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Is anyone still using the Maxwell plugin for FormZ?


bbuxton
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Just wondering if I am the only one that has found the plugin to be really awful.

The problem for me is the plugins interpretation of face normals, so smooth objects alway have splotchy artefacts. This might not be very noticable for most archviz but for close up product renders it is a bind. In older versions of Maxwell I could use Maxwell Studio if I had issues I could not resolve in FormZ but v5 requires multiple licenses to do that.

Has anyone else still using Maxwell experienced these issues?

 

 

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Hi Mr. bbuxton, yes I’m using it on a daily basis, my workflow is dependent on it. I generally do archviz for “not always nice looking” buildings etc. I have found the Maxwell plugin to be very reliable, even for massive projects.

However, I have found on some occasions that MR can produce some triangles on some but not all smooth surfaces. I usually get over this by temporarily converting to faceted. 
Otherwise, I’m happy with the plugin and the renderer. 
just wish I had one of “those” jobs where I could spend time getting the best from Maxwell. Some day huh?

des

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Thanks Des

I have been a bit frustrated with the v5 version for FormZ. Previously I ran Maxwell 4 through Studio and Cinema4D but on my rather old MacPro and Nvidia Titan card the Maxwell plugin does not work in Cinema4D (no AVX on the two Xeons). So I opted for FormZ for v5.2 but in retrospect should have chosen Studio. The FormZ plugin does not have the normal correction functionality of Studio. I can only get good results if I first export my scenes to Cinema 4D then export again as FBX for FormZ. If I try to just mesh the objects in FormZ I get shading artefacts on smooth objects that ruin my renders.

I have been using Maxwell since its early paid pre-release beta that took over 3 years to deliver Maxwell v1,  it has been a core tool in my work ever since. The license changes in v4 and again in v5 have left me less able to deal with issues like shading normal artefacts and I have been looking for other options. Perhaps I will wait for the Black Friday sale and pay a chunk to restore my license to what it was at version 3 with access to all the plugins and Studio. There have been no hints of what to expect of a Maxwell 6 release or if it will ever materialise. 

 

 

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While I do not run into shading artifacts in my Z to Maxwell work (which I use extensively for arch and interior design vis) I do remember conversations in the past about artifacts. My recollection is that it was caused by long triangles. Users who were able to employ triangulation strategies that avoided long triangles avoided the artifacts. Hope that helps….my memory is occasionally suspect.

Best,

Gary

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Thanks Des, Gary

Looking at my renders cylindrical objects with subtractive booleans are the worst culprits but this issue is not limited to just these shapes.

I'm digging through my archives to find culprits but normally I only keep the good geometry. I think this is where the frustration is, as it has always been where I need a clean wireframe and matching render. 

Gary:- Thin triangles render perfectly in Renderzone and if I export as a mesh file the geometry renders perfectly in Redshift and Octane, Cycles etc. 

But this is definately the problem for almost all the rendering artefacts. Unfortunately FormZ does not like millions or tens of millions facet geometry when attempting to hide the artefacts.

Exporting a step file from FormZ then using Moi3D to generate a facetted OBJ or FBX then taking that into Maxwell Studio 4 to Export as MXS and render in Maxwell 5 works even with very high polygon counts. However you can see where workflow is falling apart with such a palaver. This is the main reason I get so irate with Nextlimit for their license changes. It is often necessary to take another plugin route or use Studio.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/0ggh25m1nm5aw86/long triangle fix.zip?dl=0

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Brian,

Thanks for posting a sample file. When I tested it without doing anything I could see the triangles near the seams to the lower section in View 3. I didn't have your environment HDL so I just used a simple Dome and downloaded the materials from the MXED browser.

Anyway, there were two things I noticed in the FormZ file. Firstly you have the Display resolution set to "Scheme 1". I changed that to "Default High Resolution". Secondly you have the Smooth Shading to Override all faces, I turned that off. I tried a render to Studio as it was in the Maxwell setting (but I had to change the camera settings because of the different light I used) and there was a huge improvement. See snapshot in Studio.

So playing with the resolution setting in Z is the way to go I think. It's not perfect but you should be able to get a resolution setting which suits better with experimentation.

TrianglefixSnapshot.thumb.jpg.e35e2f573c2236ac468ccfc3fbb59cf2.jpg

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Thanks Des

Scheme1 was my setting to get rid of the long triangles, the effect of which was just to push the artefacts to the edges.

Although your render does look substantially better, I can still see the polygon edges even at low resolution. It is particularly evident in the Studio OpenGL view. With a darker rough metalic material those artefacts will be drawing attention to themselves again. The smoothshading check was left on by mistake and because of what it is I think is a clue to what is wrong in how Maxwell interprets shading normals from FormZ. Exporting as a mesh, then removing the shading normals in another application and generating a fresh set is how I have been fixing this problem over the last couple of years.  

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This is the image from exported step file straight into Cinema4D I changed the mxs to the RAL9002 metal rough from the Maxwell download site but nothing else. The HDR is from Adobe Substance Source but any HDR is good. The difference between Maxwell FormZ output and MaxwellC4D(trial) is night and day. I think this is better than when I bring the mesh back into FormZ. The hard transitions on the rounds are because they are not G2. When I model objects like this in F360 or Moi3D those transitions are much better.

 

 

Maxwell4D.jpg

Edited by bbuxton
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