Digital design software developer Foundry has released a new 4.5 version of its popular program Mari. The new update introduces a transformative Materials System that allows artists to create high-volume assets faster and more cost-effectively.
Until now, artists would go through a series of manual steps to set up procedural layers across their channels, in order to achieve a material-driven base look for their assets. This new workflow enables artists to rapidly block out the look of an asset using material presets, and achieve the same result with just a few drag-and-drop actions. This way they can use Mari to perfect the initial art direction of an asset in record time.
Mari 4.5 also allows artists to quickly import and use thousands of Physically Based Rendering (PBR) texture sets with the Material Ingest Tool. This creates the presets, sets up the controls, and loads everything into Mari so it’s ready to use, allowing artists to continually grow their material library.
Sharing isolated material set-ups across teams is also easier and reduces the amount of repetitive set-up required, as everything needed to replicate the material gets compressed, along with source images, into a single file. This eliminates the artists’ need to manage multiple files to share a Mari material.
Rory Woodford, Mari’s product manager notes, “This latest release is a game-changer for Mari, as the Materials System creates new possibilities for texturing artists. Mari 4.5 offers the best of both worlds: we are empowering artists to create high-volume assets far more rapidly and cost-effectively, while also giving them access to the beloved package they are used to, to create complex hero assets. Mari 4.5 is part of our ongoing mission to improve the tools that artists depend upon to create increasingly innovative work on shorter schedules.”
Other additions brought by Mari 4.5 are simple layering (artists are able to control the material properties, visibility of each component, and global material visibility, from a single area of the interface for their entire project), material grouping (a group with multi-channel layer behaviors that allows artists to apply adjustments to material streams independently of the rest of the layers in the channel), a new Arnold shader provided by Autodesk and an updated node graph UX that supports multiple output ports for additional arbitrary data streams, unlocking more complex workflows.
Mari 4.5 is available for purchase on Foundry’s website and via accredited resellers.