Everything related to Maxwell Render and General Stuff that doesn't fit in other categories
User avatar
By Mark Bell
#401391
There are so many different rendering software on the market now users can't go wrong. I think it comes down to what works best for the type of work you do, your budget and the market sector you work in. If you also enjoy using it, that's a bonus. Maxwell was way ahead of its time, particularly with quality and realism, and not forgetting it's an unbiased engine so it's not just about good looking renders. In the sector we work in (architecture + construction), the majority of our competition use Lumion, Enscape or Twinmotion and the submissions/DA's lodged to Planning or sales marketing are all starting to look the same. I also see a big gap between what the vendors promote and the actual work offices submit, with many looking like renders from the 90's/early 2000's. The quickness in populating a scene with people, vehicles, landscaping or furniture is the likely reason most firms have migrated across to using those types of software, but if you want quality and realism then I'm not seeing it.

When parametric modelling and BIM came out I've heard client's ask to pay less fees given the software "does it all for you, and much quicker"! I see the same with the push towards real-time rendering, especially for those as CGI artists where the market will likely undercut itself. We continue to use Maxwell for a number of reasons as well as it gives us a point of difference against our competition which helps us win work.

San Francisco's tallest tower (https://salesforcetower.com/ ) has an animated waterfall in its lobby which was created digitally by Fusion CI Studios using Next Limit's Maxwell and Realflow - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czmrCp8U4jw They could have used Vray, Max, Arnold etc. but obviously wanted the best quality and realism and chose Maxwell to render the animation.
User avatar
By CDRDA
#401392
Planning or sales marketing are all starting to look the same.
This is exactly how I feel. I am also in the architecture industry (in the UK) and with Maxwell I have always managed to stand out from what other competitors are using. Vray is probably the most popular engine I see from printed site boards driving around as it tends to have a certain look to it that is not quite photoreal, especially with the grass etc. Things are moving on of course and I am not taking anything away from super users of other software such as Bertrand Benoit, whom it seems can use any rendering engine to create stunning work. Ultimately if you have no time restrictions and good textures/materials and references, most modern render engines can produce beautiful results.

Unfortunately I have never had the time to invest in a paid project spending weeks creating the most hyper-realistic materials, lighting and composition with crazy amounts of scene details... However, this is my point that Maxwell has enabled me to spend more time on those things than I previously would have been able to, rather than fighting with it to get the results I want, or forgetting to check one tick box in the settings!
User avatar
By Matteo Villa
#401394
A software house can’t survive supported just by a niche of customers.

Even if a software house doesn’t need to omologate itself to other rendering software just to always compel a specific market need,

it need to evolve quickly, improve and bring more stuff to his customers to keep updated within competition, differently, but on par with them.

Quality wise i keep working with Maxwell Render because I hate any node system used by competitors while texturing.

For final presentation and projects where I don’t have to rush it’s perfect.

But when I’ve to present 15 / 20 projects in one week Twinmotion it’s awesome.

1) Direct import with Archicad and I can modify the scene on the fly with direct link to Twinmotion.

2) drag and drop shaders that doesn’t need creating UV channel manually

3) big ready to use shaders library continuously updated + assets to drag and drop inside the scene for fast scene creation

I completely agree with you about the feeling and uniformity of renders created with Twinmotion and Lumion, without post production they looks like the same since they’re both based upon a “game” engine based”

Twinmotion have great potential since Unreal Engine 5 will be used soon within it.

Lumion is based upon Quest3D and it’s starting to fall behind Twinmotion quality wise, and devs are adding marginal stuff just to appeal the customers to stick with their software.

But the real question with Maxwell Render is.. have you heard anything from the Devs team recently?

Any release plan for the next months?

Any news on the actual roadmap?
( remember V5 hasn’t finished to what we payed in V4)
By Andreas Hopf
#401395
choo-chee wrote:
Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:48 am
but while everyone else is throwing more assets, more presets etc., we still don't get a real asset library, not enough presets to cut things short, no good library of skies or hdr's, not even an infinite ground plane (I sked for it years ago) ....
If nothing happens soon, I will have to transition all industrial, automotive and packaging designers I do courses for to Keyshot, as that is the only other CAD software agnostic solution. Why NL decides to throw a great product for a huge user base (designers) under the bus is just plain bizarre.
User avatar
By Mark Bell
#401396
Matteo Villa wrote:A software house can’t survive supported just by a niche of customers.

But the real question with Maxwell Render is.. have you heard anything from the Devs team recently?

Any release plan for the next months?

Any news on the actual roadmap?
Yes, you''re right in a lot of what you say, but development does occur, just not as fast as it once did, and now that there is a greater number of other rendering software on the market, Maxwell's portion of the pie has obviously diminished. Slower development means we're not 'forced' to pay for upgrades each year but also have to wait longer for an upgrade. I came across a web article last year which listed the top 25-30 rendering software in order of user base. From memory, Vray and Max and one or two others were at the top in high double numbers, then there was a big jump down to low double/single numbers and Maxwell was somewhere in the top 10-12 indicating there is still a fair number of users out there when comparing the full list. We also have to remember Next Limit is not at the same scale as Autodesk or Chaos Group which seem to monopolise the industry, and cost a lot more.

Some of the older renders I've come across that were done in Maxwell and look like a photo of the building or interior, were done 10+ years ago on v2. I still believe Maxwell was well ahead of its time and if v2 can produce ultra realistic images, then v5.2 has plenty more to offer., but, as you note, these newer software which lack the quality of Maxwell deliver on the quantity of drag and drop libraries and animation features etc. If your CAD/BIM software now includes TM for free, then you're in an enviable position to master that and stay in front. Each to their own to suit the market and look they want.

I fully agree with you here, in having more frequent input from NL on the Forum they moderate, which would be encouraging to users so there is more clarity on who is manning the ship and where it's heading.
User avatar
By CDRDA
#401398
Mark Bell wrote:
Wed Jun 29, 2022 11:53 am

Yes, you''re right in a lot of what you say, but development does occur, just not as fast as it once did, and now that there is a greater number of other rendering software on the market, Maxwell's portion of the pie has obviously diminished. Slower development means we're not 'forced' to pay for upgrades each year but also have to wait longer for an upgrade. I came across a web article last year which listed the top 25-30 rendering software in order of user base. From memory, Vray and Max and one or two others were at the top in high double numbers, then there was a big jump down to low double/single numbers and Maxwell was somewhere in the top 10-12 indicating there is still a fair number of users out there when comparing the full list. We also have to remember Next Limit is not at the same scale as Autodesk or Chaos Group which seem to monopolise the industry, and cost a lot more.
There is the annual CGArchitect renderer survey, published Fenruary this year.... Ironically CGArchitect has just been purchased by Chaos Group!
https://www.cgarchitect.com/features/ar ... ey-results

Maxwell is in the top third still, just under 2% total user base, which I think was a slight drop from the year before. It is interesting that the total survey participants was only just over 2,500, which is a fairly small sample I would say.

Ultimately, whilst it can be disconcerting not hearing anything from the devs for a while, doesn't mean the software is dead, or nothing is happening. However it is easy to feel like that, so any news from NL would be most appreciated. The last Twitter post was end of April... Is that a bad omen?
User avatar
By Forester
#401399
Interesting discussion.

First, a small word of advice for those who find a need to switch away from Maxwell, get all the trial versions of the major rendering engines and spend a decent amount of time with them before making a switch.

When I wrote the tutorials for constructing glasses in Substance Designer, I tried literally every one of the major rendering engines - really working them over. And was glad that I did because no producer of a rendering engine is going to mention omissions or weaknesses on their web site - and because a lot of "reviewers" facing writing deadlines appear to make pretty rapid assessments instead of really digging into things. Also, I spent a lot of time looking at tutorials for other rendering engines because many of the trial copies are seriously crippled - making a thorough assessment somewhat difficult. And this is how I stumbled over Maverick Render - the new kid on the block. You might be fortunate in this way, too.

Our needs, plainly from these discussions, are quite varied. Andreas needs rapid, no-brain, no material-creation, no UV mapping requirement types of rendering engines. Presumably, he also needs to be teaching his students to use the most common and conventional rendering engine, such as Keyshot. No real learning curve - everyone uses it and so it is reasonable to expect that a newly graduated industrial designer should be familiar with it. ... Some of you apparently need large pre-made material libraries. Some don't. And, there are some like myself, on the other end of the spectrum, who need to create their own original materials almost every time for every new model - I need a great Material Editor, not a great material library. But I understand the need for those who do require a Library, instead. There are people here who probably are never going to bend their head around node-graph material creation processes, even if the entire CG world moves that way eventually. Some require the very highest quality renders, and some don't. Some need a rendering engine that offers the most capable array of lighting possibilities. And, some require a great forum of fellow users to work with and learn from - such as this place, while others really don't need the company.

For me, as a model-builder who needs the highest quality half the time, and who needs a CPU-based rendering engine because of the extremely large polygon count in complex scenes, I'll stick with Maxwell. My video card now has the widest bus in the business, and 13 GB of GRAM, but I've learned that it is insufficient to switch over to an entirely GPU-based rendering engine. I am kind of a dummy when it comes to lighting design, so I'll add Maverick Render to my tool box because it is so darn capable with respect to lighting possibilities, that I can cheat. I'm keeping two rendering engines from now on. No big deal - and I'll continue to do whatever small things I can to support Maxwell.

But, it is a true fact that the staff, time and money available to the Maxwell development team do not allow them to compete well with the majors. And, I've noticed that no one here is mentioning Adobe, who has built their own rendering engine, bought up Substance Designer and is now building a vast library of pre-made 3D models. Who is going to be able to compete with all of that, in the end? But, Maxwell might continue to do so, because the same economic logic that causes the majors to gobble up all the innovative guys like the Substance Designer team, also forces them to develop toward the center - the lowest common denominator. So, small as the Maxwell team might be, the base of this product is tremendously sound. We need some improvements - a better Substance Designer interface, for example. But, those will come.
User avatar
By Mark Bell
#401400
by CDRDA » Wed Jun 29, 2022 9:41 pm

There is the annual CGArchitect renderer survey, published Fenruary this year.... Ironically CGArchitect has just been purchased by Chaos Group!
https://www.cgarchitect.com/features/ar ... ey-results

Maxwell is in the top third still, just under 2% total user base, which I think was a slight drop from the year before. It is interesting that the total survey participants was only just over 2,500, which is a fairly small sample I would say
.
That's an interesting and comprehensive list of rendering software. The one I recall from last year must have been referring to 2020 so there's been a notable shift with the likes of Lumion, TW, UE and Enscape having a larger presence. It also helps explain why many of the renders I see in DA's and sales marketing are starting to look the same as at least 3 of the 4 are marketed towards architecture/ID, and more firms now appear to do in-house renders rather than outsource them to experienced CGI artists. Based on the current list, it appears to be a growing trend.

I've always found success in the work I've done by not following the crowd. To stand out and get noticed in a competitive market you need to have a point of difference, primarily in what you create, then in how it's presented. When I look through renders done in Maxwell it shows of a diverse range of work across every type of industry out there, which reflects back on how unique and versatile Maxwell truly is.

Frank Gehry's practice is recognised as one of the top architectural firms in the world yet uses CATIA which, if it were on a comparable list of CAD/BIM software, would be well down the list in terms of user base compared to the more popular Revit/ArchiCAD etc. He doesn't follow the crowd, and whether you like his work or not, he's made it to the top and uses the software that gives him the best results.
Ultimately, whilst it can be disconcerting not hearing anything from the devs for a while, doesn't mean the software is dead, or nothing is happening. However it is easy to feel like that, so any news from NL would be most appreciated. The last Twitter post was end of April... Is that a bad omen?
We've been fortunate enough to have been involved in beta testing of our CAD/BIM software for a number of years now and the software developer has been pretty quiet on their forum for almost three quarters of a year with no hint of what would be in the next version or when it was to come out, that is, until several days ago when they released the first beta for testing. Silence doesn't necessarily mean it's the beginning of the end. At least Maxwell has an established user base and proven ability to create high end realism. Judging by the long list of rendering software it indicates it must be a growth market? I came across Clarisse earlier in the year which appears to be geared towards the film and TV sector, and judging by its capabilities would have required a lot of development capital to get started and keep going, yet it's almost at the bottom of the list being less than 0.1% market share.

By Forester - Thu Jun 30, 2022 10:01 am
Interesting discussion.

First, a small word of advice for those who find a need to switch away from Maxwell, get all the trial versions of the major rendering engines and spend a decent amount of time with them before making a switch.

...and to add to this, also check the quality of work your competitors produce and if you can do better with Maxwell, you've nothing to worry about!

Same here!

Obviously still a beginner.

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