Maxwell V4 & Rhino for Mac

Cool news! Maxwell V4 supports Rhino for Mac. Anyone knows if it can work with renderslaves over a network CPU & GPU?


Does anyone knows if this upcoming version is a full features plugin? or just a something that will sort of connect R4M with Maxwell Studio…
I thought it was stated by the Mcneel Dev. that the RDK will only be available for R4M in V6

with thanks

Not sure how you define that one.

The announcement says

[…] providing you with a great workflow via live-linking between Rhino and Maxwell Studio […]

which would seem to indicate an automated connection between Rhino and Studio but it also says
[…] includes the entire suite of Maxwell tools (FIRE, […]

FIRE is the live render preview that opens a floating window in Rhino and will pan and zoom as in the active viewport.

In Maxwell’s case, the RDK isn’t an issue - Maxwell pre-dates the RDK.

  • Andy

Thank you very much Wim
as a R4M user, the only knowledge i have on rendering engines is from reading in this forum. hence the sort of broad definitions in my questioning.
reading here it appears Maxwell is regarded as one of the high quality engines for photorealistic rendering.

more specific questions + defining my rendering needs:

  1. It for small jewellery scenes [like a ring on an hand prop] but with very very small, yet large amount of details.

  2. Needed to achieve [and show costumers] extremely subtle variation in for example: nature coloured diamonds where slight differences in tone [and other factors] are very [extremely] big in $

  3. Also to be able to represent well, the subtleties of costume gold alloys i use

  4. the Maxwell Fire sound very important, is it similar to what is now the Raytace Cycle view mode in the Win Rhino V6

  5. Will my Late 2013 MBP manage to handle rendering load, i know it is limited compare to the systems most users here render on.

with best regards

Thank yo Andy
I don’t really understand what it means "Maxwell pre-dates the RDK"
would you kindly be willing to explain this a little.

with thanks

As for 1, 2, 3, and 5. The best way to find out if a renderer will do what you would like it to do is to download a trial version and test it with a typical file.

As for Maxwell FIRE, it is a bit similar but the rendering doesn’t take place in a Rhino viewport but in a separate floating window. That window itself is not interactive - you cannot pan and zoom in that window - but if follows the camera of the active viewport.

Hi Wim
thank you for explaining about Maxwell Fire, it sounds very important for the design development process.
With the Demo installed. it looks like it will necessitate to give it a large chunk of time to learn how to use, all before i could actually test if it is suitable for my rendering needs. [the demo is the studio only as the announced R4M plugin is upcoming for the next version only. this is why i asked the previous questions, hoping for feedback from experienced Maxwell [or other engines] users. With my rendering needs seems to me pretty much high-end in complexity and not something a beginner can expect to achieve in the limited time until the Maxwell announced 30% discount promo expires on the 5th of Sep. [i’m told by s reseler]

*not directly related, It was surprising to notice that sadly V3 Maxwell studio [at least out of the box] does not seems to support Ratina display [UI is blurred] behaving as if it was an old Win app. superimposed into the Mac environment.
this i find very strange… for such an esteemed application.

with thanks

I agree. But to see what the renderer is capable of, you can just look at the gallery. You will need to invest a considerable amount of time to achieve results like that. Your willingness to do so will depend on if this program is something for you or not - and that is a personal thing. So - Test before buying!

I am not seeing the Maxwell for Rhino under Windows.

have found video of 2016 maxwell presentation on octane forum

Be prepared for disappointment (well, I was). No FIRE. No GPU on Mac (they claim it is because Macs don’t have Nvidia cards). Material handing is a bolted on workaround.

However, it does save you a little time over the previous workflow, but I suspect that I may end up staying with the old way of doing things. Unsure yet after only playing with it for an hour.

Bottom marks to Next Limit for offering a free upgrade to V4 if you rushed out and purchased V3 at a 30% discount. You would have saved money skipping V3 as V4 is cheaper than the discounted V3 (depending on the options chosen).

You also now only get a single plug in though, so pick carefully.

However, the Studio interface has been reorganised a bit. Still very familiar, but laid out better so there is more room to move on a normal screen. Also some new features, but the drawcard features are more a misfire.

But look upon it as a beta release with things improving over time. Don’t hang around waiting for Mac GPU support anytime this decade though (my opinion).

I am not going to comment on any of the licensing/packaging points, as those are outside my area (I am the plugin’s developer, and happen to be in agreement with you on much of that). Regarding the plugin itself, indeed it is a bit of a stopgap, while we wait for the mac sdk to reach parity with the win sdk (esp. regarding RDK support), apparently in Rhino 6. I have already gone down the road once, of writing a lot of code to work around such missing things, and will wait this time to do things the “official” way. On the other hand, you may or may not have noticed that we start out this time with every parameter being implemented in terms of macro/script, since mac Rhino generates UI for commands. That’s good, but however functional it may be, the UIs are not exactly what I’d call nice when used to this extent, and it would be a mistake to think that custom UIs won’t be written for them.

Beyond this, though writing this plugin did involve wrapping the whole Maxwell sdk (c++) for access via c#, the fact is that RhinoCommon is not the only piece of the puzzle in flux; we have, for some time, been working on a new node-based sdk for Maxwell, which is much more modern and capable, and not weighed down with the baggage of a decade of ad hoc extension (understand, the current one was never designed to accommodate things like Maxwell FIRE, .mxx extensions, etc) and I don’t want to go too far down a dead end in the plugin with the old one. That is a big project, but I look forward to the time when I can build UI automatically in the plugin, and when you can play with Maxwell nodes in Grasshopper… so whatever the initial state of the plugin, those are some of the long-term goals.


And no doubt there are many challenges and you have done good work. The underlying fact remains that I imagine people will be disappointed with the release as it currently exists so I stand by my view.

The flaw was not in the programming, but the marketing. It is undeniable that the marketing description was overstated. The best thing you can do now to prevent disappointment is to realign people’s expectations (which you have just made progress towards).

I have always thought MW to be an amazing piece of software and I enjoy using it for the most part. I suppose you could say that there are similarities between the MW support for Rhino for Mac and Rhino support for Mac itself. The difference is that when I purchased Rhino for Mac, McNeal had lots of warning signs that this was the poor cousin of the Windows version and not to expect to have access to the same toys. Next Limit should have been as honest.

PS On the programming side, I have just now noticed that the environment settings seem partially implemented – if you set the environment type to “none” there is no effect, as well as any scene lights being ignored as far as I can tell.

But I could be wrong about all of this and it is just a setting which I haven’t found.

I confirm this, and will look into it.