Let’s inaugurate the list of releases of 2021 with today’s announcement: the addition of the Ambience Composer panel in Maverick Studio.
The Ambience Composer is a new built-in panel that provides tools to author ambiences in Maverick Studio.
Ambiences in Maverick
As most of you probably know already, an ambience in Maverick is a “preset file” where we store the following entities:
The environment settings (sky/sun, IBL and backplate).
Physical (geometry) lights.
The physical (geometry) room.
A reference of position/orientation/scale so the ambience adapts to your scene when you drop it.
The Library panel displays a list of available ambiences that you can drop on your scene anytime. Dropping a new ambience replaces the current one, effectively swapping the light setup and even the room geometry.
Ambiences have been a cornerstone in Maverick since day 0. And with this new release our intention is to crank their power up to eleven by providing:
A new panel to intuitively manipulate and keep visual track of the ambience entities.
The ability to save your own ambiences to the library for later reuse.
The Ambience Composer panel
The Ambience Composer is a panel where a spherical camera ray-traces the light sources of the scene. This provides a panoramic view of your light setup as seen from the target object.
The Ambience Composer is a new flavor of the Move Tool if you will; one that constrains light movement to pan-tilt orbits around the scene.
When a physical light is created in or dropped to the Ambience Composer, Maverick places it at a reasonable distance from the object. From then on, the light can be moved around in the Ambience Composer surface, which will translate to an orbiting motion around the target object. The light can be pushed further away or pulled in closer with the mouse wheel.
The result is that you can manage lights floating around your 3D model much more comfortably and intuitively than with the classic Move Tool.
The Ambience Composer is linked at all times with the Move Tool and the Normalight Tool, and naturally with the IPR and the views.
What the Ambience Composer IS
The AC is a new tool for intuitive placement of physical (geometry) lights around your 3D model.
The AC works in conjunction with all the pre-existing tools in Maverick (e.g., Move Tool, Normalight Tool, …).
The AC provides a way to archive your ambience in our proprietary .mkamb format for later reuse in other scenes within Maverick.
What the Ambience Composer IS NOT
The AC is not an HDR image painting tool. As a matter of fact the AC does not resort to editing the IBL map in any way.
The AC is not meant to export ambiences authored in Maverick in a format that might be used outside Maverick.
It is important to stress the fact that the Ambience Composer works with physical geometry lights that float around in the scene. This implies considerable benefits over classic HDR painting, such as:
The ambience’s lights are real lights that illuminate the scene for real. They are not positioned at infinity, so they do not just illuminate the object, but also the backdrop, the room, cast shadows behind, etc…
There is no pixel painting involved, so reflections never look pixelated. Our physical lights are mathematically-generated and get raytraced by the engine. In addition, our library features fully procedurally-generated gradients made with built-in Maverick nodes, which means infinite resolution at all times.
This all is best visualized with this animation, where you can see that the lights tracked by the Ambience Composer exist in the scene for real:
Library: procedural lights/environments
We have added some new folders in the Content Library with fully-procedural light gradients and gradient-based environments. We encourage you to use these as a foundation for your own ambiences.
Ability to SAVE ambiences
We have received this request endless times 🙂
Finally, the Ambience Composer features a save button which you can use to write your ambience to an .mkamb file. .mkamb files are recognized natively by our Library, and are accepted by our drag-and-drop system. So you may create your own stock ambiences that then you will be able to reuse in other scenes by simply dragging and dropping them from the library.
Last, but certainly not least, here is a videotutorial that will teach you the basics of the new Ambience Composer:
We encourage you to take a look and then head on to the downloads area to download and install this upgrade.
As always, this new release comes packed with other various fixes and improvements for Maverick Studio and Maverick Indie that you can read about in our changelog.
The product has grown massively since its first release 1 year and a half ago. And we wanted the website to be much more descriptive to new-comers and to better capture the product’s highlights. We accompanied this with a visual re-design and made sure that all the content is current (e.g., FAQ, etc…). We also fixed some inconveniences in the Login/Profile pages reported by our users.
We also made sure to include a new section with a comparison with Maverick Studio and Maverick Indie, as that is a recurring sales question: