MAXWELL RENDER 1.7 released

Friday, 20 June 2008 3ds Max Archicad 11 Cinema 4D form-Z lightwave maxwell render maya Rendering Rhinoceros Softimage XSI SolidWorks StrongMocha vfx Visual F/X XSI 0

Image by Hervé_Steff (

Next Limit released MAXWELL RENDER 1.7. Maxwell Render 1.7 offers several new and vastly improved features.

If you a customer of Next Limit check your inbox to find the URL to download the update.

What is new in MAXWELL Render 1.7

  • New physical sky system
    The Physical Sky system in Maxwell Render 1.7 uses an entirely new approach and has been greatly enhanced adding more parameters to control the look of the sky and the resulting light in the scene, ranging from common Earth values to exaggerated fantasy skies. Users can create presets of sky settings to quickly load a new sky, or share their presets with other users. It’s also possible to save the current sky as an HDR map.This new sky system renders faster than the previous one – in certain scenes the difference can be dramatic. The concept of “Aerosols” – particles found in the air that interact with light and influence how lights scatters and reacts in the atmosphere – plays an important role. Aerosols have a big impact on the coloration of the sky and scene illumination.
  • 1.7 Material Editor enhanced
    • Material Preview: the material preview now shows incremental updates and you can stop the preview rendering at any time by double clicking on the preview.
    • Material Swatches: here you can store material “swatches” or previews. A material state can be stored as a preview and the user can easily browse between the saved previews, allowing for faster material editing and experimentation.
    • Texture Editor: the Texture Editor in 1.7 offers various new image controls: Saturation; Brightness; Contrast; and Clamp min/max. These new controls allow users to work much more efficiently with textures. There is no need to use an external image editing application to make small changes to a texture, and the same texture can be used for colour, bump, roughness and weight map.
    • Wizards: this is a step-by-step guide to creating several types of common materials such as shiny wooden floors, plastics, clipmapped materials for leafs, SSS materials, etc. The Wizard will ask you for textures, bumps, reflectance maps and material values such as roughness and colour.The “Common” wizard can be used to create Diffuse, Emitter, Metal, Dielectric or Plastic materials
  • New SSS Component
    Sub-Surface Scattering (SSS) simulates the effect of light entering a translucent object and scattering inside it. Some of this light is absorbed and some is also scattered back to the surface. It is a crucial component that allows you to accurately simulate many kinds of materials including plastics, marble, milk, skin etc. The SSS component has been entirely rewritten for Maxwell Render 1.7, following an entirely new approach compared to the old system or any other SSS system currently available.Image by Kurt SingstadThe SSS component in Maxwell Render effectively replaces the BSDF material properties such as  eflectance/transmittance becausethe surface reflection color and amount depends on what happens inside the volume, just like in real life. There is no separation between “surface” material and “volume” material. The surface properties (roughness, bump etc.) remain the same as for the BSDF component. What this means in practice is that with the SSS component, you can get a full range of materials from regular clear glass, to almost solid-looking materials. This is one of the biggest strengths of Maxwell Render’s SSS system. The SSS material supports full GI and if the material is clear enough it will create caustic light patterns and also be influenced by caustic light cast from surrounding objects.

    You can weight an SSS with a BSDF, or several SSS components, but only one SSS or BSDF per material layer is allowed. You can quickly switch between using a BSDF or SSS component by right-clicking in the Material Layers list or by using the Edit menu and choosing “Turn to BSDF” or “Turn to SSS’. The Nd and surface properties you used in the previous component will be transferred to the new compone

  • 1.7 Maxwell Studio improvements
    • Texture Handling and Memory Optimizations: texture handling, scene loading times and overall memory usage have all been improved. With scenes that use many large textures, objects and materials, the loading time is around 10 times faster. Only the textures that are active in the OpenGL viewport are now loaded into memory, saving RAM and allowing users to work faster with materials.
    • Realtime OpenGL Preview of Physical Sky: with the vastly improved Physical Sky system in Maxwell Render 1.7, the OpenGL preview in the viewports has also been improved, allowing you to change any of the Sky parameters and camera settings and seeing an accurate realtime preview in the viewports.
    • Color Picker: the color chips on the left side can be used to store commonly used colors. Drag& drop a color from the large color chips at the bottom of the Color Picker to one of the color chips on tImage by Thomas Anagnostouhe left to store a color.
      The two large color chips at the bottom of the color picker allow you to compare the previously selected color with a new one.The top color chip updates to show the currently selected color in the colored wheel. The bottom color chip shows what color was selected when opening the Color Picker.
    • Isolate Selection: select this option from the right click menu in the object list panel, or in a viewport, to display only the currently selected objects in the viewport. This is useful if you have a cluttered scene and wish to view only the currently selected objects.
    • UV Operator: this option lets you apply the same transformations to all the selected UVs at the same time. You can, for example, scale all the selected UV sets by 10%. The Operator is found under the UV parameters section in the Object Parameters panel.
    • Material Browser: improved for version 1.7; it has a more common functionality with the Windows Explorer, having a folder view on the left side and the contents of the folder displayed on the right side.
    • 3D/ Ortho View Dropdown: You can switch a camera to be a perspective (3D) camera or an orthographic camera (2D). This is useful if you wish to render an orthographic view while still having access to common camera parameters such as resolution and ISO. Please note that focal length is not available when the camera is in orthographic mode.

Image by Mihai Iliuta

  • SimuLens
    SimuLens parameters: the SimuLens parameters have been added to the interface of Maxwell Studio and the plug-ins, and they are now also available through the command line. These changes allow for SimuLens to be used for animations.
  • MXiMerge Tool
    The installation package includes a new tool called MxiMerge. This is a small command line application useful to merge MXI files into one folder. It can also be used to read information about an MXI file (resolution, sampling level, etc) and for converting MXI files into other image formats. To learn more about how to use this tool just open a command line/terminal window and type: (for Windows) MxiMerge.exe –help; (for Mac OSX and Linux) mximerge –help.
  • MAXWELL Plugins
    All Plugins (3ds Max, Archicad 11, Cinema 4D, form-Z, Lightwave 3D, Maya, Rhinoceros, SolidWorks,  and Softimage | XSI) have been updated


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