Everything related to Maxwell Render and General Stuff that doesn't fit in other categories
User avatar
By Max
#400751
i just want to say couple of things.

1) first off Maxwell quality which often is preceived as the best, while its amazing, its nothing other engines can not reach. You have to remember that we are not here for a competition who gets the best quality with one button, I can show you an incredible amount of renders and ask you what was the render engine and you will never understand, because at the end is the artist behind the image.

Yes maxwell quality is great, but the time consumed to get that quality in terms of computation, is the same time you spend on other engines that are way more flexible and gets you there at the same time. I dont want to turn this into a Render vs Render war, but its quite unreal to think that any render any day produced by Maxwell is superior or more realistic than any other render image out there, its simply not. So please stop with this nonsense.

2) speed is very important because if you dont have a feedback of how the light is hitting, how the displacement is coming out, how the textures are showing, how the depth of field is affecting the image, and so on, you would have to render render and render again. So for example i take a fast GPU render like Redshift, you see a result in a matter of seconds, change stuff on the fly and then push the settings for final render.

In Maxwell especially for fine details, displacements, normals, this isnt that fast, Fire sometimes is quite different from the render output, cpu preview are simply too slow compared to other engines. I found myself having lots of issues on macro shots with displacement that till it was noise free wouldnt show perfectly the details and stuff i needed to be shown, and had to reiterate this process many times. Can be an user error? Maybe. Do i need more practice with maxwell? Maybe. Fact remains that with almost no practice and mistakes on other engines this process is 10times faster to be kind.

3) Material creation, yes Maxwell has an amazing material creation system but keep in mind that this is very very personal, i love nodes because the flexibility of deciding what to connect, the visual feedback of nodes is unmatched. If you hate nodes you just cripple yourself and your workflow. Im not criticizing Maxwell material editor, its actualy amazing, but what im saying is that its a workflow preference, any other engine has its own and there is not any downside or upside. Nodes are extremely superior to anything else, by design.

4) There are some things that Devs done wrong in my opinion and they keep doing it and for the sake of myself i can not understand why.. Its like they dont have a clear roadmap to follow but they are just patching holes left and right. A clear example is the Denoiser. Why do we need that inside Maxwell? why do you waste time reinventing the wheel? there are countless denoising softwares out there (some even free) that will do the job just fine and better.

Even the noise remove in Camera Raw in photoshop has an absurd amount of potential and the outcome is stunning. Why did devs waste time rebuilding this Denoiser from the ground..I dont understand it. Topaz is an amazing denoiser, hell even free compositing software has state of the art denoising.. They wasted so much time into developing this (twice) because first was on V4 with that unfriendly system of rendering two images for the denoise to work, now with V5 they rewritten it so it is done at the end of a single rendered image.. How much time was sunk into developing this? Too much and frankly wasnt needed. Imagine they spent the same amount of time developing an online material library.

5) Price, you simply can not defend what happened with V4. It was a total Ripoff to customers because almost nothing that was promised was delivered. So i would have given to any customer who purchased a v4 license a very small fee to upgrade to v5. While the price was lowered that was simply not enough, its still 375€ plus taxes which is rouglhy 450€ depending on the taxes of your country, that is a redshift license, or even an arnold one. i mean....dont you see how messed up this is?

I would have make it 100€ for V4 license owner to get to V5.
Now i understand devs needs money, everyone does it, but it wasnt userbase mistake what they have done with V4. Almost everyone who upgraded to V4 had nothing more than V3.2.

On this same topic i want to add that usually when you develop something you invest. Now i dont know if Maxwell is going bankrupt, but they should be the one throwing money at it to expand their own software, you can not pretend that some random user dedicates hours of free time making Maxwell content for what cause?
This is the reason why there isnt much buzz around Maxwell, and most people abandoned it, you need marketing, you need to spend money for social, you need to show off the software and have people use it, honestly we are so far from this kind of situation that it feels like almost abandonware.

That said its not fair to just spit on devs face and maxwell situation, they are putting effort but to be realistic, its not even enough, the rendering market is a slaughter fest, its a pitfight, there are so many render engines out there from free that it gets you headache to even think at them all. So you are in for a lot of pain entering this market, because yes Maxwell had to re enter it again. It simply threw away the userbase back then and now its starting from scratch, because thats what it is.

Cutting out plugins, GPU fiasco, stale development back then was a huge backslash to the company, now getting up and running again is extremely hard considering the competition you have. The world is based on GPU at the moment and thats where Maxwell lacks the most, dont you see the irony? Even Arnold has implemented an amazing GPU integration that does its job perfectly.
Cycles a free engine embed into blender has both cpu and gpu enabled. Yesterday i tested a version ported to Softimage, where i used 4096 samples (its super high) with cpu+gpu, i have a ryzen 5950x and 2x 1080 nvidia. I was blown away by the speed of that thing.

Do you understand what im saying? The competition is so strong that im afraid they need to do way more. It'll take time? yes, but please shoot in the right direction, denoiser was a total waste of time and resources.

my 1.75 cents.
User avatar
By Mark Bell
#400756
My office hasn't used vray, octane, redshift, arnold etc. as we've been with Maxwell for many years as it has served us well in presenting our design ideas in the architectural/ID field and has helped us win numerous projects. I had a browse through the websites of these other software and some don't appear to offer what we can already do in Maxwell - grass, sea, nested assets (xrefs) , multilight, standalone software (we use Studio), to name a few just from a quick look through their features available. I don't believe any of these programs meets everyone's requirements but looking through the Maxwell features (https://maxwellrender.com/features/ ) shows me it has a lot to offer and at the top with quality when browsing through the galleries.

I think Forum's should be a place for constructive comments from users as a barometer for software programmers to see what the market deems important for future implementation. Sometimes it might take more than one go to get it right. Autodesk's flagship BIM software, revit came under worldwide criticism the other year for lacklustre development (https://www.dezeen.com/2020/07/28/autod ... criticism/ ) and it's not a cheap software to use or maintain, so even the big end of town can be slow off the mark when meeting user requests.

Of interest, when exploring the vray site, it appears Autodesk/Chaos Group have recently released Cosmos (https://cosmos.chaos.com/ ) which is FREE render-ready content for arch-viz (exterior and interior). I haven't tried it yet but Maxwell now has vray scene import so this may be a way to import high quality 3D assets into Maxwell - for free? This is something a number of users on this Forum have requested for a while and is an opportunity for NL to ensure Maxwell is able to import the format that the 3D assets on Cosmos are available in. Rather than develop their own assets it may be quicker, easier and more affordable to simply add the relevant import format to Maxwell so it can take advantage of all the various 3D assets available from other softwares? I'd say with the success of Lumion, Twinmotion, Enscape etc. which have huge libraries of drag and drop render-ready assets this has had a big impact on vray with firms moving across to these newer platforms to save time (and money). ...hence, Cosmos assets are free (must be a first from Autodesk?).
User avatar
By Max
#400758
Mark Bell wrote:
Sun Apr 25, 2021 3:34 am
My office hasn't used vray, octane, redshift, arnold etc. as we've been with Maxwell for many years as it has served us well in presenting our design ideas in the architectural/ID field and has helped us win numerous projects. I had a browse through the websites of these other software and some don't appear to offer what we can already do in Maxwell - grass, sea, nested assets (xrefs) , multilight, standalone software (we use Studio), to name a few just from a quick look through their features available. I don't believe any of these programs meets everyone's requirements but looking through the Maxwell features (https://maxwellrender.com/features/ ) shows me it has a lot to offer and at the top with quality when browsing through the galleries.
I understand everyone has its own workflow and way of doing things but these feature you listed are generally handled by the 3d package, now most of the industry standard softwares have these things built in, that is why you do not find them in other render engines as features. 3ds Max, Maya Blender, Softimage, Houdini, Cinema, and many other have built in scatter tools for grass with way more control over it, Ocean toolkits (besides you can create a sea with a flat plane and apply a displacement), xref objects assets as proxy and a lot more. Personally i like to handle these things within the 3d software and use a render engine to Render, because its easier and faster to edit these things in the 3d softwares where you can adjust geometry/distribution/UVs rather than in maxwell studio.

Matter of preference i guess.
User avatar
By choo-chee
#400759
well we just "converge" back to the start point.. give us more speed so we will not have to use denoiser, we will not look upon other software presets, we will not have to manipulate our scenes like we care about photons, you get it. and speed means both faster renderer no matter how you do it, and also speed means listening and commenting to community's posts on the same day, not month ;)
User avatar
By Matteo Villa
#400762
And give us what was already planned for V4

Remember we are still waiting to receive what was in fact a fully functional V4 release.

Time and money to implement the Denoiser are gone. Screw it completely would be nonsense.

If they want to keep this feature just make it more useful and user friendly. Just copy what Topaz Lab have done with their Denoiser. Make it visually appealing and easy to use.

1) Instead of number values just add buttons slider with a description.
2) they could merge and integrate the standalone Multi-light software inside Studio/Render and create a tab for both Multilight / Denoiser / Post production effects.
So you can finalize your render and then just export it.

Voilà you saved more time. :mrgreen:

Other rendering software are doing the same.
Vray implemented a more complete Lightmix Multilight system.
Just to debunk what some Maxwell users said before.

Other rendering engine took what Maxwell have done in the past making it better.

Maxwell Team have to do the same.
Living upon the glory of the past will not make this software better. Especially when competitors improve months after months.
Will make this State of the art software disappear in the dust.

Take some good/useful/easy to make features from other rendering engines and implement them.

When I’ve to create a project for a customers,
I always listen to his/her needs, try to compensate between the dreams and the reality and making them feeling and appreciate the final result.

But they always receive what they paid.

I always take inspiration from other artists/rendering specialist/designer

If I see something appealing me, well designed, and that really work, I try to take something from it and make it functional for my needs.

Maxwell Render Team have to do the same.
User avatar
By Forester
#400764
Just some different opinions.... to add to the conversation.

I have used Topaz (Topaz Studio - the full package, not just the de-noiser) for awhile. It is pretty handy, but I also find that the current Maxwell denoiser achieves some things that I can't quite or always achieve with Topaz. For example, if I have a lot of stonework in a scene, plus fine detail of other objects, its pretty difficult to get a good clean focus on the other objects. Sometimes Topaz works better, sometimes the latest Maxwell Studio DeNoiser works better. So, for me, the NL team's efforts on the latest denoiser were very much worthwhile. I am very appreciative of the work the development team put into the denoiser. In my case, I just have to play with both to discover which works best in a given situation.

(As an aside, personally, I dislike Photoshop for a variety of reasons. Topaz's color correction tools are a marvelous addition to Maxwell Render, ... when I want to play around with an image, and at half the price of Photoshop. So, I think Topaz Studio is great to have alongside Maxwell - I want both in my professional arsenal. And, I always want to start with Maxwell Studio, of course.)

For me, Maxwell Render handles scenes with HDRI lighting better than anything I've found. (And in a way that is easy to understand - as opposed to some of the node spagetti apps.) Having discovered the power of HDRIs last year, I use them in almost all my work now. Will rarely go back to regular lighting, I think. After all the posts in this forum over the last few months, I did download and experiment with Corona, Octane, Redshift, and since I am a Maya freak, I keep current with Arnold, all the time. While Arnold in Maya is very cool, I still prefer Maxwell by a mile. (... make that "ten miles!") Arnold in Maya is significantly more advanced that it is in Max, but still, I mostly like it for prototyping. I appreciate the freaky quickness of Redshift, but in the end, I didn't find that Redshift really offered me enough more to make me give it serious consideration as a replacement for Maxwell. And, Maxwell has a superior connection to Substances !!!!!!! The work the dev team did here is so worthwhile!!!!! Corona probably is best for Max users, but again, I didn't find anything there that is significantly superior to Maxwell. And, while I did spend years on V-Ray, Maxwell's physics basis is just so superior that I never looked back once I found Maxwell. I didn't see anything in the current V-Ray that would cause me to switch - even though I lose some customers every year because I won't provide work or models with V-Ray materials.

Having said all this, I really, really, really, really, really want the Material Editor within Studio to look just like the stand-alone Material Editor. For me, this is my Number #1 request for the next upgrade. That tiny little panel for messing with the parameters of a material is just too darn cramped to be useful. It's near worthless. Its a royal pain in the arse. Within Studio, we need the Material Editor to open a fully expanded parameters panel.

Also, if you are working with a Substance Designer, the "Advanced Parameters" panel should stay open while you are "updating" a material to take a look at your adjustments. It should not close after every set of parameter changes, requiring you to open it again for every tweak.

And, I'm ready to contribute to an objects library, and a material library.
User avatar
By Mark Bell
#400768
Max wrote:
Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:12 am
I understand everyone has its own workflow and way of doing things but these feature you listed are generally handled by the 3d package, now most of the industry standard softwares have these things built in, that is why you do not find them in other render engines as features. 3ds Max, Maya Blender, Softimage, Houdini, Cinema, and many other have built in scatter tools for grass with way more control over it, Ocean toolkits (besides you can create a sea with a flat plane and apply a displacement), xref objects assets as proxy and a lot more. Personally i like to handle these things within the 3d software and use a render engine to Render, because its easier and faster to edit these things in the 3d softwares where you can adjust geometry/distribution/UVs rather than in maxwell studio.

Matter of preference i guess.
[/quote]

That's right, Maxwell is used by a broad range of industry types and professionals. In the architectural and ID sector the software's noted above aren't really commonplace as most offices use CAD/BIM which doesn't have those extra features found in the advanced modellers or Maxwell, and this is why having them within Studio works for us. Admittedly, the CGI artists on the Forum are at the top of the tree when it comes to realism and attention to detail so having these additional tools in specialised software makes sense. Our focus is designing and documenting buildings for construction with imagery taking second place, but increasingly becoming more important in winning proposals and selling projects. So long as NL keep considering their diverse customer-base, everyone should get a piece of cake....

Forester wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 1:50 am
For me, Maxwell Render handles scenes with HDRI lighting better than anything I've found. (And in a way that is easy to understand - as opposed to some of the node spagetti apps.) Having discovered the power of HDRIs last year, I use them in almost all my work now.
[/quote]

We must have stumbled over the same stone! Early last year I came to a similar conclusion after (re)discovering HDRI lighting in combination with the Camera Response and changing from the default Maxwell to other types. We've had success with using Kodak Ektachrome 100 (color rev) for exteriors which adds amazing depth and vibrancy to what use to be crisp but flat looking images. I don't know what Maxwell does, but even using a site photo off my Nokia has enough information in the image to make the render punchy and alive. The time to get to a clear image is also a lot faster (using 5.2) than in the past. It's really simplified the process for us as it's more about brushing up with camera techniques than rendering skills. The office has a Nikon DSLR which can save in EXR format but I haven't yet experimented with this format so it would be interesting to learn from any other users if there are benefits with using this type of file.
User avatar
By choo-chee
#400769
a bit off-topic here - if you can recommend some good HDRI maps and a typical setup for those, as I never seem to get decent results with HDRI's, always noisy, slower, colors are too messed up.... thanks :)
User avatar
By Forester
#400770
Well, most of us probably start with "HDRI Haven." An excellent series of HDRI's and the team is always working to improve. Typically better than some of the commercial packages. FREE.

After that, you might want to investigate the offerings on Artstation Marketplace. These, like the packages available on Turbosquid or CGTrader are uneven in their quality. About all you can do is spend some money and try them out, as the product images really don't tell you a lot about their quality.

I have to share one thing! One of the most odd, but useful HDRI's I own is titled "Moonset HDRI" - made by Angel Rios and selling on Artstation Marketplace for a mere $2.00 USD. If you need to make nite scenes for any reason, and you want a single moonbeam to illuminate something in your scene, keeping almost everything else in the dark, this is the HDRI for you! Maxwell's very fine tools allow you to move the HDRI around until that single large moonbeam comes from the background location you want and strikes your object at just the exact the angle you want. Its really quite good for making a dramatic image.

One tip, as Mark pointed out - you get the best results in Maxwell by selecting one of the professional cameras. Use it in place of the default Mawell camera. (In fact, if you have been having troubles with HDRI's in the past, it might be for this reason.) Mark is using the Kodak Extachrome 100. I tend to use the Sony Compact Cybershot H-50 as a generic start because I have that at home and am familiar with it. After starting with the Sony and getting most of my image where I want it, I may switch up to a more powerful camera (there are many in Maxwell's quiver) and try to perfect the image.

Another tip, although you've probably figured this out, is that you need to crank up the illumination power in Maxwell. The default will just give you a black image. I've found that an illumination power of around 17.00 works pretty well with everything HDRI Haven provides. (That is, Maxwell is multiplying the light in the HDRI image by a power of 17.00 to work.) But for night scenes, a power of just 0.50 seems to work most of the time. Indicating that the Maxwell illumination power adjustment may not be linear....
User avatar
By Forester
#400771
Off-topic - HDRI's.

One more thing. Because I mentioned that it is extremely difficult to tell anything about the quality of an HDRI from the product images, here is list of providers on Artstation Marketplace that I have found to have good HDRI products. I would not hesitate to purchase HDRI's from any of the following authors.

Jaakko Saari (typically for soft, low-level lighting in interiors, or for outdoor sunset/sunrise scenes)

Sergey Koshkarov (great set of HDRI's for outdoor shots of buildings) If you do this kind of architecture, this is an excellent collection of HDRIs to showcase your work.

ZETO CG (good line of individual HDRI's for mid-sized product pics that are taken indoors) About half of my work is product pictures of mid-sized objects. The various HDRI's published by ZETO CG are as good as anything you can find in the various "studio lighting HDRI collections". I bought a year's subscription to the "HDRI Studio" plugin for Maxwell, ... but frankly, using various of the ZETO CG images produces just as good a product image without all the setup and tweaking required to make good use of the HDRI Studio plugin. I'll probably let my subscription lapse, and just continue on using Maxwell with several of the ZETO CG HDRI's. (Of course, that's just me. Your work might require more and better.)

MIPE Group (produces pretty good HDRI's for a variety of purposes)

I've used HDRI's from all the above authors and found that these guys produce consistantly good quality HDRI' products.

I have not used HDRI's by Alex Senechal, but have seen his HDRI's used a lot by collegues of mine. He also seems to put out good quality products all the time.
User avatar
By choo-chee
#400777
thanks, gonna try this. btw couldn't find a sony camera in the response droplet, only kodak,agfa etc. ...?
By Andreas Hopf
#400780
Mark Bell wrote:
Mon Apr 26, 2021 11:37 am
That's right, Maxwell is used by a broad range of industry types and professionals. In the architectural and ID sector the software's noted above aren't really commonplace as most offices use CAD/BIM which doesn't have those extra features found in the advanced modellers or Maxwell, and this is why having them within Studio works for us.
In industrial, product, engineering and FMCG packaging design, you have SolidWorks, Fusion 360, Alias, Catia, Creo, Siemens NX, Rhino; and in furniture and domestic product design, you see increasingly Inventor, because Fusion 360 is still woefully lacking when push comes to shove.

Studio is the only solution for this huge industry sector, as there are zero plug-ins.
User avatar
By Forester
#400787
Choo-chee, I think that you are looking at the list of cameras under the Camera parameters, "Response" tab that shows "Maxwell" written on the tab.

Instead, click on the "Filmback" tab that shows "Custom" written on the tab. That should open the list of basic camera types.

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