LONDON — Foundry (foundry.com) has released Mari 4.6, which features improvements to its recently-introduced material system. Mari is Foundry's 3D painting and texturing tool. The new release offers an extensive range of procedural patterns and filters that bolster artists arsenal for procedural workflows and introduces vendor shader collaborations with 3Delight and VRay.
Geo-Channels seamlessly integrate into the materials system, allowing for material looks to be driven by mesh maps, like curvature and ambient occlusion. Mari 4.6 offers a cleaner, more efficient navigation in the node graph. Working with nodes is easier with three varying states of collapse for all nodes, which are now matched in design with the Katana network material UI. A new mode for material nodes represents all parallel streams as one connection. Finally, improved node auto-placement creates artist-friendly layouts of complex node networks.
By collaborating with teams at 3Delight and VRay, artists can now get closer approximations for their renders in Mari due to matching GLSL shaders. Having already introduced the Arnold shader from the Autodesk team in Mari 4.5, Foundry is continuing third-party collaborations with a Mari version of the Renderman PxrSurface shader in their latest release.
Additional improvements in Mari 4.6 include customizable material file icons and extensions to the material ingestion tool, allowing for more artist customization and extensive automation of the material creation process.
“With our latest Mari release, we’ve been working on improving our recently-introduced Materials System, making sure it’s the best fit for artists and the pipelines they use,” says Rory Woodford, product manager for Mari. “They can expect a quicker, slicker experience, thanks to improvements to the node graph, plus a whole variety of new procedural patterns and filters. We will continue to make Mari the one 3D painting package that strives to answer the needs of complexity and volume, procedural and handcrafted responding to the ever evolving needs of VFX and animation.”