The CG behemoth Foundry has announced a new version of Katana with performance improvement and has introduced a new option to render images directly to the viewer and thus artists can now interact directly with their work. The render agnostic USD support is also added.
What is Katana?
Katana is a tool for a very efficient, collaborative approach to look development and lighting, Katana® gives you the creative scope and scalability to meet the needs of today’s most demanding CG-rendering projects.
New Features in Katana 3.5
- Faster time to first pixel. In 3.5, we’ve rewritten Katana’s core engine in collaboration with Intel, making Katana 2-30x faster for many operations involved in handing over scene data to a renderer plugin.
- Bringing artists closer to their work. The new Monitor Layer allows artists to interact with ray traced renders directly in the viewer. With the image and the tools that manipulate the image in the same place, artists now have a streamlined experience. Katana’s existing rendering system is 100% compatible with all existing renderer plugins. This workflow also comes with a performance boost, with drastic improvements to refresh rates of large images with or without large numbers of AOVs.
- Network Material Create Improvements. Improvements to Katana’s Shading Group mechanism allow artists to make customized shading groups with user defined input and output connections. Shading Groups can now be whole materials or regularly utilised blocks of shading nodes. Simple workflows allow selected nodes to turn into Shading Groups via a hotkey, both in large numbers, and with better interactivity.
- USD import nodes based on USD 19.11. Katana 3.5 includes integration with a Foundry-supported, renderer agnostic USD set of tools, allowing studios to set up, experiment and build powerful USD production pipelines. Foundry will open source the USD plugin source code and manage pull requests as part of its larger open source plans.
As per Jordan Thistlewood, Director of Product – Pre-production, LookDev & Lighting, Foundry “Katana 3.5’s mission is to empower artists tasked with the most demanding look development and lighting challenges in the industry, whether from complexity or volume of work. To do so we’ve drastically improved core performance with the help of Intel, making the time to first pixel plummet. We’ve offered a whole new way to interact with renders with the Monitor Layer and we’ve continually improved many other tools “
Download the latest version from here.
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