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Next Limit Technologies





Maxwell Render




Manufacturer: Next Limit Technologies

Product: Maxwell Render Suite

Version: 3.0

Language: English

Platform: Win / Mac
Packaging: Electronic Service Delivery (ESD)


Demo Version:

Suggested Retail Price: Please contact us for pricing


Maxwell Render

Maxwell Render is a standalone render engine for making perfect images, films and animations from 3D models. It is the complete solution for anyone who demands immaculate results on a deadline.

Maxwell Render offers maximum quality, speed, and compatibility for architects, designers and visual effects artists.

New Features

Procedural textures

Maxwell Render now includes a collection of procedural textures that can be used alone or in combination with other textures to produce a range of effects. Being mathematical fractals, they are 100% seamless, customizable and cross-platform.

Custom Sun Radius for both Constant Dome and Physical Sky System

The sun in Maxwell's physical sky system is now customizable in size and color allowing for dramatic sun effects, as well as introducing a physically correct approach to controlling shadow softness (via sun radius) or distant emitters with parallel shadows.

Fast GPU-driven Multilight preview

See your Multilight changes instantly in the main render view. Even Scattering and Dispersion update instantly - thanks to the new GPU accelerated Fast Multilight display!

Improved Fire voxelization

Our scene preview engine Maxwell FIRE is much smarter in V3 - re-voxelizing only the objects which have changed, saving a tremendous amount of time when setting up your scenes.

New Lenses: Pin hole, Orthographic, Spherical and Cylindrical

Five new lens types have been added to the Maxwell Camera: Spherical - great for making HDR environments or virtual walk-throughs, Fish Eye, Pinhole (creates no depth of field effect), Cylindrical and Orthographic.

Material Assistants that ease material creation and editing

Maxwell materials assistant is a new, easy to use material editor which builds the basic material characterisitcs for you - greatly simplifying the material creation process and saving you lots of time. Choose first a category such as glass, metal, translucent, opaque and the material assistant will help you create perfectly optimised materials for your scene in just seconds!

Double-sided materials

Separate materials can now be applied to the back-face of a polygon surface - making it much easier to create bottle labels, translucent paper, or add more variation to leaves etc. And as a bonus, it also works with the Maxwell grass modifier!

Custom Alpha channel per object

A long awaited feature, now you can create unlimited 'layers' of alphas and add any object(s) to those layers, allowing you to isolate the exact objects you need.

UV and Deep channels

Maxwell Render 3 can now render in 'deep image' format, which stores color as well as depth information per pixel, making it much easier to composite rendered objects together as well as eliminating troublesome edge artifacts. You can save the deep info in either .EXR or .DTEX formats, in rgba or alpha.

On-the-fly booleans in render time

An object bounding box, sphere or plane can now be used as a 'cutting' object, which works in a similar way to the cameras Z-clip feature, except now you are no longer limited to the cameras near/far planes.

Blockable emitters

Now you can isolate the contribution of each emitter to each individual object in the scene, allowing you to have objects not affected by certain emitters in the scene. This way, you have custom control over the lighting of each object in your scene.

Image projectors

Emitters in Maxwell can now project light using any bitmap (or even a procedural texture!), much the same as a slide projector projects an image onto a canvas.

Maxwell Volumetrics: Constant, Noise and Particle-driven fields

The new volumetric feature in Maxwell can work in several ways: as a constant density volumetric object - useful for large atmospheric haze effects or thick fog, it can work with particles files in several formats, including RealFlow .bin, and also with density fields/voxels directly from Maya or Houdini.

Maxwell Sea

Maxwell Sea creates realistic ocean surfaces and waves based on the Ocean Statistical Spectrum from RealFlow. Various parameters such as water depth and surface dimensions allow you to produce a convincing water surface, from swimming pools to open ocean. The meshing is only done at render time, meaning it takes up almost no extra space in the .MXS file.

Maxwell Scatter

The new Maxwell Scatter modifier distributes instances of an object (or even referenced MXS files) across the surface of another object, with similar parameters to the Maxwell grass modifier - including the ability to add density maps, or randomize the size and rotation.

Pixar Open SubDivision in render time
The new Subdivision feature allows you to subdivide low-polygon objects into smooth surfaces, by implementing Pixar OpenSubdiv. Because it's subdividing the geometry only at render time - your scene files take up far less space and can be transfered much faster around your network.

Improved and accelerated Motionblur

Maxwell V3 offers massive speed improvements when motion blur is used in scenes with many objects, especially where hair and particles are used. In a scene using millions of hairs for example, the increase in speed can be upwards of 100X!

Alembic format support

The Alembic file format allows for very efficient storage of geometry and other scene data, which can now be referenced directly in Maxwell V3. Support for Alembic includes static and animated geometry as well as particles. It also works with the Exocortex CRATE suite of Alembic plugins.

10 rendernodes included with every Maxwell Render Suite Floating license

Maxwell Render Suite floating licenses for V3 will now come with 10 rendernodes included, as standard!

Complete Feature List >



Easy to use

Maxwell’s approach to rendering is based on real-world units and settings. It is not necessary to learn strange new concepts and a long list of render parameters such as “radiosity bounces”, “photons” or “final gathering” that are based purely on computer graphics terminology, not reality. For example, the settings of the Maxwell Render camera work and adjust just like the settings of a real camera and the strength of the lights in your scene is based on real-world units. Because of this, it is straightforward to create and render scenes, and set-up times are extremely low compared to other renderers.

In addition, Maxwell Render has a truly interactive preview tool, Maxwell Fire (Fast Interactive Rendering). Maxwell Fire provides instant results while setting up a scene. You can preview your scene’s lighting and materials in seconds.

Unrivalled realism

The technology behind Maxwell Render is physically correct and unbiased, enabling users to create materials, set lights and cameras, and render scenes, all in a hyper realistic manner resulting in images that are indistinguishable from photographs. Maxwell’s physically correct creations and data can help architects, designers and VFX supervisors understand what lighting inside or outside a building would look like once realized, or what a final product would look like in production.

Good value

A Maxwell Render license not only gives you access to the most realistic renderer on the market, you also get free plug-ins to a wide range of popular 3D and CAD applications, including Maya, Cinema4D, Rhino and SketchUp, so you can use Maxwell Render while staying in the comfortable environment of the modeling software you are already familiar with.

Maxwell Render Suite Plugins

For a complete list of available plug-ins see: Plug-ins

You also get access to an online library of over 3900 free and ready-to-use materials, plus other resources like textures, skies, free tutorials and community support.

A complete package

The Maxwell Render software package provides a complete solution, with a rendering engine, a fully interactive preview tool (Maxwell Fire), a material editor, an editing application, and a series of free plug-ins all in one. The application offers a range of features needed to prepare, edit and render perfect images in a comfortable and straightforward fashion, such as Multilight, Sub-surface scattering, Stacked materials and Displacement.

For a complete overview of all features available in Maxwell Render, see: Complete Feature List

Something for everyone

Maxwell Render is the best solution for users with all kinds of requirements, needs and backgrounds. For instance, Maxwell Render’s physically correct simulation helps architects and designers to envisage how natural and artificial light will affect their creations.

Automotive-, jewelry- and product designers can work with the thousands of free, ready- to-use shaders that come with the software. And Maxwell’s realistic lighting enables them to create images that look like photographs, saving the high expenses of actual studio shoots and giving a clear idea of what the final product will look like.

Artists in the VFX and film industry will find that Maxwell Render’s robust and easy to use network system provides the speed and control they need in their complex pipelines and the demanding environments they work in.


Key Fields of Application


Maxwell Render is the perfect solution for the high end, photo quality visualizations that architects and designers need. The physically correct simulation helps to envisage how natural and artificial light will affect creations, and high-level integration with many major 3D and CAD applications provides a fast and straightforward workflow. Innovative features like Multilight enhance the workflow even further.


Used extensively in the automotive, jewelry and product design industries, Maxwell Render offers a complete package for designers. While it is possible to create unlimited numbers of physically correct materials, the software also comes with a library of thousands of free, ready-to-use shaders. Maxwell Render’s physically correct lighting enables designers to create images that look like photographs, saving high expenses of studio shoots.


Maxwell Render is a new render option for the VFX production industries, offering extremely realistic and easily variable lighting solutions for advertisements and films as already seen in several high-end productions. Maxwell Render’s robust and easy to use network system provides the speed and control needed in the complex pipelines and demanding environments of high-end film and TV production.


System requirements

The minimum system requirements for Maxwell Render 3 are as follows:

Windows (32 and 64)

• Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8
• 2 GHz Intel® Core2 processor, AMD Athlon 64 or better
• 1GB RAM minimum. 4 GB of RAM memory is highly recommended
• 400 MB available hard disk space for installation
• Accelerated OpenGL drivers
• 3 button mouse recommended


• Mac OSX 10.7 and up
• 1 GB RAM minimum. 4 GB of RAM memory is highly recommended
• 400 MB available hard disk space for installation
• 3 button mouse recommended

Linux 64

• x86_64 distribution with a 2.6 Kernel and glibc 2.5
• 2 GHz Intel® Core®2, AMD Athlon 64 or better
• 1 GB RAM minimum. 4 GB of RAM memory is highly recommended
• 400 MB available hard disk space for installation
• 3 button mouse recommended

For a description of the best hardware configuration for your needs, see the System Specifications FAQ page.



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