera and material lists. This helps to find particular items by name in these potentially long lists.

  • New button next to the object search box to restrict the viewport selection only to the items that match the search. The rest of the objects won’t be selectable until the search is cleared or the button un-pressed.

  • New Substance Painter assistant; now you can easily create a Maxwell material from the textures generated by Substance Painter.

 

Improvements

  • Now, when pressing the Maxwell Cloud button, Studio checks which is the active camera so that’s the one rendered.

 

Fixes

  • The CPU priority was not loaded properly from the MXS file.

  • Cloned objects that had blocked emitters broke the blocked emitters' behavior (the emitters could not be unblocked).

  • Adding or removing blocked emitters to an object was not refreshing FIRE.

  • Random crash starting Maxwell Studio.

  • When you created a new MaxwellGrass modifier, the existing ones were reset to default values.

  • The Studio animation tool should add padding to the output files too (image name and MXI name).

  • Studio move/rotate/scale gizmos didn’t highlight the active axis on mouse hover.

  • The hidden camera and locked camera icons were wrong.

  • Projection properties in the texture picker were not showing in the preview anymore.

  • In some cases, it was not possible to change the Field Type of the MaxwellVolumetric.

  • Studio could crash opening a scene when the current scene has a camera selected.

  • Wrong FIRE update when moving the UV set.

 

Known issues

  • The Resources Browser can potentially make Studio crash on widget resize.

  • Studio won’t work on a remote desktop (Linux host).

 

MXED

 

New features

  • New Substance Painter assistant; now you can easily create a Maxwell material from the textures generated by Substance Painter.

 

Network

 

Improvements

  • Now the users can override Extra-sampling and Denoiser parameters before sending a job to Maxwell Cloud.

  • The login dialogue had a dark background that made it hard to locate the different fields; now it is improved.

  • Now the users can set Maxwell Cloud to save outputs only at the end, saving render time.

 

Changes

  • Some warning messages changed in MacOS for clarity’s sake.

 

Fixes

  • Getting dependencies of a MXM reference failed if the MXM was not found.

  • The “request preview” button in mxnetwork local mode didn’t work.

  • When sending a job from a Mac to a PC the job showed on the node as received but nothing else happened.

  • Maxwell Cloud spent too much time saving intermediate results in some heavy renders.

 

SDK

 

Improvements

  • The following C++ SDK methods clamp input RGB values to a valid range:

    • Cmaxwell::Cmaterial::setColorID

    • Cmaxwell::CmaterialEmitter::setPair

    • Cmaxwell::Creflectance::setAttribute

    • Cmaxwell::Cobject::setColorID

    • Cmaxwell::Cenvironment::setSunProperties

    • Cmaxwell::Cenvironment::setSkyConstant

 

Changes

  • Python module pymaxwell5 returns MXparamListRef instead of MXparamList objects in the following methods:

    • CmaxwellCamera.getCameraLensExtensionParams

    • CmaxwellMaterial.getMaterialModifierExtensionParams

    • CmaxwellObject.getGeometryLoaderExtensionParams

    • CmaxwellObject.getGeometryProceduralExtensionParams

    • CmaxwellObject.getGeometryModifierExtensionParamsAtIndex

    • CmaxwellObject.getCustomDataChunkByName

    • CmaxwellObject.getCustomDataChunkAtIndex

  • New MXparamListRef class has the same functionality as MXparamList, plus getCopy(), which returns a MXparamList copy of the MXparamListRef object.

  • MXparamlist create/set methods’ input parameters updated to const.

  • Python module pymaxwell5 callback mwcallback now is mwcallback_cb.

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Just want to say I installed Maxwell with FormZ9 a few days ago and all is working well. I started my first paying job with FZv9 and Maxwell V5.1 and so far there are no issues.

In fact it seems to run better than ever.

 

Des

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Thanks for the input Des. I've been considering the upgrade but have been concerned about bug, etc. Happy to hear it's working well. Just finished a big rendering job using Maxwell and it's coming back soon for revisions. Perhaps I'll upgrade and make the next round of renders using the v5.1. Best regards!

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To all,  I was a regular Maxwell user for several years until V-ray came out with their plugin.  I own both but I found that to make an actual living I needed the speed of V-ray even if it meant I had to give up the quality and flexibility of Maxwell.  In a perfect world those two companies would combine forces and make a program that had the best features of each.  But that is not reality.  Recently I have becoming increasingly frustrated with the material editor in V-ray and how the materials integrate with Form.z.  I have experienced enough issues that I am considering switching back to Maxwell again.  However, there is still the issue of speed.  To my point now, what has been your experience with the new GPU rendering with the new release and what upgrades to your systems did you have to make in order to take advantage of this?.  Are you stacking several $1K cards?  Have the speeds been cut in half or more?  What kind of projects are you working on for reference?  

I read a lot of posts on the forum and it seemed like there were a lot of issues and I am also curious if these have been largely resolved?

Thanks

Andrew

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Posted (edited)

Hi Andrew,

I have not yet upgraded to V5 so I'm not in a position to comment about any issues. I also have not been swayed by the added GPU feature in Maxwell since my three machines do not have much GPU power. I've decided to keep mostly to CPU rendering for now. I have no appetite at present to invest in hardware.

Maxwell version 4 is quite stable and performing well for me. On occasion, MXED fails to allow selections within dialog boxes, but that's an intermittent bug. I definitely understand the speed bottleneck and trying to push out renders, make changes, re-render and keep clients happy. My business serves a few different markets: 1. Museum exhibits, 2. Events & Trade Shows, 3. Interiors (mostly churches and rarely exteriors). 

I use mostly Maxwell for interiors because I can dictate what the timelines are and there are rarely change requests. I've been able to manage getting clean renders in anywhere from 2-4 hours. Sometimes it takes significantly longer, but within a 24 hour timeframe (rendering overnight) I can often get 5-6 nice rendered views done. One recent project is really frustrating because the renders were taking 20 hours each to get clean results. That one did come back for changes and just today I started cooking revised renders and they are coming out pretty clean in 2.5 hours. I suspect I had a white material using r255, g255, b255! The other factor allowing this to work is that my "Render Beast" is simply a slave computer; not my everyday work machine. I design and model on a current Macbook Pro and offload over a network to the Render Beast, which is a 2014 Mac Pro. This allows me to continue design and modeling while renders happen in the background without hogging resources. If I had the tech appetite (I don't) I could try to set up a distributed network rendering using one or two other machines in the office to speed things up. I tried it once and gave up. Why should it be so difficult??

I was very excited when Vray plugin for FormZ became available. I purchased it and tried to use it and was immediately frustrated with the integration. It's not even up to par with SketchUp's interface and more clunky, IMHO. I'm also a C4D user and have become enamored over its thoughtful and nicely designed user interface. I use C4D mostly for Events/Trade Show work for specific reasons. 1. C4D's native Physical Render is good and can be fast. I've purchased some plugins which make the workflow extremely productive. 2. Vray's integration with C4D is very good! Within the C4D environment I'm able to generate nice (enough) looking renderings quickly. Most render in 5 minutes or less. Sometimes I have to bump up to 10-15 minutes to get clean renders. The penalty is the time to set up lighting and cameras. This week, I needed to get high quality renders done quickly and my choice was C4D & Vray. It took me a full day just to get the cameras and lighting and render settings set up to get good results. Perhaps I need a better understanding of Vray but I've been using it for about 4 years, just not on a daily basis. I've experimented with it extensively and have come to the conclusion that it just takes a long time tweaking settings to get good results! I've tried many times to use C4D/Vray for the interior work and have set off down that path. I will tweak and adjust cameras, materials, lights, etc for a few hours, look at the results and then give in to Maxwell. I know that without fussing about I can have the renders cooking in the background and have beautiful images while I'm working on the next project! I find even the best Vray renders don't match the light bounce and fine shadows that Maxwell produces. The REAL BONUS with Maxwell is Multilight! 

I know this doesn't address your specific interest in GPU with Maxwell, rather it's simply my brain dump on Maxwell and Vray. Interested to read experiences from other users out there!

Edited by Shibui Design

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