Foundry Sharpens Katana 3.0 with 3Delight Rendering

The Nutjob 2: Nutty by Nature. Image credit: Toonbox Entertainment
The Nutjob 2: Nutty by Nature. Image credit: Toonbox Entertainment

London-based creative software shop Foundry in partnership with Illumination Research will be offering the newly redesigned and Nodal Scene Interface-powered rendering tool 3Delight as a free plug-in for Katana 3.0 interactive renders when it ships this year. The collaboration will further boost efficiency and help artists deliver better, faster and more cost-effective animation and VFX through improved workflows and technology.  The package will be showcased during SIGGRAPH 2017.

“We are very excited to offer Katana 3.0 with 3Delight as an out-of-the-box rendering solution. This provides new users with a ‘download and explore’ experience and our existing users with a very powerful option for their pipelines. Multiverse, 3Delight and Katana combine to offer a complete Maya and Katana pipeline solution. Working with the 3Delight team has been great and we are really impressed how far they have stretched the interactive look development, lighting and rendering experience in Katana,” commented Jordan Thistlewood, Senior Product Manager for Look Development & Lighting at Foundry.

By utilizing NSI, which is both nodal and hierarchical, 3Delight allows for fully interactive live rendering, enhancing the experience of performing look development and lighting tasks. Unique workflows like the plug-in’s light mixer technology allows artists to render final quality images and adjust lighting interactively, while the edits are fed back directly to lights or groups of lights in Katana’s GafferThree lighting tools. The fully OSL-based shading engine is compatible with both Katana and Maya, allowing for the direct transfer of look development files between the DCC apps. The geometry based lighting frees an artist to execute compelling lighting with straightforward real world techniques.

Aghiles Kheffache, CTO for Illumination Research, added: “After two years of development of the NSI architecture, we are excited to bring 3Delight to Katana built entirely on that new state of the art interface/technology. It makes the entire process of scene editing and manipulation fun and efficient, thanks to across the board live rendering.”

The tech was recently used for the CG animated feature The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, produced by ToonBox Entertainment, Gulfstream Pictures and Red Rover International. The family comedy comes out August 11 through Open Road.

“All of Toonbox Entertainment’s projects have been rendered with 3Delight and we have used both proprietary and third-party tools for look development and lighting, but developments at the Foundry, including the high level of integration between Katana and 3Delight have enabled us to bring to bear a whole new level of flexibility and power which we hope to leverage on all of our future projects,” said John Carey, VP of Production & Technology at Toonbox. “This will enable us to do better work faster while consuming fewer resources. Yes, it is faster, better AND cheaper and that is a pretty compelling combination.”

Key benefits of Katana 3.0 with 3Delight include:

  • Fast, physically based rendering technology with open shading language (OSL) at its core
  • Fully interactive live rendering and a real-time light mixer especially well-suited for Katana’s workflow
  • Material nodes that are 100% compatible with the Maya version
  • Ability to use fur/hair and displacements extensively with negligible impact on performance
  • Better quality rendering with perfectly smooth subdivision surfaces
  • Network caching for efficient network utilization by automatic scene dependency localization
The Nutjob 2: Nutty by Nature. Image credit: Toonbox Entertainment

The Nutjob 2: Nutty by Nature. Image credit: Toonbox Entertainment

The Nutjob 2: Nutty by Nature. Image credit: Toonbox Entertainment

The Nutjob 2: Nutty by Nature. Image credit: Toonbox Entertainment

The Nutjob 2: Nutty by Nature. Image credit: Toonbox Entertainment

The Nutjob 2: Nutty by Nature. Image credit: Toonbox Entertainment

The Nutjob 2: Nutty by Nature. Image credit: Toonbox Entertainment

The Nutjob 2: Nutty by Nature. Image credit: Toonbox Entertainment

The Nutjob 2: Nutty by Nature. Image credit: Toonbox Entertainment

The Nutjob 2: Nutty by Nature. Image credit: Toonbox Entertainment