I've been using Maxwell Render now for about 1 year, having upgraded from using Brazil for Rhino. Following basic photography techniques, it's simple to set up a scene and produce the most spectacular images, impossible to tell apart from real-life or modeled. The material library is a huge plus, difficult not to find anything there you can't use 'as is' or modify slightly. Even before purchasing Maxwell, I emailed Maxwell support with some questions and received answers within hours, on the weekend! Support on the forum has also been super fast and accurate. Go check out the Maxwell Gallery and see the incredible level of realism that's possible with Maxwell.
We purchased Maxwell Render Suite to be used in conjunction with SketchUp for rendering high quality presentations. Maxwell's quality is unrivaled and setting up lighting and materials is by far the simplest I have ever used.
Next Limit has created a multitude of plug-ins that allows setup of materials and cameras right inside of the interface you are comfortable with. Also, in most applications you have access to Fire, Maxwell's real-time rendering window. This makes setup even easier.
I have heard several complaints about speed on Maxwell's part and I have to say that render times are a little on the high side, but you do make up some of it with the time saved on setup. Also, multilight allows you to quickly tweak and create both day and night renders from one rendering which allows you to provide this to clients.
I have been using Maxwell since its beta. If you have the time, the renderings are great with very little setup. The network rendering is easy to set up to increase the quality of your renderings in less time. From Sketchup it has become a seamless process and 2.5 integrates the mxm materials great. The mxm library makes it easy to download new materials and start from there to create your own. **notice that most of the low star reviews are from beta or 1 era of Maxwell.**
I've used Maxwell Render 2 for a month and love it. I was able to create some beautiful renderings the first day of use. The interface is straightforward, the lighting simple, and the free online library of materials is awesome. I use multiple CAD packages (Sketchup, C4D, and Rhino for Mac soon). Maxwell works great with them all. That and the fact it was Mac friendly made the purchase choice easy.
Best quality images I got from any rendering engine, even in the first try. The plug-ins for Sketchup and Rhino are totally seamless, fully integrated. The rendering times are somewhat longer than in other programs, but with the upcoming release 2.0 (free for existing 1.71 users), claimed to be up to three times faster, that problem will be totally solved. Highly recommended.
I've been using rendering software for 10 years and this is the best software I for rendering that I have ever come across. Its relatively straight forward and does a fantastic job out of the box. Unlike other render software, there is little to no tweaking and "tricks" you need to use in order to get good renderings. The quality of the renderings are top notch and the best I've seen. I've used Vray, Final Render, Metal Ray, Default rendering packages this is hands down the best. I love that I can go to the MXM Materials website and download pre-made materials from other users. It is a huge time saver. I'm really looking forward to version 2.
I've only used the demo Maxwell Render 1.6 engine for a very short time (like today) and wanted a realistic look for my Sketchup Pro 6 software 3D scenes. Without too much fanfare, I was able to render a few Sketchup scenes and I was totally blown away by the results! The relatively quick results I got in 30 to 40 minutes of allowing Maxwell to do its thing took the "cartoon" look out of my sketchup scenes. This was accomplished without having to bring the drawings into the Maxwell Studio environment which kind of scared me by the state of the art look it has. It looks like a Stealth bomber instrumentation dashboard arrangement. I will be purchasing Maxwell 1.6 soon!
I have Rhino and I was used to Flamingo as my prefered rendering system. Now I tried Maxwell Render and I'm so happy! I can use all my skill as photographer to set up the rendering parameters and I can generate fantasti pictures.
The only major drawback is the speed. Maxwell is slow. But my understanding is that it's because of the rendering algorithms (alias real physical siumulation), not because of poor programming.
I am a retail custom design jeweler using a combination of cad programs to help design jewelry. I chose Maxwell Render to render my designs created in Rhino. The Maxwell render software by far has generated the most realistic renderings of my jewelry. It is also quite simple to setup and use. The only negative I can say is the render times are considerably longer than any other program I have used, but the realism of the pictures more than compensates for the time.
Maxwell produces amazing results. It's impossible to argue that fact, and after using the trial for only a week we went out and purchased two licenses for it. The only drawback is that it takes an incredibly large amount of time to get good-quality images (some of our more complex scenes are pushing 20 hours per frame on a Dual processor, Dual-Core Xeon machine) and this is impossible for us to do real animation with it at this point. If you have 100 computers with at least 12ghz per machine, you might be able to do animation but it would still take days to get more than a few seconds of it.
Overall, great product for still images, but wish it was faster!
I love the program but trying to understand all the intricacies of the interface is made difficult by inadequate documentation and terrible tech support. I made two inquiries via email on two separate occasions. Both time I had a great deal of trouble getting them to understand what my problem was or the question I was asking. Both inquires ended by the tech support agent by not responding to my last attempt to clarify. I am left to try to figure out a few questions and problems on my own. I will try the forum but often one needs answers more quickly than a forum provides. Deadlines can be unforgiving.
Maxwell Render shows much progress since Release 1.5. The Plugin for SolidWorks is much improved. Maxwell's render engine shows much promise over the biased renderers. The lighting effects are amazing!
However the time to render hampers a client's needs for "I want it Now"! This means you need a really strong machine or need to consider a render farm service to finish the image.
I found some stability issues with SolidWorks hanging at times. It is also has a funny watermark covers the main part of the image and it's the image quality that you're suppose to buy when evaluating the software. Not sure how else to test the application but occasionally it would get in the way.
If it has to be perfect and time is not a factor, and you can work with the quirks of a fairly new program (UI can be tricky) this should get you home.
I found the maxwell renderengine very nice for simulating studio shots and outdoor shots. I am not happy with interior shots. Too much grain (noise) which is too expensive (render time) to get rid of (if even possible). No support for ies lights. Speed is with maxwell no option. If one has an optimized setting in vray and knows about color space and the vray camera, vray is faster, gives better results, is able to process ies lights and is much sharper. Sorry, maxwell is not for me. Maybe in the future when the hardware is able to process photonmapping how we want to, I will try Maxwell again.
Maxwell is a great render engine. The light is perfect, and the realism is great. But if you decide to use it, you will have to deal with 3 main problems: 1) Buggy sofware. I could never use a Free of bugs version of maxwell. It seems these guys are so disorganized that cannot refine the code to an acceptable level of stability, so be prepared to deal with all king of unexpected problems. 2) The support though their forum is a mess. That is a place full of "noise" and with little or no solution to the problems of the users. The second recomended way is e-mail support, that is handled by good technicians. 3) Totally anti intuitive interfaces. This is not a friendly software, although some parts are prety logic. It looks like designed by a lot of diferent people, not coordinated at all. You will find hidden commands and very unclear user interfaces, that could easily be improved, but that will not be improved, since this way seems to be the way Maxwell Render developpers thinks. Unfortunately is very tricky and time consuming. Be ready to spend lots of your hours, trying to figure out how to do stuff that is detailed in the on line documentation, but won´t work. Conclusion: Maxwell would be perfect if in the right hands of experienced software developpers, which is not happening right now. A pitty, that could be fixed if the Next Limit team changes their chaotic politics.
Well, most realize that unbiased rendering solutions are slow, so I guess you can't hold it against the app. However, I find it to be a grossly unrefined piece of code. The plugins and studio are buggy almost to the point of being unuseable. Also, compared to competing unbiased render apps, Maxwell is way behind on features. No shift lens, micropoly displacement, or instancing. Also, there is a significant glass bug in architectural uses (ie windows) that has not been adequately resolved (and the manner in which it is resolved is physically inaccurate!).
Finally, Next Limit's communications are completely unacceptable. Period. I can't even count the number of times they've promised something they have not been able to fulfill. Word to the wise- do not believe anything they say. If they promise a release within a given period, seriously- just ignore it. It won't happen!
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