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Table of contents:

Table of Contents


Maxwell Render - ready for VFX?


Easily controlled true 3D motion blur with unlimited substeps, accurate displacement (incl. vector displacement), instancing, MXS referencing, high quality materials, subsurface scattering, hair/fur, grass, emitter settings using real world values, real world film/photo camera settings (incl. anamorphic bokeh effects), accurate reflected/refracted caustics, RealFlow connection for rendertime meshing of RF particles (included with each license of Maxwell), IES lights... 


Test performed on a 32-cores Windows 2003 Server 64Bits reference computer


Below follows a general tips and best practices list for using Maxwell in a VFX environment.


It's also possible to write a system specific script that does the copying for you and adds the environment variables to each machine. 


The installer also creates another environment variable called MAXWELL3_MATERIALS_DATABASE that points to the folder where the resources (material files, etc) installed with the package are located. This variable is not needed when running Maxwell in node mode.


More information about the installation process can be found here:


To launch Maxwell in command line mode using a node license instead of a full GUI, all that is needed is adding the –node flag to the arguments list

A note on installing Rendernodes on Linux (X11 and Xvfb) 

Due to 3rd part dependencies, Maxwell needs an X11 session running even in nongui mode. However there is a workaround that can be used to run Maxwell on machines with no display hardware and no physical input devices, using Xvfb (virtual framebuffer). More info on how to use Xvfb can be found here: Network FAQ


Specifically Color MultiLight needs even more memory than intensity MultiLight and should be used only when there is a real need of changing light colors after the render.



One important tip is to merge lights that you want to be controlled together, by applying the same emitter material to all geometry that you want to control using a single ML slider. This way you can still benefit from ML, but keep the memory usage to a minimum.


This flag can be used to avoid also saving a standard image file format, which is useful if you want to save only MXI files which you can load directly in Nuke, After Effects or Photoshop with our MXI plugins. If MultiLight was turned on in Render Options, each light channel can be extracted from the MXI into a separate layer using these plugins, along with any other render channels (alpha, motion vector, z-depth etc.), so this can be an efficient workflow instead of having several files per frame which need importing.


Memory usage and trouble shooting


Every purchase of Maxwell Render includes for free all our plugins so you can easily work across multiple 3D and compositing applications (incl. After Effects, Nuke, Photoshop). There is a separate section for each plugin in the documentation - see the Plugins section for the full list.