Maxwell Render™ is a rendering engine based on the mathematical equations governing light transport, meaning that all elements, such as emitters, materials and cameras, are derived from physically accurate models. Maxwell Render is unbiased, so no tricks are used to calculate the lighting solution in every pixel of a scene; the result will always be a correct solution, as it would be in the real world. Maxwell Render can fully capture all light interactions between all elements in a scene, and all lighting calculations are performed using spectral information and high dynamic range data. Due to its very nature, Maxwell Render enables users to create accurate and extremely realistic images.
Maxwell Render is a rendering engine that accepts models and scenes created in 3D or CAD applications. Several of these applications are directly supported through a Maxwell Render plug-in; others can be used in conjunction with Maxwell Render by importing the geometry into Maxwell Studio, a component of the software.
New Features in Maxwell 4
Maxwell 4’s major new feature – a GPU render engine! The new engine requires a CUDA® capable NVIDIA® graphics card to use all the power that GPUs provide to accelerate the render process. All the technology under the hood is identical to the classic CPU engine – which means your images are exactly the same, unbeatable Maxwell quality.
MAXWELL MULTILIGHT™ STANDALONE
No more re-rendering.
Save infinite lighting variations and images all from ONE single render. No going back to your scene, re-rendering or waiting. Welcome to Multilight!
Limitless lighting setups in real time.
Work smarter and 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 newly 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
Maxwell | Rhino Mac offers a brand new integration for Rhino for Mac, allowing you to work within the Rhino interface via a Maxwell toolbar. Also included with this integration is Maxwell Studio – our sophisticated standalone scene editor. This provides an additional workflow based on our Asset Reference feature, which allows live-linking to assets (.obj, etc) created in Rhino from within Maxwell Studio.
The plugin + Studio workflow is bundled together in one easy installation package, and includes the entire suite of Maxwell tools – for integrated features see the list below. For the full Studio features click here.
Maxwell 4 includes a complete overhaul of the Revit integration, with significant improvements including the addition of FIRE – our interactive preview engine, as well as a re-designed and reorganised toolbar.
The Network Manager provides a new easy and reliable way of distributing your renders across your computers. The new web-based monitor can be opened from any browser in your network and can handle jobs in cloud environments like Azure or Amazon EC2.
New Features in Maxwell 3
CUSTOM SUN RADIUS
The sun in Maxwell's physical sky system is now customizable in size and color allowing for dramatic sun effects, as well as introducing a physically correct approach to controlling shadow softness (via sun radius) or distant emitters with parallel shadows.
Maxwell Render now includes a collection of procedural textures that can be used alone or in combination with other textures to produce a range of effects. Being mathematical fractals, they are 100% seamless, customizable and cross-platform.
FAST ML PREVIEW
See your Multilight changes instantly in the main render view. Even Scattering and Dispersion update instantly - thanks to the new GPU accelerated Fast Multilight display!
IMPROVED FIRE VOXELIZATION
Our scene preview engine Maxwell FIRE is much smarter in V3 - re-voxelizing only the objects which have changed, saving a tremendous amount of time when setting up your scenes.
An object bounding box, sphere or plane can now be used as a 'cutting' object, which works in a similar way to the cameras Z-clip feature, except now you are no longer limited to the cameras near/far planes.
A long awaited feature, now you can create unlimited 'layers' of alphas and add any object(s) to those layers, allowing you to isolate the exact objects you need.
Five new lens types have been added to the Maxwell Camera: Spherical - great for making HDR environments or virtual walk-throughs, Fish Eye, Pinhole (creates no depth of field effect), Cylindrical and Orthographic
Maxwell materials assistant is a new, easy to use material editor which builds the basic material characterisitcs for you - greatly simplifying the material creation process and saving you lots of time. Choose first a category such as glass, metal, translucent, opaque and the material assistant will help you create perfectly optimised materials for your scene in just seconds!
PIXAR OPEN SUBDIV
The new Subdivision feature allows you to subdivide low-polygon objects into smooth surfaces, by implementing Pixar OpenSubdiv. Because it's subdividing the geometry only at render time - your scene files take up far less space and can be transfered much faster around your network. OpenSubdiv is owned by Pixar. Copyright (C) Pixar. All rights reserved
Now you can isolate the contribution of each emitter to each individual object in the scene, allowing you to have objects not affected by certain emitters in the scene. This way, you have custom control over the lighting of each object in your scene.
Emitters in Maxwell can now project light using any bitmap (or even a procedural texture!), much the same as a slide projector projects an image onto a canvas.
Maxwell Sea creates realistic ocean surfaces and waves based on the Ocean Statistical Spectrum from RealFlow. Various parameters such as water depth and surface dimensions allow you to produce a convincing water surface, from swimming pools to open ocean. The meshing is only done at render time, meaning it takes up almost no extra space in the .MXS file.
The new Maxwell Scatter modifier distributes instances of an object (or even referenced MXS files) across the surface of another object, with similar parameters to the Maxwell grass modifier - including the ability to add density maps, or randomize the size and rotation.
Maxwell V3 offers massive speed improvements when motion blur is used in scenes with many objects, especially where hair and particles are used. In a scene using millions of hairs for example, the increase in speed can be upwards of 100X!
The Alembic file format allows for very efficient storage of geometry and other scene data, which can now be referenced directly in Maxwell V3. Support for Alembic includes static and animated geometry as well as particles. It also works with the Exocortex CRATE suite of Alembic plugins.
Separate materials can now be applied to the back-face of a polygon surface - making it much easier to create bottle labels, translucent paper, or add more variation to leaves etc. And as a bonus, it also works with the Maxwell grass modifier!
Maxwell Render 3 can now render in 'deep image' format, which stores color as well as depth information per pixel, making it much easier to composite rendered objects together as well as eliminating troublesome edge artifacts. You can save the deep info in either .EXR or .DTEX formats, in rgba or alpha.
The new volumetric feature in Maxwell can work in several ways: as a constant density volumetric object - useful for large atmospheric haze effects or thick fog, it can work with particles files in several formats, including RealFlow .bin, and also with density fields/voxels directly from Maya or Houdini.
Maxwell Render Suite floating licenses for V3 will now come with 10 rendernodes included, as standard!
Based on Reality Reality means predictable, reliable first-time results. With Maxwell Render, you can focus your valuable time and energy on creating your vision, not struggling with obscure computer graphics terminology and tweaking parameters.
"Real-Time" Scene Preview Maxwell FIRE gives you immediate feedback in the renderer for adjustments to lighting, materials and camera settings. And unlike other interactive style renderers, Maxwell FIRE is compatible with ALL Maxwell materials and features.
Multilight™ The highly acclaimed Multilight™ feature removes the need to re-render an image when light changes are required. Multilight™ allows you to change the intensities of lights and scene emitters during and after the rendering process, so you can tweak the lighting set up over and over, saving out as many images of the same scene as you like-all from just a single render.
Materials made easy The Maxwell Material system is intuitive and easy to use, consisting of components that can be stacked much the same as the layers in an image editing program. Maxwell Materials are based on real optical properties, creating unrivalled realism. And you have free access to over 3500 ready to use materials online.
Advanced Ray Tracing The advanced ray tracing technology which forms the core of Maxwell Render's engine is so powerful that it is capable of simulating light exactly as it is in the real world. No tricks. Just real world physics. Which is why Maxwell Render is the benchmark in render quality.
Memory Saving Instances Instances are a great way to save memory when rendering. With 10,000 instances of 1 object, Maxwell Render will consume the same amount of memory at render time as if it was rendering only the 1 object. Instances are great for creating vegetation, bricks, furniture or any other extensively repeated geometry in your scene.
Accuracy Be confident that your simulations truly reflect reality. Maxwell Render's incredible lighting accuracy means that your materials will look the way they are supposed to, and every detail of your textures and models will play a part in bringing your render to life.
Fast Scene Setup Computer time is less important and far less expensive than human time. The entire Maxwell Render approach (real world camera, emitter and material parameters) is geared up to save you time on your projects by giving you accurate, predictable results. Don't spend your valuable time endlessly tweaking dozens of parameters, just set your scene with simple Maxwell settings - and move on to your next project!
Realistic Camera Model The camera in Maxwell Render has all the parameters you would expect in a real camera - f-Stop, Focal Length, Shutter speed, ISO, film size, diaphragm blades. This means that DOF, bokeh and the exposure match your live footage - making the compositing stage far quicker and simpler.
Powerful Compositing We offer plugins for NUKE, After Effects and Photoshop which can load Maxwell Render's high dynamic range format (MXI). In addition to the main render, this format also supports a number of different render channels such as Z-buffer, Alpha, Normals, Position, Motion vectors and Shadows. Working directly with the MXI format in your compositing also means you have access to the Multilight™ feature, allowing you to re-light your scenes in real time, directly in your compositing application.
Flexible Pipeline Integration Pipeline support has vastly improved with the release of Maxwell Render 2.6, which now has a Python SDK with online documentation. With Python you have access to almost all the features of Maxwell Render, allowing you to write custom tools such as extracting certain channels from an MXI sequence, rendering a turn-table animation of all your scene assets for easy referencing, creating materials on the fly, network render management and much much more.
Accurate 3D Motion Blur Maxwell Render's accurate 3D motion blur can now handle unlimited sub-steps, and can be set for both a still camera to mimic long exposure effects such as trails of light, and a film camera to show the motion blur effect of fast moving objects. The amount of motion blur is directly controlled from the camera, by either the shutter speed or the rotary shutter angle.
Hair/Fur Rendering Maxwell Render's hair rendering tool is compatible with many of the most popular hair systems (Maya Shave and a Haircut, Maya hair, 3ds Max hair, CINEMA hair, or Ornatrix). Hair systems are automatically converted to the Maxwell Hair primitive which is highly optimized in terms of memory consumption and speed, and of course, offers totally unrivalled quality. The hair primitive has actual thickness so any Maxwell material can be applied to it, including transparent, refractive materials.
Perfect Particles Particles from Maya, 3ds Max, Houdini and Softimage can be rendered directly with Maxwell Render's dedicated particle primitive to which you can apply any Maxwell material.
Displacement The displacement feature in Maxwell Render is both flexible and powerful - it offers two methods for displacement: on the fly and pretessellated. With on-the-fly displacement you can have virtually unlimited displacement detail with no extra ram usage, while pretessellated offers the benefit of speed together with the possibility to render vector displacements.
Grass The Maxwell Render grass generator allows you to quickly create grass on a selected piece of geometry. Designed to offer maximum control over the look of the grass - from impeccable detail on close-up shots to fast-rendering further away from the camera. Compatible with Maxwell Studio and almost all supported plugins.
Down to Earth and Physically Correct The physical sky system in Maxwell Render uses a novel approach, offering a wide range of real-life, physically-correct variables to control the look of the sky and lighting in your scene. You can control your position on Earth (location and time), the sun's aspect, and the atmospheric conditions.
Maximum Authenticity Maxwell Render's SimuLens™ feature allows you to produce even more realistic, authentic images - simulate glare effects by setting the shape of the camera diaphragm, or add obstacles in the lens such as dust, water drops or fingerprints.
Networking Maxwell Render's powerful networking capabilities are multi-platform, allowing for a mixture of Windows, OSX and Linux in the same network. You can set Maxwell Render to render one image using all of your computers, or set each computer to render one animation frame. Complete control and flexibility.
RealFlow Integration Maxwell Render is compatible 'out of the box' with Next Limit's RealFlow™ software, giving RealFlow™ users the option to use Maxwell Render as their render engine of choice. Render your RealFlow™ particles directly with Maxwell Render, meshing the point cloud at render time.
Compatibility: Version 8 (Windows 32 bits), versions 10-2013 (Windows 32 and 64 bits)
Includes Maxwell FIRE as an ActiveShade renderer
Fully integrated material editor (MXED) exposing all the Maxwell parameters for materials embedded in the Max scene
Exports particle systems as procedural spheres or geometry instances
Supports referencing external MXS files containing geometry and materials
Includes an instancer primitive which can be used to create render instances with low viewport overhead
Maya instances are exported as render instances
Exports deformation motion blur and multi-step movement blur
Exports Maya hair and Shave&haircut hair as procedural cones for very efficient hair rendering
Provides MEL access to all the plug-in objects and features
FBX import and export supports Maxwell materials
Geometry and materials can be imported from MXS files
Compatibility: Microstation V8i SELECTseries 2, Windows 32 and 64 bits.
Maxwell Render plugin for MicroStation performs direct geometry and materials export from MicroStation to Maxwell Render MXS scene and optionally to MXM material files.
MXM material files can be reused by subsequent exports which will refer to the MXM files in the cache folder, rather than re-translate.
Large parts of the plugin's user interface intentionally mimic their counterparts in Maxwell Studio and convey the same functionality. This addresses Maxwell Render functionality which is not present on the MicroStation side.
Different plugin settings can be stored in the same DGN file, for different purposes. They can also be exported and imported.
All plugin options have balloon help pop-ups, and for the most part are self-explanatory.
Compatibility: 601, R2 (501), 401, 302, Windows 32 and 64 bits, OS X
Complex scene export from modo to Maxwell
Support for modo mesh deformers (MDD, Morph, Vertex map)
Multiple UV maps
Automatic UV map conversion from modo projected textures (Planar, Cubical, Box, Cylindrical, Spherical and Front projections)
Export items with Maxwell Motion Blur
modo Instance and Replicator export
Camera export with Maxwell specific parameters
Environment export (automatic/manual)
Maxwell Environment inside modo
Automatic material conversion
Maxwell Material item (assigns "*.mxm" materials to modo items)
Light export (emulates modo lights with emitter objects)
Modo Procedural Texture export (with automatic baking)
Maxwell FIRE - Interactive Preview inside modo
Maxwell Proxy Item
Compatibility: V4 SR5,5.0 x86,5.0 x64, Windows 32 (except 5.0 x64) and 64 bits
Includes Maxwell FIRE, with in-viewport rendering.
Fully-integrated Maxwell MXED-style material editor.
Scene Manager provides an easy-to-use tabbed interface.
Database Manager allows saving BSDFs, etc., for later use.
MXM Browser for working with MXM files on the file system.
Plugin windows can float or can be docked in Rhino's frame.
Material model provides Embedded and MXM-Linked modes.
Camera HUD feature allows pre-visualization of arbitrary film sizes.
Dozens of RhinoScript-able plugin commands are provided.
Supports RhinoScript/C#/VB.NET access via .NET scripting library.
Implements Real Scale texturing (not natively supported in Rhino).
Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows Server 2008. • 2 GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 processor, Athlon 64 AMD or better. • 1GB RAM minimum. 2 GB of RAM memory is highly recommended. • 400 MB available hard disk space for installation. • 3 button mouse.
Linux 64 Bit
• 64 bits distribution with a 2.6 Kernel and glibc 2.5. • Accelerated OpenGL drivers • 1 GB RAM minimum. 4 GB of RAM memory is highly recommended. • 300 MB available hard disk space for installation. • 3 button mouse.
Macintosh 32 & 64 Bit
• Mac OSX 10.5 and up. • G4, G5 or Intel® CPU. G5 or Intel® is strongly recommended • 1 GB RAM minimum. 2 GB of RAM memory is highly recommended. • 400 MB available hard disk space forinstallation. • 3 button mouse.
Platforms supported through plug-ins
3ds Max (7, 8, 9, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011)
VIZ (06, 07, 08)
Maya (8, 8.5, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011)
LightWave (8.x and 9.x)
Rhino (4 SR5 and 5 X64 WIP)
Cinema 4D (9.6 and up)
SolidWorks (2007 s.p.3.1, 2008 and 2009)
Form Z (6.1 and up, 6.6 recommended)
SketchUp (6 and 7)
ArchiCAD (10, 11 and 12)
XSi (5.x, 6.01 and 7.01)
Modo (302 and 401)
Nuke 6 (X)
Photoshop CS3 and CS4
After Effects CS5
Import objects into Maxwell Studio to create, edit and assign materials, set up lights and cameras and send the scene to Maxwell for rendering. Currently supported file formats are .mxs, .3ds, .dxf, .lwo, .obj, .fbx, .stl, .xc2, .ply and .dae.
Other Plug-ins developed by third parties:
AllPlan solidThinking Houdini MicroStation
Maxwell Render Standard licenses are for users wanting to use the full set of features available in Maxwell Render in a commercial/ production environment, without restrictions of any kind.
Standard licenses are floating and work per concurrent user: a license can be installed on as many machines as you like, but it can only be used by one person at the same time. Maxwell Render licenses do not have core limitations.
For example, in a firm with 3 employees looking to use Maxwell Render at the same time, plus 2 machines to use just for rendering, 3 Standard licenses plus 2 Render Node licenses should be purchased.
A Standard license comes with the complete feature package: the render engine, Maxwell Studio, and the Material Editor. You will also get access to all available Maxwell Render plug-ins for a range of 3D and CAD applications free of charge.
Render Node Licenses
Maxwell Render Node licenses are for users wishing to use extra rendering machine capacity through their own private renderfarm, or to use networked workstations as render nodes which otherwise would not use Maxwell Render. Maxwell Render Node licenses are not GUI or User licenses; they do not come with a user interface, only the ability to render.
Maxwell Render Node licenses are floating and work per concurrent machine: a license can be installed on as many machines as you like, but it can only run on one machine at the same time. Render Node licenses do not have core limitations.
Note that anyone looking to purchase Render Node licenses must also purchase or already hold at least one Standard license of Maxwell Render
Upgrades / Support
Next Limit offers the following Upgrades and Support options:
Upgrade from Maxwell Render v.1 to v.2
Upgrade from educational to commercial license
RFX is available for all your support needs.
NextLimit offers the following types of support:
Online resources such as Manuals, FAQ's, Tutorials and Forum
Online support also available through online Cusomter Gateway
Maxwell is compatible with the following 3D platforms via plugins, which are freely available for all Maxwell license holders:
Autodesk 3ds Max
Maxon Cinema 4D
Newtek Lightwave 3D
Side Effects Houdini
Adobe After Effects
Student licenses for students who can prove they are enrolled in a suitable course.
Faculty licenses for either teachers to buy themselves, or for colleges or universities to buy on behalf of their students and teachers, or for the classroom.
Educational licenses are exclusively for learning and teaching purposes. Using an educational license for commercial purposes is not permitted, and educational licenses are not valid for government or commercial research, even if this is being done within an educational institution.
Educational licenses have some technical restrictions:
Users cannot load workspace files that are not saved with this edition.
Workspace files from older versions of RealFlow can't be loaded either.
Workspace files saved with this edition can't be loaded in other editions.
The XML Import/Export feature is locked.
These restrictions will mean that a user can work perfectly well on an academic project, but will not be able to use their license for commercial-standard work.
In addition, Student licenses are valid for one year only (as opposed to the Standard licenses, and the Faculty licenses which are permanent.)
One Educational license is valid for one machine, and there are no core restrictions.
RealFlow has special classroom packs for bulk purchases. Node license option is not available in the educational program.
To purchase an Educational license, please contact RFX, providing the following information: