Maxwell Render

Maxwell Render


Maxwell Render - 3D Rendering Software for Architects & Designers

Maxwell Render is an unbiased render engine based on the physics of real light and capable of producing incredible photorealistic images.

Because it is based on real physics, Maxwell is both accurate and predictable and scene set-up is straightforward. Simply decide on the required sharpness/quality and adjust the image parameters, just like a real camera.

Maxwell is currently at version 4.1 - this significant update from 4.0 aims to optimise user workflow, decrease rendering times and introduces a powerful Denoiser (by Innobright's Altus). The new features, fixes and improvements in v4.1 include: 

  • Optimized GPU-handling memory – paving the way to Multi-GPU in a future update
  • Maxwell | Multilight™ Standalone V2 – a FREE tool for light management, now with the possibility for animations and more
  • New Lights panel in Maxwell | Studio to play with light intensity
  • New illumination assets in the Library Panel
  • New material compatibility: MERL, X-rite AxF, Real-IES files


Maxwell Render Suite ships with plug-ins for the following modelling software:

  • Rhino3d for Windows
  • Rhino3d for Mac
  • MODO
  • MAYA
  • SketchUp
  • ArchiCAD
  • Revit
  • 3DS Max
  • Cinema 4D
  • Form Z

We offer tailored Maxwell Render Training Classes, please contact us for details

Key Features

Maxwell Render™ Key Features

Quick Setup

Maxwell Render’s approach is based on real-world units and settings, eliminating strange concepts and exhaustive lists of parameters. For example, the settings of the Maxwell Render camera work and adjust just like the settings
of a real camera. Creating and rendering scenes is straightforward, and setup times are extremely low compared to other renderers.

New Maxwell Fire (Fast Interactive Rendering) provides instant results while setting up a scene. Features such as Multilight enable users to edit scenes even after rendering has been completed.


Great Value

A Maxwell Render Suite license not only gives you access to the most realistic renderer on the market; you also get free plug-ins to a wide range of popular 3D and CAD applications (see below for available plug-ins) so you can
use Maxwell Render while staying in the comfortable environment of the modeling software you are already familiar with. You will also have access to an online library of 4000 free and ready-to-use materials, skies, and pre-sets, plus hundreds of free tutorials and free support.


Unrivalled Realism

The technology behind Maxwell Render is physically correct and unbiased, enabling users to create materials, set lights and cameras, and render scenes, all in a hyper realistic manner resulting in images that are indistinguishable from photographs. Maxwell Render’s physically correct creations and data can help architects, designers and VFX supervisors understand what lighting inside or outside a building would look like once realized, or what a final product would look like in production. 


Core Features 

Multilight™ and    Color Multilight

The Multilight feature removes the need to re-render images when light changes are required. Multilight™ allows the user to change intensities of individual lights and multiple scene emitters during and after the rendering process, eliminating the need to run various renders to tweak the lighting set up. A recent addition to this is Color Multilight, which enables users to edit the color of emitters in real time. These features give users infinitepossibilities saving numerous different lighting versions of the same scene without rendering it over and over again. The Multilight feature is the firstof its kind in a commercial render engine and it is extremely powerful.


Maxwell    Fire (Fast Interactive Rendering)

See instant results while setting up a scene with truly interactive previews. With Maxwell Fire - our Fast Interactive Rendering technology Users can preview scene lighting and materials in seconds. And unlike other interactive style renderers, Maxwell Fire is compatible with ALL Maxwell materials and features, is entirely CPU based, is no extra cost to the user and is truly interactive being integrated in both Maxwell Studio and plug-ins.


Multi-processor, Multi-platform and Extensive range of Plug-ins

Maxwell Render is compatible with Windows, OSX and Linux in both 32 and 64 bits and can exploit all the processors available on your system. It can run in GUI and command line mode so it can be integrated into virtually any pipeline. The package also includes an SDK in both C++ and Python languages with an editor and examples. The Suite package comes with free plug-ins for seamless integration to over 15 CAD, 3D, and postproduction applications. Maxwell Render means maximum flexibilty to adapt to any environment.


Maxwell Materials

Based on real optical properties, creating unrivaled realism. The Maxwell Material Editor offers real-life parameters that definethe materials in a natural and accurate way. It is possible to create Sub-Surface Scattering effects (see below), thin layers, light-emitting materials and advanced stacked materials.A material in Maxwell Render can consist of several components, one stacked above the other much like layers in an image editing application. This makes it very easy and intuitive to create interesting and complex materials, such as a rust material showing through a car paint material, or applying a logo on top of a combination of different materials. A large library with thousands of free, ready-to-use materials is also available.


Referenced Objects and Materials

Maxwell Render Suite includes geometry proxies support (referenced MXS’s), and so now it’s possible to replace one mesh with another during render process (before voxelization) - dramatically reducing export times. Support for referenced materials has also been added. 


Hair Rendering

Maxwell Render Suite includes a procedural primitive for rendering hair- compatible with the most popular hair systems (Shave & Haircut, Maya Hair, Max Hair, Ornatrix, Cinema Hair). The fibersare created at render time which means the rendering is much more efficientwithout needing to convert anything to polygons. Each fiberis not just a flatribbon but has a real volume allowing you to assign also transparent/translucent materials to the fibers or very realistic effects.


Particle Rendering

You can now render particles in Maxwell Render using the procedural primitive for particles. This procedural geometry is compatible with the most popular particle systems (RealFlow particles, Maya particles, 3dsMax).



In high-end productions, it is often necessary to distribute a render job over a number of machines in a farm to quickly obtain all the frames needed for a sequence or to calculate a very large image. Maxwell Render’s networking capabilities are very powerful (more computers equals more speed in a very linear way), very stable, and very flexible- networking is multi-platform allowing a mixture of Windows, Mac and Linux systems to be connected together.

The software’s wizard system makes setting up a network job a straightforward task. With networking, you can tell Maxwell to render the same image on all your computers (cooperative rendering), or each computer can render one frame of an animation.


Physical Sky System

The Physical Sky system in Maxwell Render uses a novel approach, offering a wide range of real-life and physically correct parameters to control the look of the sky and the subsequent lighting in the scene. Results range from common Earth values to exaggerated fantasy skies. Users can create pre-sets of sky settings to quickly load a new sky, or share their pre-sets with other users. It’s also possible to save the current sky as an HDR map.


Realistic Camera Model

Maxwell Render simulates a real camera with  the associated parameters, such as f-stop, focal length, shutterspeed, etc. By using this type of camera model Maxwell Render can automatically simulate depth of field,natural 3d motion blur, and other effects. With Maxwell Render’s camera model, it is very straightforward to match the lighting levels of a real photo with a render If you are familiar with photography you will feel right at home!


Sub-Surface Scattering (SSS)

Sub-Surface Scattering (SSS) simulates the effect of light entering a translucent object and scattering inside it. It is a crucial component that allows users to accurately simulate many kinds of materials including plastics, marble, milk and skin. Subsurface scattering has a special mode which can handle single-sided geometry. This mode is very suitable for leaves, lampshades, paper, and curtains amongst others. The new Thin SSS mode also has the advantage of rendering faster than normal subsurface scattering. The SSS component in Maxwell Render follows an entirely new approach compared to any other SSS system currently available, offering unprecedented, photorealistic effects in material creation.


Motion Blur

The motion blur feature can be set for both a still camera and video camera, accurately creating the blur effects associated with overly fast movement. It is now possible to have virtually unlimited motion blur steps. Effects such as light trails during long exposures are now easy to create and a moving emitter will influence the llumination in the scene along its entire exposure time just like in the real world.


Maxwell Displacement

Displacement is a powerful texture-driven tool that can help users to create real geometric detail on objects on-the-flywhile rendering or pre-tessellated before the render starts. As opposed to many other displacement solutions currently available in the industry, Maxwell Render offers you its very own, unique displacement technology which is capable of simulating any detail without extra memory consumption. In addition, Maxwell Displacement has very few parameters and is very comfortable to control.



Advanced bloom and glare controls that bring a new level of realism and quality.Simulens allows the user to definea pattern to simulate the shape of the camera diaphragm that will model the pattern of light reaching the camera flm, creating realistic lens diffraction effects (glare). Users can add a second pattern which defines‘obstacles’ in the lens such as dust, fingerprints or eelashes adding to a more realistic diffraction effect.


Maxwell Render and RealFlow

Advanced integration with RealFlow - a new smart workflowwhich allows you to handle RealFlow output and generate both meshes and particles in render time, saving precious disk space and greatly reducing export times. The following extensions have been added:

  • Maxwell particles: A particle loader that converts .bin particles generated in RealFlow to Procedural spheres in render.
  • Maxwell    mesher: Particle loader and Mesh loader which converts .bin particles and .bin meshes produced by RealFlow to a triangle mesh to render.
  • Maxwell    cloner: An instancer that uses .BIN particles and an object in the scene to place instances of the object on each point of the BIN cloud.
  • RF_meshes: A geometry loader that loads .BIN mesh generated in RealFlow to render.
  • RW_meshes: A geometry loader that loads an SD produced by RealWave to render.


Cross Platform

Maxwell Render™ can exploit all the processors available on your system, and is a cross-platform solution available for Windows™ 32 and 64 bits, Mac OSX ™ and Linux™ platforms. 

Maxwell Render™ connects via plugins to the major 3D design and CAD applications like 3ds Max™, Viz™, Maya™, LightWave™, Rhinoceros™, SolidWorks™, Archicad™, CINEMA 4D™, form•Z™, and SketchUp™ Pro.

Technical Details

Technical Details / System Requirements:

Maxwell Render is a standalone product for Windows, Mac or Linux.  Optionally you can install a plug-in for Rhino3d that gives you access to a lot of the Maxwell Render functionality from within Rhino itself.  System requirements for the Maxwell Render for Rhino3d plug-in would be the same as detailed here:

Rhino3d System Requirements

The Maxwell for Rhino plugin runs on all versions of Rhino above Rhino 4 SR5. This includes Rhino 5 for Windows 32 & 64bit


The minimum system requirements for Maxwell Render V3 as a standalone product are as follows:

Windows (32 and 64)

  • Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows 8
  • 2 GHz Intel® Core2 processor, AMD Athlon 64 or better
  • 1GB RAM minimum. 4 GB of RAM memory is highly recommended
  • 400 MB available hard disk space for installation
  • Accelerated OpenGL drivers
  • 3 button mouse recommended



  • Mac OSX 10.7, 10.8 and 10.9  
  • 1 GB RAM minimum. 4 GB of RAM memory is highly recommended
  • 400 MB available hard disk space for installation
  • 3 button mouse recommended


Linux 64

  • x86_64 distribution with a 2.6 Kernel and glibc 2.5
  • Tested in Debian GNU/Linux 7 (wheezy), Fedora Core release 6 (Zod), CentOS release 6.5 (Final), Ubuntu precise (12.04.2 LTS)
  • 2 GHz Intel® Core®2, AMD Athlon 64 or better
  • 1 GB RAM minimum. 4 GB of RAM memory is highly recommended
  • 400 MB available hard disk space for installation
  • 3 button mouse recommended


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  • Last modified on Thursday, 06 July 2017 10:49
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