Everything related to Maxwell Render and General Stuff that doesn't fit in other categories
#398705
I am looking for recommendations from other users. The NL upgrade policy continues to be frustrating because it limits our options when upgrading.
If you had to choose, would you upgrade to a plugin or would you go with the standalone Studio?

@NL: Please rethink your policy. The Studio should be part of the base package and included with any plugin purchase. It felt like the oxygen got sucked out of the room when Studio became a separate purchase.
#398707
Sean, it depends which software You want to integrate plugin with. If Your software has good import/export format options (as for example my Rhinoceros have) it is better to upgrade plugin. But things are not that easy. I upgraded to Maxwell V4 Rhino plugin (at that time we had 1 other plugin free - I choosed Studio as the second license), but NL didn`t released usable plugin for Rhinoceros 6 yet (for almost 2 years). So in this case it is better to upgrade to Sudio. And it is good to know, if development of Your software goes the same speed as Maxwell development. In these days it is difficult to decide, because of compatibility problems.
Also if You use Your software more as creative tool (modeling with lot of changes), plugin is better. If You need Maxwell more for visualising finished prepared models, Studio is good.
It is also difficult to decide if upgrade to node locked or floating, because node locked is cheaper but development of new hardware (GPU) goes so fast, that it is better to have floating license.
And one thing also bother me - You have to have two licenses to render at the same time on CPU and GPU. Why is this ? If GPU engine has the same quality, features and 25x speed, there is no need for CPU engine at all. But why not use it for denoising purpose ? And why to buy another license for it?
#398708
Sean, it depends which software You want to integrate plugin with. If Your software has good import/export format options (as for example my Rhinoceros has) it is better to upgrade plugin. But things are not that easy. I upgraded to Maxwell V4 Rhino plugin (at that time we had 1 other plugin free - I choosed Studio as the second license), but NL didn`t released usable plugin for Rhinoceros 6 yet (for almost 2 years). So in this case it is better to upgrade to Sudio. And it is good to know, if development of Your software goes the same speed as Maxwell development. In these days it is difficult to decide, because of compatibility problems.
Also if You use Your software more as creative tool (modeling with lot of changes), plugin is better. If You need Maxwell more for visualising finished prepared models, Studio is good.
It is also difficult to decide if upgrade to node locked or floating, because node locked is cheaper but development of new hardware (GPU) goes so fast, that it is better to have floating license.
And one thing also bother me - You have to have two licenses to render at the same time on CPU and GPU. Why is this ? If GPU engine has the same quality, features and 25x speed, there is no need for CPU engine at all. But why not use it for denoising purpose ? And why to buy another license for it?
#398711
Agree on that one. It heavily depends on what's your primary software and how you're using it. And what's more important, is what exactly you need Maxwell for.

For example, my primary software is Maya. And I do everything there. I use Maxwell for visualising stuff that I produce in Maya (plus, Maya's plug-in is well developed) so for me it Makes sense to go for a Plug-in version.
I rarely use Studio - only for rare occasions, when I receive finished CAD data from our industrial designers - then might use Studio - to visualise stuff (if it's simple and does not requires any further asset development). If the asset (CAD data) that I receive requires more work (like fixing tessellation issues, or doing proper UV mapping, adding extra elements, like liquid, and other stuff) - then I just import that CAD data straight into Maya - and go from there.

Studio, however, has some benefits over plugins versions. Like procedurals, more stable extensions, convenient UI for libraries, live link with HDRLS, and other stuff ... and .. .. overall more stable (read: less crashes).

Plug-ins - are more flexible. Especially when they are well developed (Like for Maya) - they are just a blast to use, since you have all the functionality of your native app + Maxwell's amazing engine.


Honestly speaking if NL would ever adds a kick-ass UV mapping workflow to Maxwell Studio - that would be the truly hard-to-beat- app. Because most apps that are using it (assuming it's not 3D Max or Maya or Cinema - those use mostly plugins) have pretty shitty UV workflow (like .. pretty much any CAD app) - so that could be a killer feature for it.

Hope it helps
Cheers.
#398714
We use DataCAD architectural software with Studio as there is no plug-in available. We've been using it this way since v1.6 Maxwell and it works fine. I can't compare to using a plug-in as one hasn't been developed but it hasn't stopped our workflow. DataCAD exports to a number of formats that Studio is able to import so you should check your software and what it outputs. I also recall seeing that Studio is half the cost of the plugins with the v5 upgrade offer; maybe because there is less programming involved in the standalone studio? The other benefit is once you have imported all your data into Studio you can close the other software and free up your workstation to just work in Studio whereas the plug-ins would be using more memory holding two systems open. Is there not a trial demo to download that runs for 30 days or something which you can test?

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