Everything related to the integration for Maya.
By Andreas Hopf
Note from the moderator: due to some technical problems we had to revert to a backup of the forum and a few messages were lost in the process; we copied them in order to get them back after the intervention. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

A plug-in is great... if there is one available.

However, in industrial, product, transportation and packaging design, you are dealing with SolidWorks, Alias, Fusion 360, Catia, Creo, NX, etc., sometimes even Rhino for low-end, meaning you are in multi-CAD environments, and no vendor caters to what is needed in these markets, as they all seem to focus solely on exterior and interior architecture visualisation, apart from Keyshot, which explains the latter's success (also massive forum, support, etc.).
By Harvey Fong
Nasok wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:23 am
maybe NL folks could consider creating a "Bridge" plugins - that will hold just a very detailed exporting functionality to prepare and export your scene to Maxwell. Then it would be the Maxwell studio that you're purchasing when working with, say Maya or Max ..
Instead of a 'bridge' plugin to go from DCC to Maxwell Studio, I think Pixar's Universal Scene Description deserve's some attention as a 'bridge' format.

Nvidia is building a hub based on Pixar's USD for DCC's/renderers/game engines called Omniverse that already has plugins for Rhino7, Sketchup, Maya, Max, Archicad, Unreal (Coming soon for Houdini, Blender and Marvelous Designer). You can live-link (like Fire) to Nvidia's RTX Renderer so maybe NextLimit could wrap Maxwell as a Omniverse App to take advantage of all the developer time that Nvidia is committing to their plugins.

Also, I've been able to write Python code using Pixar's open source pxr module to extract cameras, mesh, animation, uvs, normals, blendshapes and haircurves from .usd and then Maxwell's pymaxwell5 to recreate the scene and write out a .mxs that loads into Studio. Houdini, Blender and Modo support .usd export and I think Maya, Max and Cinema4d do too. Maxwell's DCC plugins provide a tighter workflow but sometimes plugins get delayed or are no longer maintained as in the case of Houdini/Modo/Blender so just having some way of getting stuff into Studio is better than none.

Maybe the Maxwell developers can take a peek at USD and maybe even do a deep dive into USD and make Maxwell a Hydra render delegate.
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By choo-chee
well I still don't get it, why the heck can't they just prompt us with a simple msg if Maya's plugin will be further developed or not. As a customer I ain't gonna buy an outdated version for sure, so if they say "nay" to further Maya dev. I'll consider another alternative WITH Maxwell before leaving Maxwell for good as I still think it's the best renderer. And of course if they say "yay" than for sure I can consider upgrading again, after all I did started using Maxwell on version 1....now on 4.
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By Nasok
Agree .. Ideally to have a plugin .. very comfy but if that is too much stress on devs then at least something.

USD - is pretty impressive to be honest .. and I'm sure soon there will be everything entered around it as an open source format that could be applied in pretty much every industry and medium (from realtime and Augmented Reality to geometry heavy scenes for films and everything in between) - it can also hold animation and quite a lot of data.

Omniverse is pretty cool - altho for us Mac users .. it's just a bit too far away .. our hopes with AMD :)))) I guess :)

And it is very much true - I don't have the numbers but I assume that primary clients are in CAD-based industry .. so letting DCCs go is kinda understandable solution if it takes too much resources while providing minimal returns .. and rather focus on those that drive revenues - until they get back on track with success.

On NextLimit's place - I would outsource the development a little bit of some parts. I would even open the "official" market place where people can create and sell heir own plugins and add-ons for Maxwell ..
For example: Harvey if you write a plugin that works as described - I wouldn't mind paying for it. That way development continues and community can grow - without too much stress on devs. And does on programming tools can make some extra cash.

Sounds like a win-win :)

By Harvey Fong
I've rifled through the Python code of the Blender-Maxwell plugin (blendmaxwell) and it is beautifully coded with support for OSX, Windows and Linux and lots of Maxwell features supported. Looking over the forum archives though, it broke every few months when Blender or Maxwell got updated and last year the developer declared he would no longer maintain it because he has moved on from Maxwell.

So his experience informs me that I wouldn't enjoy supporting a USD "bridge" connector to Maxwell because there are two major problems
-Pixar's USD is a deep flexible format used from iOS AR apps to the biggest animated movies so I only have enough time to support maybe 5% of its features. Maxwell is also very feature-full and includes extensions for SubD, hair, grass, volumetrics, cloning, yada,yada .I believe you should be able to get to 30%+ feature coverage before you ask somebody for money.
-The mix of pymaxwell5, python2.7 vs python 3.x, Pixar's pxr python module's availability on OSX, Windows and Linux makes for a very brittle deployment that will break when you update your DCC or update Maxwell.
Incomplete features and potential for brokenness will lead to unhappy users.

What I can get behind is releasing DIY instructions for getting Pixar's pxr library and Maxwell's pymaxwell5 setup on Win/Linux/OSX and then an open source command line script called "NotVeryGoodUsdToMaxwellConvertor.py" that handles a subset of USD/Maxwell features. It won't be pretty but it is better than nothing. I've got early code working on Linux/Windows that successfully converts the .usd exported from Houdini/Blender/Modo.
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By Forum Moderator

I just wanted to chime in to let you know we'll be updating the plugin for Maya pretty soon so you will be able to use it with the latest Maxwell and Maya versions. We'll also try to fix the annoying bugs with the grouped objects and the material assignment to the volumetric objects, adapt it to the new Denoiser and add the Substance assistants.

We will release a new Maxwell update soon along with the rest of the plugins and the one for Maya will come right after that.

I apologize for our slowness assigning the resources to this.

Best regards,
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By Nasok
Oh wow :)
That solves things I guess :))

2 Harvey - I was not meant to have a fully working plugin .. but rather a "scene packer" more of a things .. the idea was that there could be a potential for people to make money while growing a community. Maybe coding a full featured plugin is not the best example of that .. ..

For instance, I'm pretty sure that people would loooove to have something like this script for Maxwell - http://www.braverabbit.com/braverabbit/ ... eflection/
I have it for Maya and it is amazing :)
By buffalo deal
Forum Moderator wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:47 pm

We will release a new Maxwell update soon along with the rest of the plugins and the one for Maya will come right after that.
I apologize for our slowness assigning the resources to this.

Thanks for the efforts Fernando it is a realy good news! You make my day 8)
By Harvey Fong
Nasok wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:16 pm
For instance, I'm pretty sure that people would loooove to have something like this script for Maxwell - http://www.braverabbit.com/braverabbit/ ... eflection/
I have it for Maya and it is amazing :)
That is awesome. There is one for Blender too and they are both written in Python and could easily be ported to any DCC that allows plugins to simultaneously edit the scenegraph and hook into the DCC viewport and mouse clicks. NextLimit would have to revamp their Python integration to support such a port because pymaxwell5 only supports half the equation by allowing scenegraph edits but doesn't expose any Studio interface hooks.
2 Harvey - I was not meant to have a fully working plugin .. but rather a "scene packer"
Maxwell Studio already supports "scene packer" formats with .fbx/.dae/alembic and the AssetReference extension for referencing a dozen file formats on disk but both these methods require extra elbow grease within Studio while plugins (when they work) impose the least amount of friction to get to the rendering part.
At first glance my .usd to .mxs looks similar to using .fbx/.dae/.abc but in my workflow I'm skipping Studio and go from DCC->.usd->.mxs ->launch Maxwell Render. It would look something like this: (-keepmxs would be the "scene packing" you described so you could do further edit in Studio)
Code: Select all
notverygoodusdtomaxwell.py -blender -input scene00a.usd -startframe 1 -endframe 200 -tempdir /tmp -outputdir /Volumes/disk01/scene00a -format png -keepmxs -materialremapfile /Volumes/disk01/scene00a/materials.txt 

Native DCC support for .usd export is at an all-time high and when Nvidia Omniverse finishes all their plugins then Rhino, Sketchup, Archicad and Unreal users can use the Nvidia plugin to publish to .usd. So while not a plugin, this approach reduces the friction to just exporting a .usd and running a script. This could probably have been done with .fbx/.dae/.abc but all the heavy lifting is being done by Pixar's pxr python module which elegantly exposes the scenegraph while those other formats lack up to date APIs

Also since USD has a bright future, I highly recommend that NextLimit put .usd (and Hydra) on their long term roadmap. If you think my pseudo-plugin might be useful for Houdini/Blender/Modo users who lack a plugin and for Maya/Sketchup/Rhino7 users who are waiting for their plugin, please let me know.

Watch this video for an excellent overview of USD https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/wwdc2021/10077/
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By Nasok
You're right - and that is exactly what I was suggesting.
I would love to still have the fully functional plugins for Maya, but if not - then at least to have a scene packer (like it is pack and go) so that we could send our scene easier to Maxwell. Especially with cameras and lights (it's pretty convenient setting up lights in Maya)

I'm super excited about USD - as it is just looks like the solution to so many problems :) Maybe having a native USD support in Studio is actually it.

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By Herve Steff
Ou la la.. we need an Update of Maya Plugin Next Limit !

back to July you said a few week.. and we re soon end of September... ! hehe

ok I go I go.. aha

Please ! :D
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