User avatar
By Mihnea Balta
#310642
Version 2.0.30
  • updated the car paint wizard to match MXED
  • added the metal and SSS wizards (request)
  • fixed: the maxwell material rendered black in high quality mode if the viewport didn't have focus (report)
  • fixed: the range of the environment offsets was wrong (report)
  • fixed: 32-bit TIFF images were too dark when brought back into Maya's render view due to lack of gamma correction (report)
  • fixed: the library and gallery browsing buttons didn't work on OSX and Linux if the Maxwell installation path contained spaces (report)
  • fixed: under some circumstances, the material tree was only 3 pixels wide on Windows (report)
  • fixed: Maya crashed on OSX if a render didn't produce an image file, e.g. when the scene had missing textures (report)
  • fixed: high quality viewport rendering didn't work on OSX with ATI GPUs (report)
Known issues (which will be fixed in future updates):
  • Transparency is not supported for the viewport preview of layered materials.
  • The state of the BSDFs is not taken into account by the preview code; disabled BSDFs are still drawn.
  • Diffuse lighting in the high quality viewport is wrong. This is most noticeable with bright environments like the physical sky.
  • Layers with no BSDFs draw garbage in the viewport.
  • The high quality viewport preview uses the reflectance 0 - 90 ramp from Maxwell 1.7, so it doesn't match what 2.0 is producing.
  • In the high quality viewport, bright spots from the environment (e.g. the sun) appear square with sharp edges in glossy reflections instead of round and fuzzy.
User avatar
By Mihnea Balta
#315382
Version 2.0.31
  • better 1.x - 2.0 material translation on MXM import
  • added viewport representation for IES emitters
  • the material buttons have been moved above the tree, and are always visible now (choo-chee's politely formulated request)
  • added support for the "use alpha" texture flag (request)
  • after importing a MXM, the name of the Maya material is changed to the name stored in the file (request)
  • added support for user-defined search paths for missing assets (textures, IES and IOR files) during MXM import. They can be configured by going to Window -> Rendering Editors -> Maxwell Render -> Import Search Paths.
  • the MXM importer also looks for missing assets inside the material database
  • fixed: under some circumstances, the MXM gallery browser didn't download the textures to the sourceimages directory
  • fixed: disabled BSDFs are no longer drawn by the viewport preview code
  • fixed: layers with no enabled BSDFs no longer draw garbage in the viewport. If an emitter is present, its color is used; otherwise the layer is black.
  • fixed: crash when importing some 1.x MXM files
  • fixed: the reflections from the HDR environment in the high quality viewport were too strong
  • fixed: the file picker dialog for MXM export said "Import" in the title and on the action button
  • fixed: diffuse lighting was completely wrong in the high quality viewport
  • fixed: tone mapping was wrong in the high quality viewport
Known issues (which will be fixed in future updates):
  • Transparency is not supported for the viewport preview of layered materials.
  • Diffuse lighting in the high quality viewport is too bright under some circumstances.
  • The high quality viewport preview uses the reflectance 0 - 90 ramp from Maxwell 1.7, so it doesn't match what 2.0 is producing.
  • In the high quality viewport, bright spots from the environment (e.g. the sun) appear square with sharp edges in glossy reflections instead of round and fuzzy.
  • The polygon cage of smoothed meshes is rendered, instead of the smoothing result.
User avatar
By Mihnea Balta
#317602
Version 2.0.33
  • added support for specifying the output MXS file when rendering. If the option is enabled but the path is left blank, the name of the output image is used. If animation rendering is enabled, the frame number (padded to 4 digits) is appended to the specified file name.
  • added a Maxwell shelf which provides quick access to various Maxwell features
  • added pack'n'go, which is accessible as a button on the new shelf and as an option for the file -> export operation
  • material export gives the user the option to also copy the dependencies of the material next to the MXM file
  • the plug-in looks for missing assets (textures, IOR and IES files etc.) in the user-defined search paths and in the directory where the current scene file is located. The search used to be limited to the MXM import operation, but it's now performed every time a missing file is encountered (e.g. during scene export, pack'n'go etc.).
  • added support for merging two layered materials
  • added duplicate item, import, export and merge actions in the right-click menu of the material tree (Windows only)
  • added a new Maxwell mesh instancer node. The viewport representation of this node uses a controllable percentage of the vertices from the instanced mesh, so creating a large number of instances doesn't slow down the viewport as it did when using the built-in Maya instances.
  • if mesh smoothing is on, the plug-in exports the smoothed geometry (Maya 2008 and above) (request)
  • only objects belonging to the current render layer are exported/rendered
  • fixed: the import, export, wizard etc. material buttons didn't work in scenes which contained 1.x materials (report)
  • fixed: long-standing bug which made material attributes and global render options not keyable. All these attributes are animatable now.
Note: the recommended way of using the new instancer node is to create one Maxwell instancer for the mesh, then make regular Maya instances (edit -> duplicate special) of the Maxwell instancer. This way, the viewport representation will only be stored in memory once and you will be able to control the LOD of the viewport representation for all the instances at the same time.

Known issues (which will be fixed in future updates):
  • Transparency is not supported for the viewport preview of layered materials.
  • Diffuse lighting in the high quality viewport is too bright under some circumstances.
  • The high quality viewport preview uses the reflectance 0 - 90 ramp from Maxwell 1.7, so it doesn't match what 2.0 is producing.
  • In the high quality viewport, bright spots from the environment (e.g. the sun) appear square with sharp edges in glossy reflections instead of round and fuzzy.
  • (Linux specific) Under some circumstances, the component tree in the attribute editor of the Maxwell material will be invisible on Maya 8.5 and 2008. To work around this, you will need to set the environment variable "XLIB_SKIP_ARGB_VISUALS" to 1 before running Maya, e.g.: XLIB_SKIP_ARGB_VISUALS=1 /usr/autodesk/maya2008-x64/bin/maya.
User avatar
By Mihnea Balta
#321423
Version 2.0.36
  • added a shelf button which exports the scene and sends it to the Maxwell network rendering system
  • the location of the MXI file can be specified in the render options
  • added batch rendering command line flags for all the 2.0 channels and for specifying the MXS and MXI paths
  • added a control in the plug-in settings window for the maximum texture resolution used in the viewport
  • the resolution of the viewport preview texture can be overriden at the material level now
  • removed unsupported image formats from the dropdown in the render options panel and added EXR, HDR and JP2
  • added Maxwell attributes to the RFRK object (hide from camera etc.)
  • when the AE is displayed for a RFRK node, it has additional tabs for its transform and material nodes, just like regular meshes
  • updated the AGS wizard to match MXED
  • vertices with invalid positions are filtered out because the renderer aborts when they are present
  • fixed: crash when trying to display textures larger than half the maximum resolution supported by the video card
  • fixed: mirrored objects with Maxwell materials on them were black in the viewport
  • fixed: the output image path was reset to MAXWELL2_ROOT/default.png when the user specified a bit depth that was not supported for the current image format
  • fixed: crash when trying to load an inexistent EXR file as a texture or in the render view
  • fixed: displacement wasn't exported if the first layer in the material was disabled
  • fixed: the LOD control of the instancer node didn't function correctly
Known issues (which will be fixed in future updates):
  • Transparency is not supported for the viewport preview of layered materials.
  • Diffuse lighting in the high quality viewport is too bright under some circumstances.
  • The high quality viewport preview uses the reflectance 0 - 90 ramp from Maxwell 1.7, so it doesn't match what 2.0 is producing.
  • In the high quality viewport, bright spots from the environment (e.g. the sun) appear square with sharp edges in glossy reflections instead of round and fuzzy.
  • (Linux specific) Under some circumstances, the component tree in the attribute editor of the Maxwell material will be invisible on Maya 8.5 and 2008. To work around this, you will need to set the environment variable "XLIB_SKIP_ARGB_VISUALS" to 1 before running Maya, e.g.: XLIB_SKIP_ARGB_VISUALS=1 /usr/autodesk/maya2008-x64/bin/maya.
User avatar
By Mihnea Balta
#324272
Version 2.0.39
  • added support for Maya 2011
  • added a referenced MXM material
  • changed SimuLens ranges to match Studio
  • added support for transparency in the viewport in standard shading mode
  • added support for enabling/disabling displacements, emitters and coatings
  • fixed: the enable state of BSDFs was ignored when importing a MXM
  • fixed: the plug-in was creating a Volumes folder in various places on OSX when saving the scene
  • fixed: the plug-in was trying to edit the output image format menu when Maya was running in batch mode too, which could lead to problems
Note about 2011 support: we've had a few reported crashes during testing apparently related to opening older scenes with 2011 and the new plug-in, but we couldn't reproduce them locally. If you encounter such problems, please report them and send us the scene which causes the crash. Also, the switch to QT caused a lot of small things to stop working or work differently in Maya's UI, so please tell us if you find anything weird in the Maxwell dialogs, attribute editors etc. (we tried to test and validate all of them, but there's always the possibility that we missed something).
User avatar
By Mihnea Balta
#329012
Version 2.1.2
  • when there's no active texture, the referenced material renders in the viewport using the reflectance 0 color of the first active BSDF
  • added support for 2-color skydome
  • added support for the 2.1 render flags
  • matched emitter power ranges to Studio
  • Simulens parameters are floats now
  • fixed: objects with degenerate triangles and empty triangle clusters produced errors when loaded into Studio
  • fixed: successive duplication of material items yields compounding copies in Maya 2011
  • fixed: incorrect material tree context menu state in Maya 2011
  • fixed: the -mxs command line render flag didn't work
  • fixed: OSX crash when loading MXI files in 64-bit Maya 2011
  • fixed: Linux crash when rendering a scene containing a RFRK mesh from the command line
  • fixed: the plug-in caused Maya 2011 to stop functioning in batch mode, even when not rendering with Maxwell
  • fixed: the emitter preset dropdown didn't work
User avatar
By Mihnea Balta
#334339
Version 2.5.3
  • implemented interactive preview rendering (FIRE)
  • the persistent MXS path uses the same name format and frame padding as the image file when animation is enabled
  • the render view is only opened after the renderer finishes
  • added option to disable auto-opening of the render view
  • implemented customizable overlay text for the render view (see below)
  • invalid UVs are forced to 0
  • added tabs in the AE of the layered material for the shading groups that the material belongs to
  • added a displacement scale factor in the global render options
  • added a command-line rendering flag for specifying the output image bit depth (-od)
  • added a command line flag which prevents the renderer from being started to be able to perform export-only runs (-eo)
  • added a plug-in option for overriding the temporary directory
  • added checkboxes for enabling explicit material and object ID colors, thus making black available for use as an ID color (black used to mean "random")
  • fixed: the default for normal map flip Y should be true
  • fixed: checking "adaptive precision" in the displacement UI disabled the checkbox itself instead of the precision field below
  • fixed: crash when exporting a smoothed mesh which has per-face materials. Note that we cannot export this scenario correctly due to a limitation in the Maya SDK. The plug-in currently picks the shader which is assigned to the largest number of faces and applies it to the entire smoothed object.
  • fixed: selecting which layer to render from the command line didn't work
  • fixed: the renderer couldn't be started on OSX if a case-sensitive filesystem was used
The render view overlay text is a new feature which can be used to add some custom text on the images stored in the render view. Note that this text is not saved in the image file produced by Maxwell, but it will be saved if you manually save the image from the render view with File -> Save Image. The text can be entered in the "Render View Text" in the Maxwell render options. The plug-in recognizes a number of keywords enclosed in <>:
- startDate: the calendar date when the render command was issued, formatted as YYYY-MM-DD
- endDate: the date when the render finished (more precisely, when Maxwell was closed)
- startTime: the time when the render was started
- endTime: the time when the render finished
- renderTime: the total render time
- n: a newline
- any of the attributes of the render options node, prefixed with g_

For example, to print the name of the HDR image used as background, you can specify a string like this:

Image: <g_environment[0].envTexture><n>Render time: <renderTime>

The result will be something like this:

Image
User avatar
By Mihnea Balta
#336168
Version 2.5.6
  • added SSS presets to the material wizard
  • material previews are rendered internally, without starting a separate Maxwell process, and can use the RS0 engine
  • added a plug-in option to refresh material previews automatically when the material changes
  • added region rendering settings in the Maxwell section of the camera attributes
  • increased the range for the ISO and shutter speed parameters, while keeping the softmax at the previous maximum value
  • added soft ranges for the following attributes: SSS coefficient, coating thickness, emitter wattage and luminance, displacement precision and HDR intensity
  • removed "export static fly-by"
  • the object ID color chip is disabled when "specify object ID" is off
  • added the ability to save the FIRE image
  • the plug-in tries to locate missing HDR environment files in the same way it looks for texture files
  • environment variables are recognized in texture paths
  • FIRE takes camera overscan into account now, so that the resolution gate matches the framing of the production render
  • added a production/draft toggle in the global render options
  • implemented the ability to save the sky as an HDR file
  • fixed: emitters were broken in FIRE if MultiLight was on in the global render options
  • fixed: the plug-in preferences window was too short under some circumstances
  • fixed: crash when double-clicking an item in text lists in Maya 2011
  • fixed: moving the sun track object didn't update FIRE
  • fixed: RFRK meshes didn't render in FIRE
  • fixed: wrong colors in the referenced material swatch on OSX
  • fixed: the plug-in was exporting templated objects
User avatar
By Mihnea Balta
#336733
Version 2.5.7
  • added a MXS export option which prevents the plug-in from appending the frame number to the output image file names (useful when the exported files will be rendered directly with Maxwell in sequence mode)
  • the MXI file uses the same name format as the output image file when rendering animations with "specify MXI" on
  • added plug-in settings which control the expansion of environment variables in texture paths
  • fixed: the viewport sky preview can't find IBL textures if environment variables are used in their paths
  • fixed: material previews and FIRE renders were darker than the production render
User avatar
By Mihnea Balta
#338218
Version 2.5.10
  • the plug-in remembers the last directory from which BIN files were loaded into a RFRK object
  • the plug-in looks for missing IES files in the same way it does for textures
  • environment variables are never expanded when importing IOR and IES paths from MXM files
  • fixed: FIRE crashes if displacement is used
  • fixed: different IES illumination in FIRE between Windows and OSX
  • fixed: object ID and material ID colors could change between frames of the same animation under some circumstances
  • fixed: crash when trying to select a HDR file and Maya is set to use the native file dialog
  • fixed: wrong starting directory for the file browser dialog if the existing file is in a subdirectory of the current project, or if the path contains environment variables
  • fixed: "0" was sometimes displayed as the default file name when browsing for RFRK BIN files
  • fixed: crash when assigning a non-HDR image to an environment slot and activating the viewport preview
  • fixed: animated textures weren't working
  • fixed: the import/export MXM and import/export sky file dialogs didn't show any files
User avatar
By Mihnea Balta
#348695
Version 2.6.17
  • new motion blur system
  • new referenced MXS object
  • emitter, camera and environment changes from Multilight can be brought back to the scene
  • new displacement settings
  • new render options: sharpness, HDTV color space, positions and normals render channels, HDR layer state, sun settings
  • point, area and spot lights are exported as generated geometry + emitter material
  • added support for Maya and Shave hair; PaintFX lines are also rendered as procedural cones
  • particle systems can be rendered as procedural spheres or instances
  • new BIN mesh loader object which renders meshes generated by RealFlow
  • new BIN particle object which renders particles generated by RealFlow
  • the output image format and bit depth can be specified individually for each render channel
  • new IES intensity parameter
  • added the option to embed referenced MXM materials in the exported MXS file, or to keep the file reference
  • added a UV set index attribute on the Maya file texture node which can be used to support meshes with multiple UV sets in Maxwell
  • the plug-in exports all the perspective cameras
  • batch mode renders all renderable cameras (one maxwell invocation for each)
  • disabled the check for minimum triangle area in the exporter, tiny objects with lots of triangles should export OK now
  • viewport 2.0 is supported by all the plug-in objects (material, sky preview, RFRK objects, instancer, MXS reference etc.)
  • the plug-in takes into account the "fill resolution gate" camera setting, Maxwell should now render the exact same framing as Maya Software in all scenarios
  • the referenced material uses the color of the first BSDF in shaded mode; this color can also be overridden for each material
  • added a global render setting which allows the shutter open time to be offset relative to the current frame
  • added a focus to selection shelf button
  • MXI output can be disabled
  • fixed: the state of the controls in the "export all" option dialog was incorrect the first time the dialog was opened
  • fixed: meshes parented to a group which contains a camera were not exported
  • fixed: empty IES paths were changed into paths to the directory where the scene is located
  • fixed: wrong texturing in the viewport for referenced materials when tiling was used
User avatar
By Mihnea Balta
#352138
Version 2.6.23
  • added a motion blur factor control for particle systems
  • added Maxwell render flags for hair nodes, particle systems and instancers
  • the format and depth of the extra render channels are forced to the same values as the color channel when embedding is on
  • added an attenuation unit control for the BSDF
  • added support for multi-step camera motion blur
  • the referenced material supports viewport 2.0
  • added support for silent installs on Windows (pass /S on the installer command line)
  • the FIRE scene state can be frozen using the Viewport menu in the popup panel
  • added the -restartFire and -freezeFireState flags to the maxwell command which apply to all running FIRE instances
  • Maxwell is started with -node when running a batch render, so that it uses a node license, not a GUI license
  • the search paths configured in the plug-in preferences are saved in the exported MXS files
  • integrated region rendering with Maya's render view and removed the Maxwell-specific region attributes from the camera
  • removed the "Default to High Quality" plug-in preference
  • added a render option which disables the export of built-in Maya lights
  • fixed: slow export for particle instancers
  • fixed: native light intensities were not read back correctly from ML if the intensity multiplier was left at its default value
  • fixed: possible crash when loading the plug-in
  • fixed: the Maxwell material didn't respect the viewport backface culling setting (culling was always on)
  • fixed: render layer overrides could not be applied on material checkboxes
  • fixed: wrong state for the save image, start and stop menu items in the FIRE panel
  • fixed: global displacement scale shouldn't be applied to relative displacement heights
  • fixed: the global displacement scale wasn't applied to 3D displacement height
  • fixed: the "merge materials" window didn't have a title
  • fixed: a "0" was displayed in the override temp directory control when the value was not set
  • fixed: bad text alignment in the preferences window
  • fixed: if a Maya or Shave hair object fails to produce lines, the export is no longer canceled
  • fixed: texture UV channel indexes were not imported from MXM files
  • fixed: exporting with "Will use sequence rendering" enabled resulted in an error about invalid file extension
  • fixed: the meaning of the "embed in MXS" flag on the referenced material was reversed
IMPORTANT: this build is incompatible with Maxwell 2.6.0, and the previous builds are incompatible with the newly released Maxwell 2.6.10. Due to some changes in the extensions (hair, particles etc.) mixing incompatible plug-in and Maxwell versions will cause Maya to crash on startup. Please make sure you upgrade both the plug-in and Maxwell to the latest version.
User avatar
By Mihnea Balta
#354498
Version 2.6.27
  • added "off" to the display mode list of the BIN mesh loader, which prevents the BIN files from being accessed for viewport preview
  • setting the LOD to 0 in the particle objects and MXS reference prevents the plug-in from reading anything from disk
  • added shelf buttons for creating and assigning Maxwell materials
  • added help and about buttons on the shelf
  • added an API which can be used to customize the export process
  • the transparency of the native materials is used as layer weight instead of transmittance color in the Maxwell approximation
  • the IOR parameter of Blinn and Phong shaders is taken into account by the translator
  • fixed: crash when trying to run Maya with non-accelerated OpenGL drivers (e.g. under Remote Desktop in Windows, or with Mesa on Linux)
  • fixed: errors on Mac OS and Linux when the RealFlow plug-in was also loaded
  • fixed: some AE controls did not work correctly on Mac when a material had multiple layers
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