The Maxwell Render 4.1 release is a big one


from Ben / Pylon Technical

The Maxwell Render 4.1 release is a big one. If you haven’t updated to Maxwell 4 yet, now is the time.

If you are an existing customer, and want to upgrade your Maxwell Render for any modeller at here. Just pick your 2 plugins ( Studio can be one choice )

If you’re new to Maxwell and want to kick the tyres first, download a trial copy. Please come back here and we can help with your new version.

Maxwell Render 4.1




Please note: The following is oriented to the formZ implementation.


There’s now an integrated denoiser. When enabled, there will be NO noise in your final rendering. This means Maxwell-quality renderings in a fraction of the time it took previously – in either CPU Production or GPU mode. Expect 2x – 8x faster architectural visualizations.

Denoiser Overview

Denoiser Video Tutorial in Studio (Click CC button for English subtitles)

Denoiser in Maxwell

Denoiser control in formZ


Next up, we have a new Light Mixer. When used in conjunction with Fire, you can interactively fine-tune the contribution of all lights and emitter materials in your scene from one convenient panel. It’s a lot like Multilight, inside formZ.

Light Mixer in formZ

Maxwell for formZ supports formZ Light groups both in the Light Mixer and in Multilight. Intensity-override groups are represented as a single slider in both environments.


Using materials from the online materials database in formZ is now just a click away.

Materials Browser

Referenced MXM controls in formZ


Xrite AxF and TableBRDF material types are now supported directly by the plugin.


• Integrated Denoiser support. (Maxwell Options > Engine tab)
• New Light Mixer for interactively balancing intensity of lights, light groups, onf material emitters. (Extensions > Maxwell Render > Light Mixer…)
• formZ Light Group support: All lights in a formZ light group with intensity override are now represented by a single Multilight slider. (Enable in Maxwell Options > Translate tab)
• Improved access to MXM file browser. (Material Parameters > Maxwell Representation > Referenced MXM option)
• Improved access to online MXM gallery browser. (Material Parameters > Maxwell Representation > Referenced MXM option)

• Direct support for X-Rite AxF Materials (Material Parameters > Maxwell representation).
• Direct support for TableBrdf Materials (Material Parameters > Maxwell representation).
• Support for rendering with the number of available logical processors, minus a specified number. (Set a negative number in Maxwell Options > Engine Tab > CPU Threads)
• Plugin now uses central Maxwell installation.
• Update to the Maxwell 4.1 engine.

• Grass Modifiers using formZ material option now restored correctly on open.

• Denoiser At Each SL/At End parameter now correctly saved in project.




August 4, 2017 Technology, Tips 0 Comments

Hello everyone,

We are back with some valuable tips by our very own Product Specialist, Fernando Tella. Fer is long-time Maxwell user, ever since the alpha version in 2005! Ten years later he joined the Maxwell team. Now he helps customers with technical issues, and also does product demos, tutorials, trainings and helps with product development. In this blogpost he will help you grasp Maxwell 4’s new top feature – the Denoiser, so you can take advantage of its full potential. Here we go 🙂


As a start, it’s important to understand some basic concepts:

  • When using the Denoiser, Maxwell launches two renders.
  • It also automatically activates some extra channels that help preserve the details of the image, such as texture details, the shapes of the objects, materials, etc.
  • All this is done automatically when launching a render with the Denoiser


The new Denoiser integration gives you usable denoised images as the render progresses. In a similar way as Maxwell progressively cleans the image, the denoised image evolves with the render. At the beginning, when the sampling level is very low, the render will look blurry, and as the render gets more defined you’ll start noticing it starts to “learn” where are the limits of the objects, materials, the features of the textures, etc. As the sampling level goes up, the denoised image and the original render will get closer and closer, so we can say the denoised image also converges to the natural solution with time, as well as the original render, but instead of noise, you get usable images (or even perfect ones) in the meantime.

The following video shows how the denoised and render image evolves as the render goes on, from sampling level 4 to 13 (Scene by Maxwell Xpert David de las Casas).

So, in the worse scenario, it will take the same time as the not-denoised image, and in the best, you will save a lot of time.


TIP 2: Use the Denoiser and Extra Sampling combo

If you find that some particular materials get too blurred when using the Denoiser (for example, in the case of grainy textures), but most of the image looks good at some particular SL, you can combine two different techniques: Denoiser and Extra Sampling.

The idea you have to keep in mind is that the longer the render goes on, the less information the Denoiser will have to guess and the more it will be based on the true render, so if one particular texture is problematic, usually you only have to render it longer.

Based on this, if you have a particularly problematic material were the texture itself is grainy, like sand, sugar or the towel in this case, you only have to render the whole image until the needed SL and then use Extra Sampling for that material or object to render to a higher SL only in that part.

Please note that, for the moment, when using Extra Sampling, the Denoiser will only be calculated at the end of the render, not at each SL, so you’ll have to wait until the end to see the denoised result.


TIP 3: For objetcs behind transparent geometries use the Shadow Channel

When an important part of your scene contains objects behind transparent ones, you’ll notice the extra channels used in Fast mode (Normals, Position and Reflectance) won’t give information about what’s behind the glass.

In these cases, you could consider using Accurate mode, which adds Shadow channel, as it will give information about what’s behind the glass and this will improve the Denoiser result.

In this case the render will take more time (around 1.5 the time without shadow channel), so it will be wise to test which will be better: render with the Shadow channel or let the render reach a higher SL without the Shadow channel. The result in terms of time can be very similar.


TIP 4: Use saved MXI files to denoise after closing Maxwell

For the moment, once Maxwell is closed after rendering an image with the Denoiser, the two passes cannot be loaded again into the interface to resume them or make changes and Re-Denoise. Nevertheless, if you have at least a couple of mxi files of the same frame (and with the required channels), you can make Maxwell denoise them by running the following commands through command line:

mximerge -folder:“folder containing the mxi files of the same frame” -coopdenoiser:“output path and name of the denoised image” -target:“path of the merged mxi files”

Then you ask – “But where can I find the two mxi files saved while rendering with Denoiser?”

See below the paths where they are stored depending on the OS. You will find two files named as your current scene and ending with _render1.mxi and _render2.mxi:

In Windows they are stored under: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Temp\maxwellrendertmp

In MacOS they are stored in a random folder under: private/var/folders/…../T/maxwellrendertmp/


TIP 5: Use a macro for the denoised image name

When setting the denoised image name, instead of setting a specific name, it might be better to use a macro like %scenename% (including the %)

It creates the perfect name, as the macro is replaced by the scene name when saving the file and avoids having to rename the denoised image file when you want to make different versions of your rendered files.

For example, if you are rendering a scene named cool_render.mxs, you can set the Denoiser output path as Denoised_%scenename%.png 

Once the render is finished, you will get a file called Denoised_cool_render.png.

Another useful macro could be %camera%, which is replaced by the name of the active camera.

Here is the list of all the supported macros, in case you find this convenient.

I hope you’ll find these tips useful and help you master the use of the Denoiser! 🙂



Maxwell Render 4.1 Denoiser Usage

Maxwell Render 4.1

Maxwell Render 4.1 Denoiser Usage

Post on Maxwell Forum June 19 2017


This is an interesting post on the usage and effects of using the DeNoiser functionality inside Maxwell Render 4.1 and based on a render made at

SL : 12


Re: Maxwell Render 4.1

Unread post by Mihai » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:10 am

If you turn denoise on, what happens is Maxwell actually renders two renders at the SL you specified in render options. Besides these two renders it also renders reflectance, normals and position channels which it will use to decide what is detail in textures/materials that should be kept and what is noise. It also compares the noise in those two renders to further help with the accurate noise reduction, without removing details like normal noise reduction can do.

The difference between the “fast” and “accurate” presets is that the accurate one also renders a shadow channel (in addition to all the others) and this might be of help to determine where to apply NR. But so far I haven’t found much difference and the thing is the shadow channel takes a long time to render. So far I’m using the fast preset so it skips the shadow channel.

I also set the scenes SL to about SL11, because remember you get two renders with NR, so the two merged ones is more like SL12. It depends on the scene how high your initial SL should be, but I think it will be pretty rare to go above SL 12. Maybe only in very difficult scenes where the noise is still very course also at SL 13 or so.


Maxwell Render 4 to offer GPU rendering


Next Limit has announced the upcoming release of v4 of its renderer. New features include: 

  • GPU rendering – the new engine runs on NVidia graphic cards. All the technology under the hood is identical to the classic CPU engine – which means your images are exactly the same.
  • Maxwell Multilight Standalone – save infinite lighting variations from one single render
    • Lighting setups in real time
    • Work faster by editing lights before and after the render finishes
    • Create a lighting catalog for your client
    • Automatically update your catalog with different lighting positions or geometry
  • New materials gallery – the renovated gallery features a hand-picked selection of high-quality, optimized Maxwell materials ready to use in your scenes. You can search using the usual tags, such as wood, plastic or metal, but also by performance level – so that you can filter materials depending on your exact needs.
  • Rhino for Mac support – new Rhino for Mac plugin workflow, providing a live-link between Rhino and Maxwell Studio
  • Significantly improved Revit integration

Maxwell Render v4 is scheduled to be released in September. A pre-release promotion is available with a 30% discount. More here for Australia & NZ on Maxwell Render Special Offer




April 28, 2016 TechnologyTips 0 Comments 

Hello everyone,

FernandoTellaWe are back with an insider tip from our very own Product Specialist, Fernando Tella. Fer is long-time user of Maxwell Render, ever since the alpha version in 2005! Ten years later he joined the Maxwell team. Now he is the one helping customers with technical issues on how to improve the workflow in Maxwell Render, and he is also doing product demos, trainings and helps with product development. In this week’s blog post he will bring the Asset Reference workflow to your attention. Enjoy and ask any questions you might have in the comments below! Thanks, Fer!


The Asset Reference Extension Object is a very useful tool available in Maxwell Studio. It provides a different workflow using Maxwell, especially if there is no plug-in available for your platform (for example, Rhinoceros for Mac). You can find it by right clicking in the object list and going to Create Extension Object > Asset Reference.

It gives you an interesting alternative to importing files. With this method, you will be syncing a geometry file like .objor .dae into Studio. Every time you update the file, it will be updated in Studio, but all the work you do with materials will be kept.

Basically, it allows you to do your modeling and texturing work in your platform while, at the same time, finishing the scene in Studio using Maxwell materials, lights and cameras.

The synchronization between both applications is done by the asset reference extension object, and it gets especially interesting if the file loaded has material information (like .obj, .dae, .fbx…), because Studio will create a simple version of each material that is included in the file, preserving all textures in use.

Every time you overwrite the linked file, it updates in Studio automatically. If the file includes new materials, new Maxwell materials are created in Studio including any texture you have used, so you only have to drag and drop textures and tune it up a bit to make it look the way you want.



A possible workflow would go like this:

  1. Let’s say you start modeling in Rhino
  2. After your first sketches you add a couple of Rhino materials, set the UV mapping of the textures and export to .obj
  3. Your colleague, who is in charge of finishing the image, adds an Asset Reference Extension Object and loads that file into it. He can now start tuning the materials, setting up the lights and cameras, etc.
  4. At the same time you can keep working on the model in your 3D app and add more materials to it. You can move parts, relocate the geometry, change the mapping,… 
  5. At some point you just re-export everything to the same file, overwriting it. Your colleague will see the changes updated immediately in Studio and will have more materials in the list; existing materials won’t be altered and your colleague’s work won’t be lost.

This way you can work in parallel inside your 3D application and Studio while keeping the .mxs file size small.

The link between materials in the modeling platform and Studio is based on the name. The material names in Studio are made up like this file_name.material_name, so you can change the material assignments just by changing the name of the materials.


  • Each asset reference is one object, so you cannot move its parts separately. You will have to make all this in your modeling application or include more than one asset reference object in the scene.
  • You cannot assign emitter materials to the asset reference object, as Maxwell doesn’t allow emitter materials at sub-object level. Therefore the lighting job normally has to be handled inside Studio. There’s one exception for this rule: the asset reference object can emit light if it has only one material (an emitter material) and the same material is applied to the asset reference object itself. So you could have one asset reference per light type and this way you would be able to control the lights separately in Multilight. The drawback is having to handle more exports.

I hope you find this tool useful! :)


Troy Design Media


Troy Design MediaScreenshot 2016-05-25 16.07.49


Troy Design Media is an experienced 3D Visualisation company using formZ 3D modeller as well as Maxwell Render to produce the following great images. Troy has 15 + years of experience in architectural 3D visualisation with companies as large as Meriton Properties in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast to smaller bespoke design/visualisation projects.

After spending 4 years at the University of Canberra studying Industrial Design full-time, Troy Bray his began working career as a technical illustrator with the NSW Fire Brigades for the Training Manual Project Team. Drawing became his unique passion and then his aspirations evolved which secured him a role with Meriton Apartments as a Graphic Designer. His duties included designing marketing collateral, in-house presentations and DA submission boards for all of their building projects.

After 2 years with Meriton he then travelled abroad and supervised a team of ten architectural illustrators in China. As a team they secured international work supplied by developers for Commercial and Residential Building Developments. As Creative Director he instructed the team to produce world class illustration and marketing collateral for their clients across the globe. His time in China was productive and cemented his position in the architectural industry.

After returning to Australia, Troy grew a Freelance business over the next ten years securing work all over Sydney. As a part – time endeavour Troy taught his design expertise at Enmore Design College to the Design and Entertainment students using packages in Adobe Creative Suite and Form Z – 3D. During his time as a freelancer he has designed a number of retail outlets including a Dessert Shop, Beauty Salons and a number of office fit outs.

His latest interest which spans outside of the architectural industry includes Game Design for mobile and tablet devices. He continues his pursuit in the architectural design industry offering first class solutions to complex problems and is always available for suitable positions that are of significant interest.


Troy Bray

t: 0411 377 048



Here are just a couple of examples using formZ 8.5 and Maxwell Render 3.2.

Troy Bray Design 2 office

dacode imaging with Maxwell Render

dacode imaging with Maxwell Render 4


dacode – a Melbourne based 3D specialist company: dacode imaging with Maxwell Render has excelled in producing some of the best 3D images for architects Internationally and Australia wide.
The following images are some recent examples that have all been created for clients using formZ 8.5 for 3D modelling and then using Maxwell Render v3.2 either via the formZ /Maxwell plugin or via Maxwell Render Studio, where there, in some cases has been some additional modelling imported in other formats for enhancing reality. Maxwell Render offer unbiased realistic rendering that is fast to set up and produces arguable the best 3D rendering results available – no compromises.

da code design pty ltd

44 Little George Street , Fitzroy , Melbourne VIC 3065

contact Phillip Hyams – Director
telephone 03 9415 1311
mobile 0400 577 613

johnston st external dusk
d a c o d e-5




August 26, 2015 NewsTechnology 19 Comments 

Hello everyone!

I’m very happy to announce the imminent arrival of yet another feature-filled, free update for Maxwell V3!

V3.2 has just been uploaded to our Early Builds Area, so licensed users can go ahead and try the beta version. In this post I’m going to run through some of the main new features and improvements, so that you know what you should be looking out for! So, let’s take a look…


Improvements here are remarkable! This scene was rendered with V3.1.0 on the left, and the new V3.2 on the right. Both were rendered for the same time, up to sampling level 12. Check out the difference in noise clean up (click on the images and look at the ear).

Subsurface Scattering_1

Subsurface Scattering_2








This is a major improvement, especially for anyone rendering fluids – dielectrics inside dielectrics render much better now in Maxwell V3.2, as you can see clearly in the example below: Before (on the left) and after with V3.2 (on the right):









Just to explain briefly how this is done – there is a new material parameter called “Nested Priority”. By default all materials will have the same priority (0, which is the maximum), but when adjusted, Maxwell will prioritize the one with the lower number over the rest – useful when you have an overlapping of dielectrics/SSS materials. With this method it is possible to render complex water/glass/ice surface without numerical issues, by simply adding a small overlap between geometries. In the liquid inside a glass example, the liquid is modeled slightly larger, invading the glass body. The priority is then set to 0 for the glass, and 1 for the liquid (or any value higher than that used for the glass). This way, the overlapping volume with be filled with just glass, the liquid wall will be removed, and the remaining walls will then render appropriately as either glass or liquid, depending on the ray direction.

This improvement will be especially useful to Maxwell and RealFlow combined workflow users and anyone rendering fluids.

Here’s another example below, and you can read more about this new feature in our Support Center here:

nested dialectrics_ bottle1


Lat-Long Stereo left-right loop

We have implemented two new lens types in V3.2: Lat/Long (image above) and Stereo Fish Lens (image below). These lenses are stereo lenses, which means that the user can choose if they render the left or the right eye and can set the intraocular distance. They are geared up for camera travelling in virtual reality (VR) systems such as Oculus. We hope that our archviz users affected by the VR revolution will find these new lenses useful and exciting!

Fish Stereo left-right loop


It is now possible for third party developers to develop their own procedural geometries, geometry modifiers, procedural textures, camera lens, etc. Many of the latest improvements in Maxwell (volumetrics, hair, grass, particle rendering, etc) use this API internally. The possibilities are endless! This API extension is included with the main package and is free for both personal and commercial use.



Maxwell V3.2 can now save the render in PSD format in 8, 16 and 32 bits. It supports multi-layered PSD’s, so channels and light buffers (when Multilight is enabled) can be embedded as separated passes. Simple!



As you probably know, the way Maxwell that produces light involves an emitting material being applied to an actual triangle mesh. Now it’s possible to apply emitter materials to entities that are not triangle meshes – such as hair and fur, particles, grass.


In V3.2 we have made it possible to render many more channel combinations – such as “Diffuse”, “Reflections”, “Diffuse + Reflections”, “Refractions”, “Reflections+Refractions”. These 6 available options make it possible to apply denoisier algorithms to specific passes. Rendering the diffuse and reflective components separately allows for greater flexibility when compositing.

We hope that you will find this helpful when rendering glass for example. Less noise in glass buildings for our architect users! :)

Lampara cuenco_ Render passes_ TODAS LAS IMAGENES apaisado


We have added a new “remove overlapped” option to avoid collisions between instances generated by the scatter algorithm. In your scene you might want to distribute trees over your garden randomly, but you do not want these to intersect in a way that would not happen in real life. Now you can automatically avoid this!

There is also a new “uniform scaling” option to avoid undesired deforming when scaling scattered instances.

overlapped scattering


This new channel shows plain colors without the influence of global illumination. It is very useful for achieving “self illuminated textures” when used in combination with custom alpha channels.

Render on the left and Reflectance channel on the right – notice there aren’t any shadows or highlights!Tazas Reflectance Channel montada


Grass grow 002 ed

This new percentage allows you to define the overall growth direction of your grass blades towards the world-Y axis (sky direction). This follows the natural phototropism in plants, where no matter the ground surface angle, they will grow towards the direction of the World-Y. The rest of the angle parameters can be applied after this main growing parameter; so the Initial Angle will mean a deviation from this main growing direction, as well as the Initial Angle Variation.



In V3.2 it is now is possible to select and edit multiple emitters at the same time and there is a new “Sort by name/type/intensity” function.


This new extension allows you to work with references of many different file formats, in the same way Maxwell works with referenced MXS’s – so these geometries are not pre-converted to MXS files but Maxwell now works with them directly, and they are loaded in render time.

Some of the supported formats include OBJ, FBX, Blender, Alembic, DAE, STL, LXO, 3DS, LWO, 3D, etc.

Maxwell Render V3.2 will be a free update for all V3 users, we hope you enjoy the new features and improvements. I’ll leave you with a list of additional bug fixes!

Thanks to all Maxwell users for your feedback and for making Maxwell what it is.



The new “nested dielectrics” feature also fixes artifacts with dielectrics/SSS objects that intersect.
Fixed artifacts rendering intersecting volumetrics
Error messaging improved, specially with licensing errors.
Fixed issues in opaque material type when using textures
Color space management of input textures improved
Fixed “hidden from reflections and refractions” was not working properly with coatings.
Fixed instances of hidden reference were not visible unless they were translated
Fixed issue with scaled instances of procedural geometries not showing up in the render
Extra Sampling:
Fixed Extra Sampling with render region was not stopping at the desired sampling level
Better support for missing paths for bitmap masks
Fixed custom alpha channels in referenced MXS
Fixed other minor bugs
Fixed potential crash in procedural displacement
Fix potential crash when using EXR in OSX
Fixed hang when using deep channel at very high resolutions
Fixed crash when opening/resuming corrupted MXI files
Fixed issue in texture interpolation
On the fly displacement improved.


The new network system (tp_network) is much more stable now. Many features of the old network system have been added.
Better support for Extra Sampling in cooperative renders

Stay tuned for more: Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn

Maxwell Render


Review: Maxwell Render

We go under the hood of Next Limit Technologies’ physically-based renderer Maxwell Render.

Lexus big

I’ve always loved the Maxwell Render Engine and yet have never used it as part of my everyday workflow. For some reason it’s never surpassed or replaced my love for V-Ray, but who knows, that may well change in the future.

If you want a render engine that is obsessed with doing things physically and accurately then this is most definitely the solution for you. And let me tell you, it is excellent at doing that. It focuses on light and ensures that it represents it as it should. This ensures artists can trust it to get incredible photo-realistic images.

If you’re an artist who knows what a good looking image looks like then you’ll get on well with Maxwell

The other reason they can trust it is because of how straightforward it is to use. You don’t have to be incredibly technical to use it. Instead, if you’re an artist who knows what a good looking image looks like then you’ll get on well with Maxwell. Everything is set up based on the real world – from the lights, all the way to the cameras.

Maxwell is a progressive renderer, so if you’re after a solution that is going to deliver results quickly, then it’s definitely worth giving it a try. I find it incredible how much quality and detail can be calculated in such a short space of time; you can make changes and see them appear in front of you (obviously hardware dependent).

Getting this level of quality is also surprisingly easy to set up. They try and stay away from stacks of complicated parameters and really let you only specify the quality and sharpness you want. It’s refreshingly simple.

Lexus big
You don’t have to be a tech wizard to get to grips with Maxwell Render

A broad appeal

Maxwell has been increasingly trying to appeal to a variety of different markets including architecture and product design, as well as film, animation and VFX. They provide easy-to-use tools that make working in each of these industries a job. The Multilight feature for architectural visualisations is genius and enables artists to focus on making creative choices, not on long re-renders. The attention to real-world materials means product visualisations stand out as a cut above the rest. Massive scene handling means that you can use it confidently on huge scenes, even with complex animations.

One other thing to note, while on the subject of animation, there is no flickering! Everything is calculated in exactly the same brute force way for each frame, so it’s a solution that you can rely on.

All in all Maxwell is an excellent renderer that should always be considered when starting out or switching rendering engines. Its price point is attractive and it’s floating license with render nodes makes it even more appealing to small studios. They provide a demo version of the render suite and I would highly recommend giving it a few minutes of your time.




Maxwell Render

All in all Maxwell is an excellent renderer that should always be considered when starting out or switching rendering engines.