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09 Mar 2021



  • Denoiser’s new approach. Better integration in the render engine. One-pass render, multi-layered MXI, the Denoiser image is treated as another channel and is included in the MXI file, so its information does not get lost; better memory management because of tiling options and new fine-tuning options to control the Denoiser strenght.

  • Denoiser parameters exposed:

    • Tiling.

    • Maximum Tile Size.

    • Color Influence (kc1).

    • Color Influence (kc2).

    • Feature Influence (kf).

    • Final Pass Strength (kc4).

    • Filter Radius.

    • Firefly Remover.

  • A new modal panel shows up while the render is being re-denoised.

  • New “refresh” controls in the render viewport to refresh the render, the denoiser channel or both.

  • New option for Channel controls positions in Preferences > Appearance (Bottom-Left and Bottom-Right). Shortcuts on Windows: Ctrl + Alt + NumPad 1 and 2. Shortcuts on MacOS: Option + Command + NumPad 1 and 2.

  • New option for Refresh controls positions in Preferences > Appearance (Top-Left, Top-Right, Bottom-Left and Bottom-Right). Shortcuts on Windows: Ctrl + Alt + NumPad 4, 5, 7 and 8. Shortcuts on MacOS: Option + Command + NumPad 4, 5, 7 and 8.


  • Command line parameter -denoise removed. To activate the denoiser through the command line the user must enable the denoiser channel. Example: -channel:denoiser,on,8,png

  • The Denoiser image output path field has been removed from the panel as now it’s treated as any other channel; thus, the denoised image will be saved next to the main render and with the same name plus _denoiser.

  • Denoiser auto-configuration now sets Position channel in world coordinates, and Normals channel in camera coordinates by default. If the user enabled any of those channels, denoiser auto-configuration will respect the channels’ configuration set by the user.

  • The Denoiser will be applied in “preview quality” for intermediate SLs until SL 12. For SL 12 and beyond the denoiser runs in “final quality”, as well as for the last denoiser update when the render ends, no matter the final SL.

  • Default Priority set to “Below Normal”.

  • The mximerge application -coopdenoiser command-line flag has been removed.

  • The Draft engine disables extra-sampling and continues instead of failing when extra-samping is enabled.

  • Process Priority becomes an application setting, still overridable by command-line parameter -p or -priority.

  • Deprecated command line parameter -channels removed.


  • Wrong data issues with TIFF images and LZW compression on Linux and Windows platforms (including Maxwell Cloud nodes).

  • Maxwell Render never ended in nogui mode if the denoiser was active, and a forbidden denoiser parameters combination was set by mistake in the MXS: auto-configure:fast + shadow-denoiser:on.

  • BSDF blending proportions of materials could not be accurate when the material was applied to an object with object opacity different than 100%.

  • Intensity correction was not correct for some additive materials.

  • Crash with reflectance channel + material with reflectance textures with no tiling.

  • The License Activator on Mac was copying the floating licenses in the wrong folder.

  • (MacOS only) Quicklook had a memory leak.

  • In FIRE CPU (CPU Draft engine) Spot Lights in projector mode were not working.

Known Issues

  • MaxwellScatter extension removes MaxwellScatter extension from the scattered objects (if they have).

  • Benchwell stops sometimes before the benchmark test has finished. We don’t allow uploading the results in that case.

Maxwell GPU

New Features

  • NVIDIA Ampere graphics cards support.

  • Multilight is now supported by the GPU engine.

  • Multi-GPU dynamic balance. Less samples are expected from cards that had less performance in past rendering passes.

  • Emitter + BSDF now works in GPU. It is restricted to one emitter per material.

  • Samples rebalance: Threads of one pixel can help other pixels if they need to. This helps that the image sampling level is more homogeneous. This can make that, in some scenes, Maxwell will require more time to reach the same SL, but more complicated parts of the image will have less noise at the same SL. Also, less computing power will be invested in easy parts, like the sky. In general, the computing power will be used more efficiently.


  • Speed improvement in multi-gpu.

  • Improved the way in how certain calculations are done within the GPU engine that should help minimize certain precision issues regarding two surfaces being too close to each other and far away from the camera. (i.e. putting an emitter too close behind an AGS could make the rays skip the emitter if they are far from the center of the scene).

  • Render Region and Blow-up Region are not supported in the GPU engine, now the region is reset to Full Frame before the render starts. 


  • Upgrade to CUDA 11.1. Minimum NVIDIA drivers required:

    • Windows: 456.38.

    • Linux: 455.23.

  • CUDA 11 drops support for the following operating systems:

    • Windows 7.

    • Windows 8.

    • Windows Server 2012 R2.

  • CUDA 11 drops support for Kepler 3.0 and 3.2 graphics cards (

    • GeForce GTX 770, GeForce GTX 760, GeForce GT 740, GeForce GTX 690, GeForce GTX 680, GeForce GTX 670, GeForce GTX 660 Ti, GeForce GTX 660, GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST, GeForce GTX 650 Ti, GeForce GTX 650, GeForce GTX 880M, GeForce GTX 780M, GeForce GTX 770M, GeForce GTX 765M, GeForce GTX 760M, GeForce GTX 680MX, GeForce GTX 680M, GeForce GTX 675MX, GeForce GTX 670MX, GeForce GTX 660M, GeForce GT 750M, GeForce GT 650M, GeForce GT 745M, GeForce GT 645M, GeForce GT 740M, GeForce GT 730M, GeForce GT 640M, GeForce GT 640M LE, GeForce GT 735M, GeForce GT 730M, Quadro K5000, Quadro K4200, Quadro K4000, Quadro K2000, Quadro K2000D, Quadro K600, Quadro K420,Quadro K500M, Quadro K510M, Quadro K610M, Quadro K1000M, Quadro K2000M, Quadro K1100M, Quadro K2100M, Quadro K3000M, Quadro K3100M, Quadro K4000M, Quadro K5000M, Quadro K4100M, Quadro K5100M, NVS 510, Quadro 410, Tesla K10, GRID K340, GRID K520, GRID K2.

  • In order to keep compatibility for the GPU engine with Windows 7/8/Server 2012 R2, for Maxwell Render 5.2.0 and future Maxwell 5 versions, Maxwell Render, Maxwell Studio and the plug-ins will be available in two flavors for Windows:

    • Windows 7 installer. CUDA 10 based, which supports the following NVIDIA architectures:

      • Maxwell.

      • Pascal.

      • Volta.

      • Turing.

    • Windows 10 installer. CUDA 11 based, which supports the following NVIDIA architectures:

      • Maxwell.

      • Pascal.

      • Volta.

      • Turing.

      • Ampere.


  • GPU statistics did not show correct render progress. 

  • GPU stopped at a much higher SL than requested.

  • GPU crashed when having more than one emitter per material. 

  • GPU ghost bsdf (Transmittance white + Nd = 1 + K = 0) was rendering as opaque if the material had more than one bsdf and the attenuation was set to 1 nm.

  • BSDF blending proportions of materials might not be accurate when the material was applied to an object with object opacity different than 100%.

  • Intensity correction was not correct for some additive materials.

  • MXI files generated by the GPU engine could not be merged.

  • Tiling X or Y with global map did not work properly in the GPU engine.

  • Maxwell froze with instances to nulls with emitter materials.

  • The GPU engine couldn’t find some textures on some pack & go conditions.

  • The GPU engine could crash using multi-gpu with IBL on consecutive renders with different resolutions.

Maxwell Studio

New Features

  • Added the new Denoiser options to the Attributes panel > Render Options > Scene tab > Denoiser section.

    • Tiling and Max Tile Size

    • Fine-tuning options: Color Influence 1 and 2, Feature Influence, Final Pass, Filter Radius and Firefly Remover. 


  • Improved the readability of the text fields when editing them.

  • When activating the material preview auto-update, the preview is refreshed (FIRE will be stopped to avoid conflicts).

  • UI minor improvements.


  • FIRE default parameters changed to Quality 4 and SL 12.

  • Default Priority set to “Below Normal”.


  • Crash with random uvs extension and displacement.

  • The Global map did not show properly in the viewport.

  • The Lat-Long Stereo camera creation triggered an error: “separation_map.png” not found.

  • The Fish Stereo camera creation triggered several errors: “separation_map.png/turn_map.png” not found.

  • FIRE did not update properly on Lat-Long/Fish Stereo parameters change.

  • Studio installer was not able to detect and uninstall a previous Maxwell Render installation.

  • Channels Output Mode “Separate/Embedded” option was not being written to the MXS file.

  • Random crash starting Studio on macOS.

Known Issues

  • Resources Browser makes Studio crash on widget resize in some rare cases.

  • Studio won’t work on a remote desktop (Linux host).


New Features

  • New Substance Designer assistant. It allows loading .sbsar files and editing their parameters directly from Maxwell. The material is automatically translated internally to a Maxwell material or you can permanently convert it to a Custom Maxwell material.



  • The Cloud jobs now show in the Name field how many renders it has.

  • Cloud jobs rows with one render show the current/target SL data of the render.

  • The Maxwell Cloud ignores Search Paths in the MXS to improve dependency search time.

  • Cloud job wizard now allows the user to set channels in the render parameters panel.

  • The Network Monitor shows a “New Version” message on Maxwell Cloud updates when the user logs in.



  • Cloud job resolucion with locked pixel aspect was not taking into account the original output resolution of the scene and used 4:3 always instead.

  • Linux: Wrong file type filter on missing dependencies dialog when sending a cloud job.

  • There were some missing render parameters in the network job wizard UI: Render Engine, Motion Blur, Displacement and Dispersion.

  • The user couldn’t log-in in Maxwell Cloud through Network Monitor if the password contained the character “%”.



  • Cmaxwell::getRenderParameter/setRenderParameter new signature. The old one remains for backward compatibility.

  • New maxwellcommon.h header.