Everything related to Maxwell Render and General Stuff that doesn't fit in other categories
By luis.hijarrubia
Sorry, Maxwell 5.2 core it's ready, now they are polishing plugins, documentation etc. But I have no information about what the release plan is. I think Fernando is the man from now on.
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By Matteo Villa
luis.hijarrubia wrote:
Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:21 am
Sorry, Maxwell 5.2 core it's ready, now they are polishing plugins, documentation etc. But I have no information about what the release plan is. I think Fernando is the man from now on.

Waiting to test RTX 3000 series with the upcoming Maxwell render release.

Hope this build will solve the performance degradation with series 1000 and 2000 especially with 4 gpu configuration.
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By Nasok
Btw, just wanted to raise a little appreciation to Maxwell Devs in general.
Lately I see more render engines just starting to add features that Maxwell had for years. Like Nested dielectrics, or Coating .. or post render lens effect, colour correction, de-noiser and etc. If you've seen 6th version of Arnie - they even added their version of "multi-light". :shock:

My point is that while majority on this forum are looking out and trying to compare other render engines with Maxwell - it is becoming more obvious that actually it looks like that devs from those "other" render engines are more often looking towards what Maxwell team is doing. And I think that is truly impressive.

And despite being a tiny team, you guys are still rocking it, and I just hope you'll continue doing that no matter what!

Cheers, to you guys!!
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By Mark Bell
I agree, well said. Maxwell was ahead of its time with a lot of features that have now been replicated on other software. Finger's crossed NL make that next break-through they need to take a big step forward to keep Maxwell at the forefront of unbeatable realism using real life values.
By Andreas Hopf
When I recently evaluated Maxwell Studio for industrial, product and packaging design, ease of use (camera analogy, no material graph spaghetti) and image quality (lighting model) were excellent. However, I also found a sizable number of UI glitches, UX inconsistencies and also bugs, things that particularly stand in the way of the novice, as does the near lack of videos and community; here Vray, Octane and Keyshot have an advantage, facilitating adoption.
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By Nasok
Right ?
See, this is the thing.
I think what NL needs is a little support on UX side (Maybe it's just a matter of defining a beta testing program guidelines - possibly extending it to a wide audience).

Beside that everything is fine it's just a matter of celebrating the beauty of Maxwell. I do think that a big part has to be played by community itself - which is obviously has to be built by NL team. NL team should put an effort to build the community around its own product (one way or the other) - as the bigger community you have the more content organically will be created.
You can't hold-on to the old-school approach of "private gold club" - where everything is closed / limited. It worked back then - but these days, people actually can support - and in many way community's support could trigger better profitability. People do enjoy being engaged and part of something great.

I do believe there are things that could be easily done (even without any financial investments) that could bring bigger community to Maxwell.

And I know that Terry (an absolute rockstar) is cooking something great this very moment. So I do have hope that folks at NL will hear us up and would be interested in hearing what do we got to say on how to grow a community (I'm sure everyone here has a word or two for that)

By Andreas Hopf
Few designers have the time or desire to celebrate software. Software is simply a tool which costs money and has to deliver within each project's budget. If the tool does not work, you choose another. For the hobbyist, this might be different.

While evaluating MS for its utility value for Alias, Catia, Creo, Fusion and SolidWorks users (designers with short deadlines who need things to work), I found many UI-glitches (see the earlier long MS thread) and some bugs (see current thread). To set up a reasonable evocative image, you spend an hour (provided you have the necessary Arroway et al. textures) and render 90 minutes to get an ok HD photo SL16 in 90 minutes. If you have 11 different removal trolleys to render, no problem, can be done. Once you have the materials, you can recycle them in similar projects. This is straightforward and surprisingly quick to do, but for the novice, there is little guidance, and thus adoption is not so easy. Not everyone is a nerd with unlimited paid time. Things need to work ok-ish out of the box. Then, one can dig deeper, look at "kewl" trickery, if necessary, or if one can afford to do so.
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By Forester
There are at least two equally legitimate views about the value of software - without one of those views being "correct" and the other view being "wrong" or "illegitimate."

Mr. Hopf accurately describes one view - software, such as Maxwell Render, at any given point in time, is only a means to an end and has no value or worth other than as a means to that specified end. And Mr. Hopf as provided a good service to the Maxwell community by systematically and methodically identifying bugs and unnecessary inconveniences in Maxwell Render. By identifying and comprehensively documenting these issues, Mr. Hopf makes it easier for developers to prioritize improvements and respond to user needs.

Mr. "Nasok" describes another, equally legitimate view - that Maxwell is a constantly developing software of good worth because it adds value to model-building by making pictures that are remarkably good - sometimes wonderful. Pictures of such high quality that they enhance the model; that is, contribute to the overall worth of the entire model-building/production enterprise. In this view, because Maxwell Render is a software, never perfect, but always under development, ... users should participate in a "community" formed around the software. In this community of users, people should help each other to learn how they might develop better renders, help each other with contributed materials, scripts and various add-ons, perhaps. Try to help the developers where that is possible, and be a little patient with the imperfections or issues with the software itself. Also, we members of the community should "celebrate" and encourage the work of the Maxwell developers, the efforts of each other in making great pictures of our work, and, in fact, "celebrate" the existence of the software itself, because it allows us to do things we otherwise could not do.

Mr. Hopf probably disagrees with the second attitude toward the software - based on the idea that there are competing software products that may be able to do the same job as Maxwell Render, or that might be able to do a better job in some instances. Those "competing" software products may pose fewer issues for users because they have fewer flaws of various kinds. In a purely utilitarian view, the idea of "celebrating" the existance of any piece of software makes no sense, and the idea of "investing" one's time and effort in a given "community" of software users would be counter-productive to the end goal of making commercially valuable renders of models or environments.

Personally, I don't think that one of these attitudes is "illigitimate" and superior to the other, as is implied by some of Mr. Hopf's comments. (For example, "Few designers have the time or desire to celebrate software." As if this is a statement of fact of which all persons should be aware.)

I would not entirely dismiss the attitude of a utilitarian approach to Maxwell Render, because we all certainly need to get on with the business of making models and renders for the purposes of making a living. But, it helps to remember that ALL software products (Octane, Redshift, Corona, Arnold, V-Ray, etc.) are applications under constant development, and none are free of issues. Also, none of these have reached some kind of end-state, where they can perform every rendering task perfectly out of the box, and so should be obviously chosen for use over any competitor by some kind of "rational" user.

So, I find myself being just a little impatient with what is sometimes a narrowness of vision in the utilitarian attitude. While recognizing the good and valuable work that has been performed by Mr. Hopf to the community of Maxwell users and developers.

And, I guess I find myself in most agreement with Nasok, in that I also unabashedly feel like "celebrating" the existence and continued development of Maxwell Render, and I "celebrate" the work and efforts of its developers. In fact, without apology, I celebrate and am made happy by the efforts of my fellow users.

I say this, not as a "hobbyist", but as a person who uses Maxwell Render to earn a living. That is, one who only eats, manages to keep dry and warm, and provide for the well-being of my family because of my work - with Maxwell and Maya. There is nothing really wrong with making a long-term investment of time and effort in the community of Maxwell Render users - even for us commercial users. Development of a complicated piece of software is a very human thing to do. Of course, it is always going to be an enterprise full of imperfections - problems of where to place priorities of effort, problems of seemingly insurmountable technical issues, problems of constantly changing standards, demands and objectives. I just feel that we users ought to be a little humble in the face of all this, and be grateful for the efforts of the developers because they go well beyond just a crass desire to provide a barely satisfactory product.

I think we need to acknowledge that we make a sort of longish time commitment to learning and mastering any complicated piece of software, and we cannot afford to do this for every competing product. (Personally, I feel that mastering Maxwell and Arnold, but maintaining only a decent working knowledge of V-Ray and maybe Redshift is about all that I can do, given the need to keep up with the ever-changing Maya, Houdini, Marvelous Designer, etc. Not to mention Phython, Substance Designer, CorelDraw (or Photoshop and its competitors) and the tens of utilties I need in my work. God-forbid I should need to learn Z-Brush someday, too!) Given this longish time commitment, I think there is nothing wrong with investing in a "community" of users and developers, and if fact, it may be entirely "utilitarian" or pragmatically practical to do so. Whether anyone else wants to do so, is up to them, and depends upon their individual circumstance. No penalties in my opinion, if others choose differently. But, I guess I'm with Nasok in thinking that it would be wise for those that can, to help each other where we can.

And, I too, feel like "celebrating" Maxwell. Some days, I am just completely blown away by a Maxwell render. An unexpectedly great picture of some model set of which I had, long since, grown tired of. ... Days of working on some models that have become way too tedious - can't stand it anymore, ... and then suddenly there is this wonderful render! Or, if I'm lucky, a whole set of wonderful renders. Makes the whole thing worthwhile, in the end. I didn't do this - I just made the models. But Maxwell turns them into something glorious. And if that is not the properly humble and entirely appropriate "celebration" of Maxwell Render, then I shouldn't be doing this work in the first place. ... Just my humble opinion...
By Matthew Hermans

I was part of the Alpha team in 2005. A new way of thinking about computer graphics. Reliable physics of materials and light - unbound by R-G-B colours because it was unbiased spectral light transport. A total revelation at the time and not many people knew it.

Over a few years I turned a 150 person studio who were die hard Mental Ray users to rely on and deliver projects with Maxwell. One of the key reasons was the reliability of workflow; not the guessing game and render-engineering process that Mental Ray, Vray and Renderman required. With Maxwell we could 'get to the render' quicker than anyone else - then throw the problem at the farm and let the CPUs burn out the frames. Scaling the farm was far easier than scaling human power.

This was the ultimate production use of Maxwell for me and Fuel VFX before their shut down. A dream project and critical application of Maxwell for depth of field, caustics, motion blur, multi light, referenced MXS and resumable renders. Something no other renderer could touch at the time : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MyZQ2Cxs8w

So, so much has changed since then. I built my own studio around water-cooled GPUs. Abandoned Maxwell's CPU-limited performance for the biased-hyper-speed Redshift workflow and bought $40k worth of GPUs to power it. Moved to Octane for accuracy and then I went to Houdini + Unreal and never looked back.

Since then I've been seduced by nostalgia and bought Maxwell licenses again to explore the GPU side but the glacial progress is turning me away to the point i need to check whether I'm paying maintenance for so few updates per year (I've forgotten what the terms are)

I know well when to change workflows - just look at this video. It starts with the normal case of having to accept ultra long render times and ends with a hilarious render time of 1 second https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nw_Dy_M_hMc

Here's my key opinion. I used to enjoy being surprised with what Maxwell would give me back - caustics, bounced illumination and realistic tone mapping. From the developer side I was and still am good friends with Juan Canada and a few others and would push NL to implement VFX feature like motion blur, external mxs archives, Alembic, ACES and plugin integration features. It was an exciting time. That enjoyment has faded and when I come to the forum every couple of months and see no progress I go back to the future workflow like Unreal, Octane for Unreal or the myriad renderers who're becoming Hydra/USD delegates.

I'm not interested in excuses. Only the future as soon as possible.
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