Maxwell Render vs Photograph
Which is the Photo and which is the Maxwell Render?
This is the Maxwell Render – which is still a work in progress
This is the Real Photograph
Work by By Dmitriy Berdnichenko – an excellent result.
Mihai Iliuta at maxwellzone.com has just released some great results using the advantages of having great materials
Just wanted to quickly show you some renders of a new set of brass materials created by Leonardo Giomarelli (ilgioma), which I think really demonstrate one of the most important things to understand about Maxwell – if you take the time to create realistic materials, the rest just becomes so much easier. And conversely, if your materials are crap, then your render will most certainly also be…crap.
Also, *DO* use the Maxwell material assistants to quickly give you realistic materials.
In these renders I just used one my HDRs and the “Advantix 100” tonemapping preset.
Groundbreaking Update of the 3D Application Delivers Advanced Features and Streamlined Workflows to Creative Professionals
FRIEDRICHSDORF, Germany — August 1, 2018 — MAXON today unveiled Cinema 4D Release 20 (R20), a break-through version of its iconic 3D design and animation software. Release 20 introduces high-end features for VFX and motion graphics artists including node-based materials, volume modeling, robust CAD import and a dramatic evolution of the MoGraph toolset. MAXON will debut Cinema 4D R20 live and online (C4DLive.com) at the upcoming SIGGRAPH 2018 convention August 14-16, in Vancouver, BC.
“We are excited to be delivering high-end tools and features that will streamline workflow and push the industry in new and exciting directions,” says David McGavran, CEO at MAXON Computer GmbH. “Over the last decade, our MoGraph toolset has revolutionized the broadcast graphics industry. The new Fields system in R20 offers the next evolution in Cinema 4D’s signature workflow.”
Key highlights in Release 20 include:
Node-Based Materials –
Provide new possibilities for creating materials from simple references to complex shaders in a node-based editor. With more than 150 nodes to choose from that perform different functions, artists can combine nodes to easily build complex shading effects for greater creative flexibility. For an easy start, users new to a node-based material workflow still can rely on the user interface of Cinema 4D’s standard Material Editor, creating the corresponding node material in the background automatically. Node-based materials can be packaged into assets with user-defined parameters exposed in a similar interface to Cinema 4D’s classic Material Editor.
MoGraph Fields – New capabilities in this industry-leading procedural animation toolset offer an entirely new way to define the strength of effects by combining falloffs – from simple shapes to shaders or sounds and objects and formulas. Artists can layer Fields with standard mixing modes and remap their effects. Group multiple Fields and use them to control effectors, deformers, weights, and more.
CAD Data Import – Popular CAD formats can be directly and seamlessly imported into Cinema 4D R20 with a simple drag and drop. A unique scale-based tessellation interface allows for adjustment of detail to build amazing visualizations. STEP, Solidworks, JT, Catia V5 and IGES formats are supported.
Volume Modeling – Create complex models by adding or subtracting basic shapes in Boolean-type operations using Cinema 4D R20’s OpenVDB–based Volume Builder and Mesher. Procedurally build organic or hard-surface volumes using any Cinema 4D object including new Field objects. Volumes can be exported in sequenced .vdb format for use in any application or render engine that supports OpenVDB.
ProRender Enhancements – ProRender in Cinema 4D R20 extends the GPU-rendering toolset with key features including sub-surface scattering, motion blur and multi-passes. Also included are an updated ProRender core, support for Apple’s Metal 2 technology, out-of-core textures and other enhancements.
Core Technology Modernization – As part of the transition to a more modern core in Cinema 4D, R20 comes with substantial API enhancements, the new node framework, further development on the new modeling framework, and a new UI framework.
Pricing, Availability / Upgrade Path
All current MSA users that have active agreements through September 2018 will get the R20 update automatically Cinema 4D Release 20 is scheduled for availability in September 2018. Available for both macOS and Windows.
ALL other users with versions older than the current R19 can upgrade their existing package to R19 and receive a free MSA ( 12 month support agreement ) – This ensures they too will receive the R20 on release.
Headquartered in Friedrichsdorf, Germany, MAXON Computer is a developer of professional 3D modeling, painting, animation and rendering solutions. Its award-winning Cinema 4D and BodyPaint 3D software products have been used extensively to help create everything from stunning visual effects in top feature films, TV shows and commercials, cutting-edge game cinematics for AAA games, as well as for medical illustration, architectural and industrial design applications. MAXON has offices in Germany, USA, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Japan and Singapore. MAXON products are available directly from their Website and its worldwide distribution network. MAXON is part of the Nemetschek Group.
We’re back with an update for RealFlow | Cinema 4D! We didn’t just fix bugs, but added lots of nice features as well.
These functions give you more possibilities, flexibility, and control for special offers see Smarttec site.
Have you ever made use of the mesh engine’s → vertex maps to enhance your fluid renders? If the answer is yes then you certainly know that vertex maps were limited to speed so far. But RealFlow’s → fluid and material solvers offer much more channels. With this update you now have a wider choice and we’ve added vorticity, age, and weight maps.
Furthermore we’ve introduced a new, much more intuitive and artist-friendly workflow. In previous versions you had to deal with an abstract “Scale” parameter. Instead of guessing a value it’s now possible to adjust speed, age, and vorticity precisely through → ranges – or let RealFlow | Cinema 4D do the work with the new “Auto” mode.
The icing on the cake is that you can now evaluate the changes in Cinema 4D’s viewport as you’re used to do with native Cinema 4D vertex maps. This means that you no longer have to create preview renders to see the result of your settings. Truly a huge time saver.
And to give you an impression of how these vertex maps affect your fluids we’ve created some videos for you. This clip is a side-by-side comparison of the speed, vorticity, and age channels:
In this video you can see four differently coloured fluids. Weight maps are used to create the colour mixing effects in areas where the fluids touch and interact. To create softer colour transition we have applied the new → “Smoothing Length Scale” parameter to the mesh:
Updates on the maps’ ranges will be applied automatically and displayed in the viewport, but changes on “Smoothing Length Scale” require that the meshes to be recreated.
This neat helper has been added to ease the process of adjusting daemons. RealFlow | Cinema 4D’s new → “Visualizer” is able to make forces visible and even show how they evolve and change over time. Now you have full control over daemons and instant visual feedback.
You can choose between arrows, lines, and points – and you can also display these modes as streamlets. Streamlets trace the forces over a short timespan and this results in a curved view of the force, giving you a sense of direction. One of the most interesting feature is that the “Visualizer” also shows the combined result from multiple daemons. You can decide which daemons should be visualized together with simple drag and drop. Here we have a bounded → “Noise Field”, → “Vortex”, and an animated → “Attractor”:
The “Visualizer” works with the following force-based daemons: “Attractor”, “Gravity”, “DSpline”, “Noise Field”, “Vortex”, and “Wind”. For obvious reasons you can’t visualize k daemons or the “Filter”.
Another, very important, novelty is the introduction of time offsets for cached fluids. So far you haven’t been able to shift the start and end frames of your particle and mesh sequences, for example if you wanted to synchronize them with other animated assets in your scene. In many cases it was necessary to batch rename the files or do other fancy things. But those days are over now.
This way you’ll be able to shift simulation nodes freely and independently from each other, and define custom time offsets in both positive and negative directions.
Another important fix is that initial states will be kept from now on when you remove a simulation’s cache files. This may sound like a side note, but in fact it saves you lots of time!
And since we’ve been jumping on the “visualization train” there’s another new function: the → “Image” emitter is now capable of showing the attached image/pattern in the viewport. This will help you to identify the areas of emission. Furthermore, this emitter now supports animated textures, for example Cinema 4D’s noise types.
Not to forget the → “Fill” emitter. Now this neat little helper makes it easier to fill your objects with particles, but they can also be covered with a layer of particles.
The connection to Cinema 4D’s Thinking Particles module became much more robust, less RAM-intense, and got a new → workflow, making it easier to keep track of multiple particles/TP sources.
Our friends at → Jawset Visual Computing, the makers of TurbulenceFD, also surprised us with a neat feature: it’s no longer necessary to create Thinking Particles from RealFlow fluids in conjunction with TurbulenceFD. Aall you have to do is to apply a “TurbulenceFD” emitter to a RealFlow emitter, fluid, rigid, or elastic container directly. This improvement requires at least version v1.0 Rev 1435.
Many emitters (“Circle”, “Image”, “Square”, and “Triangle”) provide a → “Volume” parameter. This option allows you to create a defined initial volume of particles. A new handle in the emitters’ viewport gizmo lets you define this volume simply by dragging the handle, but of course you can still use numerical values as well.
Finally, we’ve added a falloff to the → “DSpline” daemon.
Of course, we’ve also improved the plugin’s overall stability, and updated to the latest Dyverso library. Experienced users will be happy to hear that the new 2.5 functions can be highlighted in Cinema 4D’s user interface.
AutoDesSys is excited to announce that the award winning V-Ray renderer now available for form•Z offers versatile and intuitive modeling capabilities and V-Ray’s powerful rendering capabilities to create quick and solid designs with astonishing, cutting-edge visualizations in a single solution. The unprecedented integration with V-Ray allows for rendering and lighting to be an integral part of the design process, not just a final step.
V-Ray for form•Z feature highlights:
Additional product information and sample images created with V-Ray for form•Z are available at:
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form•Z is a potent 3D modeling and design application featuring a variety of modeling personalities and tools with a distinctively easy to use interface. It is a most intuitive and versatile professional-grade 3D modeler that is based on advanced 3D solid and surface modeling methods. They maintain accurate representations that allow you to progress from conceptual sketching to detailed design, photorealistic visualization, construction drawings, animation, and fabrication. The current version of form•Z is available in three varieties: form•Z free, form•Z jr, and form•Z pro.
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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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Publish date: Fri, 09 Feb 2018
-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.
-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.
-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.
-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.
-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”
-Fixed: PyMaxwell module renamed from “pymaxwell” to “pymaxwell4”.
-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.
Recent Maxwell Forum Post; ( Good idea to join )
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
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 .
Find a new client , these images look good enough to me !
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).