MARI allows artists to concentrate on painting detailed, multi-layered textures directly onto 3D models in a fluid and natural way. MARI was originally conceived at Weta Digital, because no existing commercial product could handle the complex, highly detailed look development work required by films such as District 9 and Avatar.   MARI has been designed by artists to give them immediate feedback, in context, working with multiple interacting models from any angle and in animated motion. MARI's responsive creative toolset allows painting to be completed in a single application, reducing the need to export, paint in 2D and re-import.


New Features in MARI 3.0

MODO rendering and baking

Access MODO’s advanced photorealistic renderer directly within MARI to check the final-render quality of your work as you paint, helping you iterate faster to achieve the look you want. In addition, you can now use MODO’s powerful baking engine to bake textures from within MARI; new baking presets can be created in MODO, offering an extensive range of looks.

OpenSubdiv support

New support for OpenSubdiv geometry in MARI lets you work with subdivision surface (SDS) meshes, without the need to translate or pre-subdivide them. With subdivision surfaces, you can view and work with a more faithful representation of the final rendered smooth surface, and with accurate UV layouts for each level of subdivision.

Color space management

Building on the previous introduction of OpenColorIO, MARI 3 delivers new flexible, artist-friendly color management workflows. With color space properties available on both images and on individual channels of multi-channel images, the requirement to preprocess or post-process images into the correct color space is eliminated, saving time and reducing errors.

Exposed node graph

Advanced users can now create and edit channels and layers in a more powerful, efficient and visual manner with phase one of the exposure of MARI’s node graph. As an option to using the traditional layer system to add channels and layers, you can now work directly in the node graph, selecting and connecting nodes to build your final textured surface.

Custom group nodes

With new access to the node graph, advanced users can combine frequently used functions into custom group nodes that appear as a single entity, similar to NUKE’s Gizmo feature; you can select which parameters to expose, reducing unnecessary complexity. Gizmos can be exported for use in other projects, or shared with others.

Arnold, V-Ray, Unreal and Redshift shaders

New shaders designed to simulate those used in industry-standard rendering and games engines—Arnold, V-Ray, Unreal and Redshift—let you paint your textures in their intended final context, providing more realistic previews and giving you the confidence that your textures will work as expected.

FBX geometry support

Work in conjunction with a vast range of third-party and proprietary 3D solutions and source material providers, with new support for reading geometry from the widely adopted FBX format files. With MARI 3, you can view a tree widget of the contents of your FBX file and choose to import either the entire hierarchy or selected child nodes.

Session scripts

New Session Scripts in MARI 3 let you create a lightweight archive of a project that can be combined with other archives, keeping all data intact. The ability to merge projects lets you see assets in context with other assets, share useful data for reuse, or set up project templates.

Rendering integration APIs

MARI 3 delivers four new APIs that help studios integrate MARI with their rendering pipeline, reducing the need to transfer files between applications and resulting in faster iterations and a more accurate understanding of the final context. Potential applications include real-time viewport display, network rendering and texture baking.

Enhanced texture transfer

MARI’s Texture Transfer system uses generated point cloud data to transfer textures between two different models, without the need for matching topology or UVs. In MARI 3, you can use this data to generate height and normal maps between high and low polygon models, seamlessly blur across patch boundaries, and correctly transfer overlapping UVs.

Entity locators

Translate, rotate and scale geometry more easily with new Entity Locators. Entity Locators offer a 3D manipulator that improves visual accuracy when transforming geometry inside MARI's viewport using the Move tool.

Safe mode

A new Safe mode in MARI 3 offers easier troubleshooting by isolating the user's involvement and environment issues during debugging. Being able to identify and isolate critical points faster will help resolve issues and improve the customer support process.

Extended access to selection groups

Developers and TDs can now access selection groups through the Python API, allowing them to manipulate various parts of a geometry entity through scripting and to automate related functionality. In addition, artists can now access selection groups directly by clicking on them on the model in the viewer.

MARI Features


A familiar way of working

The Foundry's development team has spent years talking to, and learning from, digital painters to make sure MARI is a familiar painting experience for the many artists used to working with layer based software.

The new layer system has all the features artists expect from the most advanced layer based workflows available today:

  • Every channel is now a full, non-destructive, layer stack.
  • Shaders now use layered channels to control every aspect of the surface look including diffuse, displacement and specularity.
  • Fully updated .PSD support means MARI 2.0 works seamlessly with Adobe® Photoshop® and other paint software that reads industry standard .PSD files.
  • All the control and flexibility artists know and love from 2D painting applications is now available in full 3D, directly on the model.


New features for the next generation

The next generation of layers in MARI 2.0 allows artists to work smarter and faster than ever before, bringing the full power of a layer based workflow along with adjustments, procedurals and advanced masking.

Next generation features include:

  • Procedural Layers - A powerful procedural engine is built into the heart of the layer stack; offering fluid, GPU accelerated real time procedural noises, patterns, projections and more. Procedural layers mean artists can easily create the look they want, seamlessly blending procedural and painted detail with the same toolkit.
  • Mask groups - In MARI 2.0, rather than a single mask per layer, each layer’s mask is a full layer stack in its own right. Artists can use blending, groups, adjustments and procedurals in their masks for a much more flexible, and non-destructive, workflow.
  • Shared layers - artists shouldn't have to waste time keeping track of how and where they have reused layers and masks. MARI 2.0 introduces a unique layer concept, shared layers, to ensure that artists can spend more time painting. A shared layer is one that appears multiple times in the same stack, or is shared between stacks, and is automatically and instantly updated wherever it is used.
  • Streamlined layer view - With powerful grouping, tagging and filtering options, the layer view in MARI 2.0 means even highly complex stacks are easy to navigate and control.



Painting_2.pngWith MARI, 3D painting has never been more fluid or flexible. Choose from MARI’s selection of intuitive preset brushes, including a 'healing' brush for seam removal and duplication of texture detail and a ‘slurp' brush for smearing and dragging texture; import and work with familiar ABR Photoshop brushes; or create any number of custom brushes. There’s even a vector brush for creating and edit vector maps. Whether you’re working with 3D projective paint or flat UV paint, MARI lets you focus on your creativity. 

MARI lets you paint through images or gradients to apply external detail to your model. Color corrections and filters can be applied as adjustment layers or directly to the paint you’re working with, and previewed in real time. You can even apply a color grade as you clone to better match the area you’re painting.

An advanced channel masking engine lets you control where paint is applied by painting a channel, using fractal noise, or by using surface attributes such as edges, depth, backface and even ambient occlusion.

Texture Mapping

Texture mapping

MARI adopts an extremely flexible approach to texturing. Cube, spherical, and triplanar projectors let you quickly setup a scene.You can work with standard or multi-tile UDIM UV layouts, including overlapping UVs so can reuse the same texture across 3D models in any shared UV space, while tiled textures with masking make it simple to quickly cover large areas on models.

Optionally, a UV-less workflow (PTEX) lets you adjust texture size on a per-face level, allowing for near-limitless detail, and letting you put detail where it’s most effective.

Textures can be exported from channels as individual layers, flattened files or as layered PSDs, for use further down your pipeline.  A Texture Transfer function also lets you transfer textures between two different models, without the need for matching topology or UVs.

Adanced layering

Advanced LayeringMARI’s nondestructive layer-based workflow lets you freely mix paint with filters, color correction, procedurals and advanced masking—so you can paint faster and with greater control than ever before. Change blend modes at any time; reorder layers at will; bake or flatten several layers together.

An extensive range of procedurals—including GPU-accelerated real-time noise, patterns, projections, ambient occlusion shading and more—make it easy to create the look you want. Adjustment layers include everything from blurring and color balancing, to animated flow effects!

MARI even lets you create real-time GLSL layered shaders, building up complex effects like dirt over rust, over worn paint, over metal.

Realistic interactive preview

MARI’s physically correct interactive preview features shadows, HDR environment lighting, reflections, specular highlights and more, so you can work in a high-fidelity context that closely matches your target platform.

Meanwhile, energy-preserving physically based BRDF shaders, and built-in support for Arnold, V-Ray, Unreal and Redshift shaders let you work with confidence that your textures will look the way you want in the final render or game.

You can even import multiple animated cameras to check your scene from the director’s viewpoint.


Complex geometry handling

GeometryHandling.pngMARI handles animated geometry and animated textures with ease—as well as handling multiple objects, versions and instances, with or without baked animation. You can isolate, select, mask and hide geometry per patch and face. Support for FBX, OpenSubdiv and Alembic let you work with industry-standard formats.

Handling very large 3D model data sets becomes simple with MARI’s ability to scale to over one million polygons for a single topology or mesh without slowing down. MARI can also support textures of up to 32K x 32K pixels and thousands of textures per model across different channels, so you can create hyperrealistic assets with almost limitless detail.


Color management


With OpenColorIO (OCIO), the open source color management solution from Sony Picture Imageworks, you can handle color transforms and image display across multiple applications by setting up a single profile to provide consistent colors across the board. Color space defaults can be set on a per-project basis.

With color space properties available on both images and on individual channels of multi-channel images, the requirement to preprocess or post-process images into the correct color space is eliminated, saving time and reducing errors.

A key tool in simplifying the color management process, OCIO is suitable for both visual effects work and animated features and is specifically geared towards post-production work.


  • UV-less workflow (PTEX) that gives the ability to adjust texture size on a per-face level allowing for near-limitless detail
  • Fully customisable brush engine
  • 'Paint through' and 'clone from' between layers and textures (including 'clone from' on-surface)
  • 'Slurp' brush for smearing and dragging texture
  • Paint canvas transform, grid warp and free-form 'pin' warp
  • Blur and sharpen, including on-surface, multiple UV patches simultaneously
  • Advanced 'healing' brush for seam removal and duplication of texture detail
  • Fractal Noise shader module based on Perlin Noise shader module blends seamless 3D noise with the shaded surface using a specified Blend Mode
  • Masked Bump shader module displays an input texture as a bump map and uses a mask texture to control the bump weight
  • Levels filter that changes color levels in the paint has been added to the Filters menu. Using this filter you can change the White Point, the Midtone and Black Point for the current channel or the current painting.
  • OpenColor IO colour space toolbar
  • Copy Shader function allows you to copy an existing shader to any number of objects within your project.
  • Save states for textures to have multiple versions that can be reverted back to later
  • Layered PSD import and export functionality
  • Filters with real time preview and fully featured colour correction
  • Import and export as background tasks, allowing the artist to continue painting
  • Flatten and round-trip projected textures for modifying externally (for example in NUKE or Adobe© Photoshop©)



  • Filters with real-time preview
  • Advanced channel masking engine, including mask painting, surface falloff, masking one channel to another, and by depth
  • Supports customisable real-time 3D shader preview (e.g. specular highlights, displacement preview via bump mapping, ambient occlusion, layer blending modes, colour correction and more
  • Customisable tool 'shelves' for brushes, colours, reference images, sharable between artist and projects
  • Floating point, 16 bit or 8 bit channels
  • All painting and shading tools are available in 3D projection paint mode and 'flat' UV paint mode
  • Background plates for reference
  • Imports multiple camera moves through which the model can be viewed
  • Spherical environment mapping to simulate a shiny reflective surface
  • Tiled textures with masking to quickly cover large areas on models


  • obj model format support
  • Multiple objects, versions (e.g. high res or in key character poses), instances, with or without baked animation
  • Interactively handles very large 3D model data sets, scaling to over 1 million polygons for a single topology or mesh
  • Supports large textures up to 32K x 32K pixels
  • Handles thousands of textures per model, over many channels
  • Seamlessly supports hundreds of UV texture patches
  • Handles animated geometry and animated textures
  • Isolate, select, mask and hide geometry per patch and face
  • Customisable lighting and rendering modes
  • Massive geometry and texture data sets not limited by the amount of RAM
  • Dynamic tessellation shader that can preview displacement maps on geometry in real-time


  • High quality turntable rendering
  • Flatten and round-trip projected textures for modifying externally
  • Open and extensible approach to UI, geometry, camera, shading, and supporting light and texture exchange
  • Import and export as background tasks, allowing the artist to continue painting
  • Embedded web browser for quick access to community forum
  • Fully featured and open playtime colour management system
  • Filters with real time preview and fully featured colour correction
  • Save states for textures to have multiple versions that can be reverted back to later
  • Python 2.6.5
  • Access to SDK via online help documentation
  • Command socket for remote control of Mari
  • Rich API focused on pipeline and asset management
  • Terminal mode has been implemented
  • Mari now includes a C API for importing custom geometry formats and
    importing/exporting custom image formats
  • Embedded web browser for quick access to community forum
  • Linux or Windows
  • Open and extensible approach to UI, geometry, camera, shading, and supporting light and texture exchange



Version / Release Updates


Mari 3.2 is now available!!

New features include:

  • Enhanced node graph - MARI’s powerful, efficient and visual node graph now offers many workflow enhancements, including a familiar left-to-right layout option, intuitive navigation, configurable shortcuts and zoom-dependent level of detail.
  • Bake points - Improve performance by freeing up space on your GPU with new nondestructive bake point nodes that convert all upstream nodes, including procedurals, to textures
  • Connected mesh selection - Easily select an independent island of polygons within a single mesh by extending any face selection to all connected faces.
  • Reduced file sizes for OpenEXR - With OpenEXR 2.2 support, which includes DWA lossy compression, your UDIM texture maps can be much smaller files without noticeable degradation in quality.


Specifications & Licensing

System Requirements


  • Quad-core processor
  • Windows 7 64-bit
  • Linux 64-bit operating system (Fedora 12 or Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4)
  • Minimum of MacOS X 10.8.4 or higher.
  • 250GB disk space available for caching and temporary files (or a minimum of 50GB if you're working on a small project)
  • At least 4GB RAM
  • Display with 1680 x 1050 pixel resolution
  • An NVIDIA graphics card with at least 1GB of RAM and OpenGL 3.0 support (see Recommended Graphics Cards below).

Recommended Graphics Cards

Recommended Graphics Cards

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580
  • NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800
  • NVIDIA Quadro FX 3800M
  • NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800
  • NVIDIA Quadro FX 5800
  • NVIDIA Quadro (Fermi Series) 600
  • NVIDIA Quadro (Fermi Series) 4000
  • NVIDIA Quadro (Fermi Series) 5000
  • NVIDIA Quadro (Fermi Series) 6000
  • NVIDIA Geforce 650M or better.
  • NVIDIA Quadro 4000 or better.
  • AMD Graphics cards will be supported upon release of Mavericks.

Please download and install the latest graphics driver for your card from the
NVIDIA website.



Mari licenses are issued as floating.  Node-locked licenses are available upon request.

All licenses are locked to the computers MAC/Ethernet address.  Download Foundry System ID from the link below.  Once downloaded, launching the program will generate a pop-up with your system ID.  Send your System ID to RFX for licensing.

The Foundry FFT 5.0 License Manager for Mari and other Foundry Products (FLEXlm tools)

Requirements for FlexLM:

Linux Centos 4.5 (32bit or 64bit), Irix 6.5+, Windows XP, Vista or 7.  Other operating systems are likely to work.

Foundry License Tools

Additional Info

Upgrades / Support

The Foundry offers the following Upgrades and Support options:

Mari Maintenance

  • 1 year required with every new purchase of Mari
  • Free Upgrades
  • 1 year access to customer support by phone/email


  • Upgrades from previous versions of Mari requires active maintenance.
  • Upgrade from node-locked to floating


RFX is available for all your support needs.

The Foundry provides support with active maintenance


Training / Resources


Image Engine's Lead Texture Artist, Justin Holt, has created some fantastic tutorials for how to use MARI 2.0. Check out our 'Layers' tutorials.