We are pleased to announce the release of Maverick Studio/Indie 2022.5. This one has taken a bit longer than previous releases, but for a good reason: Maverick 2022.5 packs a new proprietary ray-tracing system to provide virtually unlimited detail at no warmup or memory cost.
We have called it:
Micro-Patch Displacement Mapping (a.k.a., MPDM) is a drop-in replacement for our old brute-force displacement system that works pretty much like the old one, workflow-wise, but…
Uses up nearly ZERO memory.
Is instantaneous (nearly no warm-up).
ALWAYS pulls exactly ALL the detail present in the input height texture.
Those three are killer assertions. 🙂
Without getting lost in deep technical details, the classic brute-force approach simply subdivides in warm-up time the (coarse) base surface more and more and then displaces the resulting vertices of the (finer) subdivided geometry, sampling the input texture at each vertex.
This poses two basic problems. The first is that the subdivided geometry is actual geometry, so a large surface with fine detail may easily generate millions of triangles and burst the available memory. The second is that the input texture is sampled at the vertices of the subdivided geometry, which may either undershoot or overshoot the input texels, and in any case, be generally misaligned with them. In simpler terms: this all implies huge memory usage, heavy warm-up times, and not always good quality.
On the other hand, our Micro-Patch Displacement happens in ray-tracing time. This means that there is virtually no warm-up, as the displaced geometry never exists in memory (hence it can be regarded as virtual geometry). As the ray approaches the surface, each triangle in the base mesh is extruded in memory by each texel of the input height texture. Each extruded texel then becomes a tiny bilinear patch that only exists in memory and only during ray-tracing time. These micro-patches are the ones that are used for ray intersection.
There are many delicate details to the implementation of this idea, but the results definitely deliver, as shown in the images and video-tutorial below:
The base geometry in these two examples was a simple (1-quad) plane. Amazing! Isn’t it?
It is important to remark that every single texel in the input texture ends up becoming a displaced micro-patch in this new system. No matter what the resolution of the input texture is, and no matter what characteristics the base mesh has.
This image illustrates what happens when the input texture increases in resolution. An Adobe Substance SBSAR file was used here, changing the resampling resolution from 512px to 4096px.
Since now there are no limitations to the texture, mesh, or overall surface you can use displacement on, it is true that Maverick can deliver an exquisite, virtually infinite level of detail:
This is an achievement we’re extremely proud of, and are eager to see what you create with it. 🙂
To wrap up this introduction, here’s the video-tutorial we have recorded for the new Micro-Patch Displacement system:
Ever since the days of Arion/ArionFX, and now Maverick, we have taken a point of pride in our physically-based bloom & glare and lens effects toolchain.
In this build we have raised the bar a little higher by making some major improvements:
Better memory management (up to 8K).
Guarantee the same results given the same settings regardless of resolution (not trivial).
Addition of many new controls (temperature, diffraction fringe, diffraction ringing, …).
Addition of new control map slots (aperture, obstacle, dirt, pattern, …).
Addition of a new procedural glare map for higher artistic control.
This animation depicts some of those new features in this nixie meter model.
This is another example with a lightbulb with its filament modeled with real geometry.
As usual with new features, we have added a new category in the Library with plenty of maps for Lens aperture, Lens obstacle, Lens dirt, and Glare pattern.
And here’s the video-tutorial for the improvements in the Bloom & Glare system:
One major point of friction for our users has proven to be outdated GPU drivers. GPU technology is evolving at a break-neck pace, and there are new drivers every few weeks and new CUDA/OptiX APIs every few months. This leaves software builds some times stranded unless updated drivers are installed.
We have decided to be much more visual about this issue by creating a completely separate START PAGE that welcomes you when you open Maverick now.
The start page is shown before any render (any real use of the GPU) is made. The start page displays relevant information, but very in particular, TURNS RED at the bottom with a warning about outdated GPU drivers, and provides a direct link to https://nvidia.com/drivers/ for you to update your system if necessary.
Besides this, the start page is a great opportunity to give a proper layout to these other items:
Most Recently Used scenes.
Our sample scenes.
Most Recently posted video-tutorials.
Most Recently posted blog posts, such as this one.
Here’s a quick video with an introduction of the new Start Page:
We expect the next release to not take as long as this one. The new virtually unlimited geometry door that has been open by MPDM will bring some new surprises, hopefully very soon. 🙂