Stylized rendering for Autodesk Maya

AUGUST 2019 UPDATE

The August 2019 update is focused on improving the functionality of MNPRX and its tools. We now support normal Maya materials within MNPRX stylizations, rim lights and have improved tools for better production workflows. Make sure to also update the materials in the scene, to use the rim lights within the uber material.

MNPRX

Viewport rendering

• New - Maya materials are also supported by MNPRX now, making Viewport+ the perfect option for higher quality viewport renders. Do keep in mind that NoiseFX and PaintFX only work with MNPRX materials.
• Improved - Ambient occlusion has been improved upon and can now be used with any material and in scenes with big world scales.
• Improved - The Atmosphere Tint is now deactivated for orthographic views.
• Fixed - Minor bug that didn’t TAA the image when de-selecting objects.
• Fixed - Minor bug that didn’t show the substrate properly upon changing between textures of different resolutions.

MNPRX Materials

• New - Rim Lights setting and attributes have been added to the uber material.

MNPRX Toolbox

• New - Bulk Attribute tool now available for Indie/Studio licenses. The tool will allow you to change ShaderFX settings in bulk. It will be expanded to change normal attributes in the future, as well.

Watercolor

• Fixed - Pigment dilution now also dilutes ambient occlusion.

MNPRX Shelf

• New - A point light shelf icon has been included in the MNPRX shelf. Point light support is limited by Maya’s ShaderFX framework, so you won’t be able to cast point light shadows in MNPRX materials.

Material Presets
New - Redesigned and more powerful material presets window. From top to bottom, the updates are as follows:

• Improved - Save presets by pressing enter after writing the name (save button still there if you prefer a mouse)
• New - Load attributes checkbox allows you to not load the attributes in case you are only interested in loading the NoiseFX or textures of an existing preset
• New - Filter presets by name or by material type
• Improved - Double click on a preset to load it on the selected objects

Style Presets
New - Redesigned and more powerful stylization presets window. From top to bottom, the updates are as follows:

• Improved - Save presets by pressing enter after writing the name (save button still there if you prefer a mouse)
• New - Loading options for stylizations, giving control over loading the world scale, attributes, quality and substrates.
• New - Filter presets by name or by stylization
• Improved - Double click on a preset to load it

Import/Export

• Improved - Optimized file size when exporting stylization

Documentation

JULY 2019 UPDATE

The July 2019 update of MNPRX includes a completely new Cutout Stylization, together with our own implementation of Ground Truth Ambient Occlusion (GTAO)! These two features, together with a series of smaller new features, improvements and fixes, make the July update a substantial improvement for MNPRX. Just make sure to also update the materials in the scene, to be sure that you are using all the latest features of this update.

MNPRX

Cutout Stylization

New - The Cutout Stylization brings real-time cutout rendering of 3D objects and animation directly within Autodesk Maya through MNPRX.

Viewport rendering

• New - Render with Ground Truth Ambient Occlusion (GTAO) to emulate ambient lighting.
• New - Visualize and stylize normal Viewport 2.0 Maya materials (NoiseFX, PaintFX and GTAO are only supported with MNPRX materials).
• Fixed - The Target Sequence Renderer can also render and save images from cameras within namespaces.

Watercolor Stylization

• New - Ambient occlusion can concentrate pigment density within the watercolor stylization.

Substrates

• New - Rotation attribute on each substrate.
• New - Thorough control over the Alternate Substrate

Material Presets

• Improved - Material presets do not force to load-up materials within the MNPRX renderer anymore, you can use the normal Viewport 2.0 with it, if desired.
• Improved - Material presets automatically check and clean connected Shading Engines to work properly with certain material setups.

MNPRX Materials

• Improved - The noise created through the NoiseFX tool will not be stretched along one direction anymore.

MNPRX Shelf

• New - Double clicking on mat will now reload the Attribute Editor of the material, forcing the ShaderFX material to show all its attributes.
• New - Selecting all objects that share the assigned material can now be done directly from the MNPRX shelf by right-clicking on mat -> Select objects with material.

Licensing

• New - installing MNPRX will check for an existing license and automatically ask the user what to do with it. This will make transitions from Non-Commercial to Indie/Studio much easier by simply re-installing MNPRX and deleting the existing license to enter the new one.

Documentation

Watercolor stylization in Nuke

The watercolor stylization is now also available for Nuke in Indie and Studio licenses, allowing to re-create the style and tweak it further in compositing. More details on where to get it and how to take advantage of it can be found in the documentation.

JUNE 2019 UPDATE

The June 2019 update of MNPRX is the biggest yet! We’ve developed many things to improve the overall experience and to continue moving forward with our planned development. Because of this, a re-installation of MNPRX is required on any computer that has a previous installation running. We apologize for this inconvenience, but hope the new features will make up for it.

MNPRX

Viewport rendering

New - Viewport rendering has been completely re-implemented to be handled entirely through MNPRX.

• Render with Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TAA) for progressive super-sampled results.
• Abstracted quality for the viewport, rendered images and image sequences within 5 different modes: Half, Standard, FXAA, 4x SSAA and TAA.
• Render out images and image sequences in multiple image file formats (.png, .jpg, .exr, .tif, .iff).
• Create quick playblasts in all formats supported by your computer.
• Rendered images, image sequences and playblasts should have the same colors that you see in the viewport (except for .exr images which are in linear space).
• Define alpha of the rendered images and image sequences as None, Linear, or Premultiplied (only within formats that support alpha channels).

PaintFX

• New - Numerical value for painting amount can now be directly seen and modified within PaintFX.
• New - Pressure sensitivity is enabled when painting with a stylus.
• Improved - Intuitive undo operations within PaintFX.
• Improved - No more flickering of the in-use brush icon.
• Improved - Automatic switch between NoiseFX and PaintFX without re-selecting the objects.

NoiseFX

• Improved - Intuitive undo operations within NoiseFX (except for reset and on/off toggle).
• Fixed - Reset and on/off noise toggle now flush the undo queue when used to avoid Maya crashes (Solving these crashes seem to be outside of our power as it relies on fixing the ShaderFX implementation).

Material Presets

• Fixed - When multiple objects share a material, Create New Material will now just create the material within the selection.
• Improved - Loading a material on an object with the default Lambert1 material won’t load the material on all objects sharing it.
• New - ID material presets have been added.

Usability

• Improved - Scene stylization will be automatically loaded when opening a stylized scene.
• Improved - Velocity vertex data is only computed by the required geometry.
• Improved - Velocity vertex data is discarded when no longer required, reducing scene size.
• Fixed - Bug where the attribute editor sometimes didn’t show the ShaderFX attributes.
• Fixed - Memory leak when resizing the viewport.
• Fixed - Memory leak when loading different substrate textures.

Installation

• New - MNPRX environment variables are now handled by a plugin distribution module, avoiding clashes with environment variables from the host system.
• Fixed - Installing MNPRX won’t modify the existing order of environment variables within the host computer, minimizing clashes that it may have with other installed plugins that may depend on this.

Licensing

• New - Using MNPRX now requires a valid license. Upon first use, you will be prompted to either enter the activation code that came with your purchase of MNPRX Indie/Studio or activate MNPRX Non-Commercial.

APRIL 2019 UPDATE

MNPRX

MNPR Material

MNPRX Shelf

Viewport Rendering

• Fixed - Playblasts using the rendr tool come out with proper color correction again with Maya 2018.3, onwards (fix of MAYA-88922 bug caused a double color correction).

Documentation

MARCH 2019 UPDATE

MNPRX

Stylization Import/Export tool

New tool that allows the artist to Import/Export the stylization of either the selected objects or of the entire scene. The stylization settings that can be exported/imported include:

• Style parameters (mnprConfig node attributes).
• MNPR materials (with NoiseFX and material attributes).
• PaintFX (all painted parameters).
• Proxies (the geometry proxies, their material and painted parameters).

The tool is name-based, but supports the Import/Export between different namespaces. The stylization can also be imported on scenes where there were no prior MNPRX materials, as long as names of the objects remain consistent.

Viewport Rendering

• New - Viewport Rendering now also matches the resolution gate, when in use.
• Fixed - Memory leak that used all available system memory when rendering out big image sequences.
• Fixed - Texture samplers not being recognized until the shaders were reloaded i.e., no more weird pixels at the borders of the images.
• Fixed - Assigned substrate not showing when opening a scene from scratch.

Watercolor stylization in Nuke

• New - Added sample usage of background plates in the stylization pipeline.
• New - MNPRX stylization can now be imported within the stylization options.
• Fixed - Depth target provoking weird edge darkening lines.

FEBRUARY 2019 UPDATE

MNPRX

MNPR Material

• Optimized - Compilation times have been drastically reduced (up to 20x) by optimizing the node network to get rid of redundant shader code. Changing Settings and recompiling the material should now be immediate.
• New - Real-time Displacement and tessellation have been added to the mnpr_uber material. These can be activated within the material Settings. (DX11+ hardware is required for this).
• Fixed and improved - Support for light maps has been improved and a bug regarding the use of diffuse factor with light maps has been fixed. Light maps can be activated within the material Settings, whereas vertex painted lighting is always active.
• Improved - Cangiante algorithm has been improved for better results with mapped textures. The attribute defaults to 0.6 now and can go up or down until the desired result is achieved.
• Reorganized - The material attributes have been reorganized for more intuitive control. The Highlights attributes are not shown by default anymore, but can be activated through Settings.

Watercolor

• Fixed - Bleeding when no objects are behind is now working again as expected.

Usability

• New - A textured material preset has been added in the mPre tool. Loading this preset will retain the textures of the prior material (i.e., mnpr_uber, lambert) and set all attributes required for a textured workflow.
• Improved - Creating/Loading a new material will now keep the name of the previously assigned one.

Licensing

• Improved - A less aggressive licensing method has been created that will always allow to load and work with MNPRX. However, it won’t be possible to render images past the licensing date.

JANUARY 2019 UPDATE

MNPRX

MNPR Material

• New - Art-directable shading has been added to the mnpr_uber material. Artists can now control light directly on the object through lightmaps, paintFX or noiseFX. Lightmaps within the material can be activated on demand in the Settings of the material itself. Art-directable shading is found by default within the paintFX and noiseFX tools. Art-directed shading is strongly dependent on the Diffuse Factor attribute. Therefore, an additional Shade attribute has been added to the material to separately control the lighting contribution from lights. It is highly encouraged to read the documentation to fully understand how art-directable shading can be effectively used.
• Fixed - Issue with depth in semi-transparent objects not rendering and certain depth-dependent stylization effects now working properly.

PaintFX

• Improved - Highlight brush that is currently in use.

Watercolor stylization in Nuke

• Improved - Updated stylization pipeline to support the latest changes in MNPRX.

NOVEMBER 2018 UPDATE

MNPRX

MNPR Material

• New - Semi-transparency support added to mnpr_uber material.
• Improved - Shade Override and Shade Wrap attributes can now be used together

PaintFX

• Fixed - Issue of objects appearing white after another object with the same material was being painted.

Watercolor stylization in Nuke

• New - Added sample usage stylizing images rendered with an external renderer e.g., Arnold, Renderman.
• Fixed - Issue where color bleeding was not as strong in Nuke as in Maya.

OCTOBER 2018 UPDATE

MNPRX

Viewport Rendering

New - Tool to batch render any render target (images/gBuffers) out of MNPRX. You can specify the following within the user interface:

• Render targets (images/gBuffers) to save
• Custom output folder
• Frame resolution
• Frame range
• Multiple camera views

The artist can cancel the render at any time and all targets are saved within one pass.

Substrates

• New - Motion-driven substrates (dynamic canvas) that allow for motion coherent substrate-based effects. Activate the Velocity PV attribute in the mnprConfig node to activate it.
• Improved - Controllable substrate tiles through the Substrate Tile attribute.
• New - Smooth/rough transition between tiles by activating the Substrate Tile Blend attribute.
• New - Support for substrate blending between two specified textures with the Substrate Blend attribute.

Watercolor

• Improved - No more Depth Range or Bleeding Threshold attribute required for watercolor effects to behave correctly.

SEPTEMBER 2018 UPDATE

Watercolor stylization in Nuke

New - The watercolor stylization pipeline in The Foundry’s Nuke. This node network allows to recreate the MNPRX watercolor stylization out of render targets exported from Maya.

JULY 2018 UPDATE

MNPRX

Viewport Rendering

• Fixed - Edge artefacts in alpha channel when FXAA was on

Substrates

• Improved - Extended the range of substrates (papers) to use.
• Improved - Substrates can be downloaded from within the shelf RMB on _MNPR_ shelf icon -> Download substrates.