Huge Material Library for Maxwell 4

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Huge Material Library for Maxwell 4

With the release of Maxwell 4 and the significant improvements in performance afforded by the Denoiser after (Maxwell 4.2 release) we now have over 5,800 materials available for use in Maxwell 4

See the extensive library here

Huge Material Library for Maxwell 4

MAXWELL RENDER FOR PHOTOREALISTIC BACKGROUND PLATES

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MAXWELL RENDER FOR PHOTOREALISTIC BACKGROUND PLATES

February 22, 2018 Customer stories 0 Comments

Hi guys,

This week on the blog we have a different case study – one that shows how Maxwell Render for photorealistic background plates is part of a solution for combining photography and CGI.

For more demonstrations on how it is done see the Maxwell TV Episode 4 given by Matthew Cherry

Talented photographer and CG artist Matthew Cherry is a skilled Maxwell user who has brought to our attention a number of gorgeous projects over the years. Now he has agreed to take us behind the scenes of one of them. Let’s enjoy the cinematic feeling and learn more about his workflow!

A photographer and cinematographer, Matthew Cherry‘s visual storytelling ability, resonates in both his portraiture and conceptual imagery. His work has the ability to intrigue, delight, and inspire the viewer while merging art, theater, and photography. His dramatic use of lighting builds depth and a rich palate that creates a cinematic tone within his work, while detailed sets and polished styling exude glamour and sophistication.

By working with extraordinary stylists, makeup artists and prop masters, Matthew and his team continue to create amazing visionary scenes both realistic and fictional. Matthew draws his inspiration from a wide range of sources, most notably Italian and French cinema, American Film Noir and American Jazz artists of the 40s and 50s. In addition to his creative work behind the lens, Matthew has been involved in business marketing for the past fifteen years and has designed and run numerous local, national and international marketing campaigns. You can check out Matthew’s web, and follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Vimeo.

THE CHALLENGE

Midas was conceived of as a personal/promotional project designed to showcase our studio’s ability to create photorealistic environments that can serve as background plates for talent that is shot in-studio. As advertising and editorial budgets continue to shrink, it is often too costly to produce the kind of iconic shots many envision. This is especially true of smaller agencies looking to “make their mark” by producing innovative work with high production values. While many agencies do use CGI in their workflow, they tend to think of it more as a special effect.

By integrating CGI in a cinematic manner, we believe that more compelling artwork can be created in which costs are dramatically reduced and production values remain high.

THE PROCESS

As a freelance studio working on a promotional project, all of the input was ours. I concepted the shot and did the art direction and casting.

The objective of this shot was to create a polished example of a celebrity portrait of the type used in film and television advertising.

This type of shot meant that casting and wardrobe were both critical to achieving the final look. To that end, my wardrobe stylist, Tanya Seeman, created the look for the talent, which included creating a handmade, couture outfit for the woman and custom accents for the man.

Given current trends in high-end television programming, we wanted to produce a modern photograph that paid homage to the music scene of the 70s. The concept was a producer who had “the touch” for producing gold records. Touch of Gold records became the back story and “Midas” was born.

Creating an entire “gold” room and making it appear to be real was a much harder challenge than first anticipated.With Maxwell it is easy to create a convincing gold material.However, if all the objects had been made of actual gold, even with the use of dirt and dust maps, it would be obviously fake.

The challenge was to create objects that could plausibly exist within the real world, with authentic materials that still gave the impression of a gold room.

This meant creating not only a variety of gold metal materials but marble, leather, lacquer paint, plastic and even paper. To overcome this challenge we first produced the shot as if we had to source all the props in the real world and build a physical set. This provided real-world analogs to what we wanted in the scene, and we were able to see what was really possible. These references were invaluable in creating believable materials. Additionally, we made sure that any variable that was used, was mapped. Because Maxwell does not allow for the use of procedural nodes, this meant first creating the maps in either Substance or Photoshop. In addition to mapping all variables, most materials have some level of dust, scratches and fingerprints applied to them as well. While not always readily apparent, I think it still registers with the viewer and contributes to the authenticity of the material

THE ROLE OF MAXWELL

My training is as a photographer and cinematographer, so for me, Maxwell is a natural rendering solution as it allows me to use the skill set I already have to produce beautiful renders. Also, as a photographer, I take light very seriously. If the light in a scene does not behave properly and does not interact with the materials in just the right way, the effect is ruined for me. My goal is to create the most photorealistic images possible, and to my eye, Maxwell does very well in this regard.

Everything in the frame, other than the two actors, is a render. Even the chair the male actor is sitting in is a render.

I created all the materials that are found in the scene. Sometimes I would create them from scratch and other times I would use the Material Gallery or the Material Assistants as a starting point. My workflow is to begin a model or project in Maya, whether I use a purchased model as a starting point or model an item from scratch. Since I often use purchased models my first task is to clean up the geometry and re-uv the model since the existing geometry and UVs are often problematic. After I clean up the model in Maya, I then bring it into Z-Brush to sculpt in a bit more realism. Once I have a finished, working model, I then decide if I can use a repeating texture or if I need to paint a texture in Z-Brush, Mari or Substance Painter. To create base textures, I also use Substance designer. Once I’ve put together all the maps, then I create the MXM material using the Maya Plugin. The rule is any variable worth having is worth mapping, so ever slot gets a map. Once the texture is created, then I add additional layers for dust, scratches, fingerprints, etc. Then I test render the prop in a virtual studio with HDRI lighting to see how it reacts.

I use Multilight all the time and it has become a pretty indispensable part of my workflow. The ability to adjust lighting post render is fantastic.

While I have tried out the new Multilight | Standalone app, if I need to relight I do it either in Photoshop or After Effects. Extra sampling also plays an important role in my workflow.

Because I tend to render to a pretty high resolution (6K to 8K) extra sampling helps to keep render times down.

In this case, because there were so many surfaces that needed to get clean, I just let the whole scene render to sample level 20.

POSTPRO

I try to do as much in the render as possible and the Multilight feature makes that much easier. However, I still do a fair bit of post-production within either After Effects or, in this case, Photoshop. Most of this has to do with comping in the talent which we shoot in studio. In order to make this a seamless process, we take our custom camera setup from Maya and duplicate it exactly in the real world, including height, rotation and tilt as well as ISO, Shutter Speed and F-Stop. Additionally, we use the lighting information from Maxwell along with the light positions in Maya to create the lighting plan that we use when photographing the talent in studio. By duplicating what appears in the scene, we are able to create a seamless effect. When doing this it is important to remember to place the same lights in the scene that you will be using to light the talent. So, for this shot, there is a large (virtual) scrim positioned just in front of the chair, above the talent and angled down at a 45-degree angle. This matched the studio lighting setup for the talent. Without this step, the lighting in the scene won’t match the light on the talent and they will look comped in.

THE FINAL PIECE

I am beyond pleased with the final result.

I have since shown this image to numerous art directors who have been blown away by the amount of realism in the set.

NONE of them thought this was a render until they saw the behind the scenes video (see below) that we created to showcase the construction of the scene. Based on that, I consider this a huge success.

 

Project credits:

  • Matthew Cherry – Art Direction & CGI, Photographer
  • Dan Galli – Assistant
  • Tanya Seeman – Props and Wardrobe
  • Delina Medhin – Hair & Makeup
  • Shermon Solo Braithwaite – Male Talent
  • Melinda Berry – Female Talent

Software used:

Hardware used:

  • Mac Pro
  • Wacom Tablet
  • X-Right Color Management System
  • Mamiya RZ67 ProIID with a Leaf Credo 80 Digital Back
  • Hensel Lighting

Maxwell Render 4.2.02 released

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Maxwell Render 4.2.02 released and we have just uploaded a new version in the Portal.

 

We updated Maxwell Render, Maxwell Studio, all 3D integration plugins, postproduction plugins and Multilight app.

We hope you enjoy it.

You can get it from the Customer Portal in “My Downloads” area: https://portal.nextlimit.com

It is mainly a bug fix release. You’ll find both Maxwell and Studio much more stable.

These are the releases notes:

4.2.0.2
Publish date: Fri, 09 Feb 2018

MAXWELL RENDER
-Feature: New triangle ID channel.
-Feature: UV render channel is now multiple, with a maximum of 16 UV channels.
-Feature: You can cycle the images on channels that are multiple (custom alpha and UV) with arrows at the sides of its selector.
-Feature: Display channel name below channel selector.
-Feature: New override flag on references to select Object ID behaviour from 3 modes.
-Change: Instances of hidden objects / references are shown now.
-Change: Type, units and default values for some Stereo and Fish lenses parameters.
-Fixed: Paths or dependencies with special characters cause Maxwell to fail the render.
-Fixed: Lens extension: Stereo and fish rendered always as center.
-Fixed: Reflectance channel may be wrong on textured instances.
-Fixed: Flip x and Flip y projection is not correct on Lat-Long and fish lenses.
-Fixed: Neck on Lat-Long lenses.
-Fixed: Fast multilight with simulens crashes on any change.
-Fixed: An instance pointing to a hidden object crashes on production.
-Fixed: Hiding all instances, makes the original object to hide too.
-Fixed: Custom alpha channel ignores instances of mxs references.
-Fixed: Resuming deep alpha channel crashes on some scenes.
-Fixed: Grass extension: Instances of objects with grass inside a group have wrong grass transform.
-Fixed: Grass extension: Instances of references of objects with grass have no grass.
-Fixed: Render via Network button in OSX
-Fixed: Referenced emitter materials crash Maxwell.

MAXWELL GPU
-Feature: New triangle ID channel.
-Feature: UV channel is now multiple, with a maximum of 4 UV channels.
-Fixed: If you have non-continuous UVs channels on an object (i.e. 0, 2, 5), crashed at render.
-Fixed: Emitter map was sampled always on channel 0.
-Fixed: Alpha channel was a few pixels wider than it should.
-Fixed: Texture properties (brightness, contrast, saturation) are not applied correctly.
-Fixed: wrong UV’s index assignment to instances.

MAXWELL STUDIO
-Fixed: If you had non-continuous UVs channels on an object (i.e. 0, 2, 5), index was changed at saving (0, 1, 2) and it crashed at render.
-Fixed: Quick double-click on fire button could make studio crash.
-Fixed: Key shortcuts shouldn’t work on blocked cameras.
-Fixed: Issues on hide / unhide multiple selected objects with groups.
-Fixed: Xref objects didn’t hide using isolate selected option on fire.
-Fixed: Deleting an emitter component on material with Fire running crashed Studio.
-Fixed: Newly created instances could disappear on the viewport.
-Fixed: Material Id was randomized on a material clone.
-Fixed: If a reference visibility override flag is marked on a scene, when loading all flags are marked on UI.
-Improvement: Int and double fields don’t accept letters and “Esc” key cancels edition.
-Improvement: Randomize Id option on materials and objects.
-Fixed: Render via Network button in OSX
-Fixed: Faculty licenses showed as unregistered when using render in viewport.
-Improvement: Return error when the user tries to save a scene with an object with two or more UV channels with the same ID.
-Fixed: pesky bug related to wrong dealing with UV projectors’ ChannelID’s.

MATERIAL EDITOR
-Fixed: If gallery path didn’t end with a slash, it created a folder for each material.
-Fixed: Texture picker with floating preview had no size after app restart.
-Fixed: Unload texture didn’t clean procedural textures.
-Fixed: It asked for missing textures twice.

MAXWELL NETWORK
-Fixed: Connection failed if Monitor was launched before Manager on a IPv6 network.
-Fixed: Batch renders were sent with Denoiser always activated.
-Fixed: Error shown if the node-locked license was not named “maxwell_license.lic”

PYMAXWELL EDITOR
-Fixed: PyMaxwell module renamed from “pymaxwell” to “pymaxwell4”.

MAXWELL SDK
-Removed exclusive functions to access custom alpha channels: getAlphaCustomBuffers, getAlphaCustomBuffer, getNumberOfAlphaCustomBuffers.
-Removed exclusive functions to access shadow channels: getShadowBuffers, getShadowBuffer, getShadowBuffer, getNumberOfShadowBuffers
-New methods to access all channels like they are multiple: getNumSubChannels, getExtraBuffer (with subChannel index) and getExtraBuffers.
-New methods to Know UV array idx from Id and viceversa: getUVIdxFromId, getUVIdFromIdx.

TIPS FOR MAXWELL RENDER

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Recent Maxwell Forum Post; ( Good idea to join )

 

Hello everyone,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I need some advice on how to improve this work.
These images you see is only part of the work.
The client tells me that the images are “flat”.
Can I use some color-contrast lights (warm / cold tones)?
I await your instructions. Thank you

Re: tips for improving images

Hello Andrea,

i would suggest this:
1. Use less uniform lighting. Try to make basic contrast with shadow/illuminated areas.
2. Use little more complex materials (different roughness/mapped roughness). Most of Your materials look as a uniform textures. Use shaders more “material” oriented than texture oriented. Use textures to map more material chanels (especially roughness). Use more reflections.
3. Be sure not exceed 225 value for any of RGB chanel of the material colour (golden rule). Using 255,255,255 for white colour will lower contrast of the image dramaticaly.

And You always can play with gama, burn, “S”-curve … in postproduction.

Probably You already know all of this. Maybe Mihai will send You some more advanced tips :) .

Pa3k

Pomrose

Find a new client , these images look good enough to me ! :)

good luck

Max

Which 3D software do you use with Maxwell?:XSI
Contact:

only thing i could see in these images as was suggested before already, is that the light sources eat each other, producing a very even illuminated image, there is very few contrast areas, where the surfaces might look more interesting.

I’d tone down some lights, especially neon ones, or just lower them to 0 and start rising them one by one to look for more interesting lighting.

some materials could use a bit more interesting shading, most of them are quite lambertian (so to speak).

User avatar

Mihai

Which 3D software do you use with Maxwell?:Cinema4D

Post by Mihai » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:43 am

What has been said about the lighting – I’d add to try and have a bit more influence from the outside lighting, with a dusk/dawn HDR.
Maxwellzone.com – tutorials, training and other goodies related to Maxwell Render

Sub-surface division tutorial chair

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Sub-surface division tutorial chair –

We have many resources for leaning how to better use the 3D modular – formZ, one of which is the tutorial loaded here:

Creating a Padded Chair in formZ

 

CREATING A PADDED CHAIR IN FORMZ

 

 

CREATING A PADDED CHAIR IN FORMZ

Well, you set me quite a task as I had never used most of the tools required for that exercise – never even looked at some of those pallets in fact.

But, I was determined as I could see value in the shapes being created so I pushed on and produced a reasonable facsimile of the blue chair.

Mine is in tan leather but the details are quite similar.

My beading on the two front panels needs a little more work to be perfect but I think I’ll leave it as it is.

What do you think?

I certainly learned a lot and will put these new (new to me that is) tools to good use in the future.

Thank you for giving me a push in the right direction.

You got me out of my comfort zone and I learned something new and useful. Very much appreciated.

Regards,

RICHARD JOHNSWOOD
Director

JOHNSWOOD CONTRACT FURNITURE PTY LTD 12 HURMAN STREET ADELAIDE SA 5000
web: http://www.johnswood.com.au/ email: richard@johnswood.com.au
Tel 0410 482 672 Builders Lic. BLD178184 ABN 33 008 077 601

V-Ray for formZ

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V-Ray for formZ released

V-Ray for formZ is now available for all new old users of formZ by calling us direct or ‘online’ with one of the best implementations yet of V-Ray v3.6 . It will run on all of the latest versions of :

formZ PRO v8.6 ( free download for all current v8.5.7 users available ) upgrades from all previous versions are available here ONLINE UPGRADES. or formZ Jr ( latest version ) The formZ  integrated interface allows the easiest set up for high quality rendering ever, with a guide for a great initial result set up automatically.

V-Ray v3.6 implementation Yet below the ‘hood’ is a great range of new options that are part of the new V-Ray v3.6 capability available on other major 3D modellers. You can even open their V-Ray scenes (vrscene files ) or export your scene to be opened in their V-Ray. Ray for formZ Harbin Opera House – MAD architects modelled and rendered in formZ Some of best 3D modellers use V-Ray for its quality of rendering and rendering speed. V-Ray for formZ now supports all modern CPU, GPU* or Hybrid ( both CPU& GPU ) on either MacOSX ( 10.9.5 and above ) or Windows 7, 8.0/1 and Windows 10       Use it for Architecture rendering, Interiors, Point of Sale mock ups, Trade show stands or Product design. It now renders carpets, fabrics, fur and grass. Straight away the rendering is much faster than with RenderZone but it can be accelerated now with the option of using GPU – nVidia CUDA based technology – huge improvements are possible!

Powerful hybrid rendering – You can render on nVidia CUD GPUs – or a combination of both.

Material Library – over 550 realistic physical based materials, such as glass, coated plastics or metals,wood, stone etc.

V-Ray Gras & Fur Realistic Grass, fabrics and carpet are now possible with V-Ray Fur

Denoiser – with V-Ray’s new denoising technology you can automatically eliminate noise and cut render times by up to 50%

Virtual Reality – Verify designs at 1:1 scale in popular VR headsets

Cutaways and Clipper – Render sections and cutaways with ease using the V-Ray Clipper.

Powerful light calculations – V-Ray Adaptive Lights algorithm will speed renders up to 7 times faster on some scenes.

V-Ray Frame Buffer – Fine tune your render colour, exposure

The power of Academy Award winning V-Ray rendering is now available for formZ. We have integrated V-Ray seamlessly into formZ so that you will find your way around very quickly and get instant high quality renderings “out of the box”.

“V-Ray for formZ brings 3D models to life with ease and agility. The unprecedented integration with V-Ray allows for rendering and lighting to be an integral part of the formZ design process, not just a final step. We are so excited to add this powerful tool to the form•Z product lineup and we cannot wait to see the wonderful creations it fosters!”

  • GPU rendering requires nVidia – CUDA based video cards with over 2GB RAM, but it is recommended at least 8GB RAM.

TRIAL V-Ray | formZ – Request an Evaluation here

NEW Webinar on Adobe Illustrator plugin with Cinema4D

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NEW Webinar on Adobe Illustrator plugin with Cinema4D

In this Webinar, Dimitris Katsafouros will offer art directors and designers an easy to understand and comprehensive overview of the all new Cineware for Illustrator.

 

Get Adobe Cineware plugin for Cinema 4D here

Those new to 3D will also learn how Cineware for Illustrator can enrich your 2D workflow for packaging design or when creating custom illustrations.
Dimitris demonstrates a complete workflow in Adobe Illustrator from importing a 3D object to adjusting camera angles and easily placing labels through to the final rendering.

RealFlow for Cinema 4D – Physics simulation in a Nutshell

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RealFlow for Cinema 4D – Physics simulation and awesome motion fluid effects

A few years ago we started a partnership with MAXON, the creators of Cinema 4D, and in the meantime this connection became a real friendship. You will find a MAXON booth on almost every important event, road show, or convention. And there is always a top-class lineup of international Cinema 4D artists giving workshops, showcasing their actual work, and sharing incredibly useful tips.

For direct links to product details and local pricing in AUD$ go to our estore or call 02 99394000

 

RealFlow

The MAXON stage at IBC (courtesy of MAXON).

But it’s not just the artists, it’s also the friendly and highly-professional attitude of the entire MAXON team: they really care and they always have the best get-togethers and parties. This year, Peggy Beck and her team organized a 3-hour boat trip through the canals of Amsterdam. It must have been great, but of course I’ve missed it, because I had a rather late flight and arrived in Amsterdam when the party was almost over. I guess that’s life… 🙂

My own presentation was the last one on Sunday from 5-6 pm. Despite this late time slot I was positively surprised how many visitors dropped in to watch the workshop. Another big plus is that the live feed brings the show to everyone who’s interested, but not able to be present. Finally, the MAXON team provides an edited recording and shares all videos on their YouTube channel.

The workshop’s topic was

RealFlow | Cinema 4D 2.0 – Multi-Physics in a Nutshell

Here I’m going to show you how to create and control complex interactions between RealFlow’s different solvers and material types. Furthermore you will learn fundamental things about “Collider” and “Volume” tags, simulation settings, and the workflow for → rigid/elastic deformer.

If you’re interested in watching the recording just do it here or directly on YouTube where you will find the presentations of my fellow artists:

Having a good time together is important, but that’s just one aspect. All these shows mean that you’re present, help users with their doubts and questions, and gather feedback. It’s about connecting with real people. And it’s also about learning and sharing methods and knowledge. The feedback I get during these events is of particular importance for us and – at least I do think so – for the customer. It definitely makes a difference whether you have the opportunity to talk with someone face to face or via a communication channel. Sure, in most cases there’s no other way than using forums for social media, but the personal talk helps both sides to understand each other much better.

Announcing V-Ray for form•Z beta release

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Announcing V-Ray for form•Z beta release. Brand new fully integrated CPU and GPU rendering for the form•Z community.
The power of Academy Award winning V-Ray rendering is now available for form•Z. We have integrated V-Ray seamlessly into form•Z so that you will find your way around very quickly and get instant high quality renderings “out of the box”. Come and try rendering with this exciting new product.
Here’s a glimpse of just some of the features in V-Ray 3.6 for form•Z:
  • Powerful hybrid rendering – You can render on NVIDIA CUDA GPUs, CPUs — or a combination of both.
  • Material library – over 550 realistic physical based materials, such as glass, coated plastics or metals, wood,stone and etc.
  • V-Ray Grass and fur – Realistic grass, fabrics and carpet now possible with V-Ray Fur.
  • Denoiser – With V-Ray’s new denoising technology, you can automatically eliminate noise and cut render times by up to 50%!
  • Aerial perspective – Add realistic atmosphere and depth to your renders with V-Ray’s new Aerial perspective controls.
  • Virtual Reality – Verify designs at 1:1 scale in popular VR headsets like Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR.
  • Cutaways with Clipper – Render sections and cutaways with ease using the V-Ray Clipper.
  • Powerful light calculations – the V-Ray Adaptive Lights algorithm will speed renders up to seven times faster on some scenes.
  • V-Ray Frame Buffer – Fine-tune your render’s color, exposure, and more directly in V-Ray’s frame buffer.
Click here for an overview video of the V-Ray for form•Z interface.
V-Ray for form•Z Beta is open to all form•Z 8.5 pro users. Don’t wait, Click here to register for the beta.
Not using form•Z 8.5 pro yet? upgrade now!
Want to see V-Ray 3.6 for form•Z in action? Join us on November 14, 2017 at 12:00 EST (4am – Sydney/Melb/Canberra ESST) for a special webinar to learn about what V-Ray for form•Z is all about. Click here to register.
We welcome any and all feedback. Come join the conversation and share your though on our forums.
For any questions you may have, please contact us via email at sales@smarttec.com.au or call us at 02 99394000.
Best regards,
Your form•Z team