Today we are releasing our latest release. This one has taken a bit longer than usual because of the huge amount of new features, requests, and fixes that we have included. We will accompany this announcement with some YouTube presentation and tutorial material, and with a mailing that should receive in a while.
For the sake of clarity, an overview of the highlights of this new build will span over the news few blog posts.
Core improvements in shadow catcher & compositing.
New human-written Chinese UI localization.
…and a plethora of usability and performance improvements.
Let’s begin by a completely new feature that is true gold: gradient lights.
Maverick Studio is all about true-to-life product visualization. And as the name itself hints, pitch-perfect and easy-to-use studio product illumination are the main goal of our software. Maverick provides since the beginning some strong tools to create and re-position light objects. But best results are achieved when the actual illumination cast by those panels and spotlights has a shape, such as a softbox, an umbrella, etc… Just like in a real photography studio.
Creating a library of shapes didn’t feel good enough for us. So we decided to go ahead and create an ultra-flexible, fully-customizable procedural node with which you can create the shape of any studio light imaginable. We will get into the map itself in a while. But our presentation video should be descriptive enough for you to understand how much power this new feature brings, in just 60 seconds:
We have carefully crafted 100+ pre-made gradient lights, included in the Maverick Library (under Lighting > Lights). You can browse through them, pick whichever you like, and simply drag-and-drop on the IPR, as shown in the video. What You See Is What You Get, final quality all the way.
However, you may also want to dig deeper into the possibilities of the gradient_light map and create your own shapes. The node provides an interactive gradient (Bezier curve) editor for the profile, and some other parameters to control spread, decay, … and to create light patterns (e.g., rings, arrays, …). All that in true HDR, and with infinite resolution, as the map is entirely procedural.
This is the type of striking product shots that you can create in a matter of… seconds? And we don’t mean render seconds (also!) but, literally, user-time. Watch the videos and see for yourself. 🙂
As explained in the 10-minute video tutorial below, you can create gradient lights directly, or drag-and-drop from the library. You can also create a gradient_light map yourself and then apply it to the emission color map of an existing light:
Our old regular gradient node has been superseded by a newer version, based on code inherited by gradient_light. This (regular) gradient node is not suitable for lights, as it is not HDR and it lacks extended controls. But is suitable for transitions between colors and any other common uses of A-to-B color/map texturing.
Note that regular gradients are common to both Maverick Studio and Maverick Indie, while gradient_lights are exclusive to Maverick Studio.