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What's New in Mari 4
Mari 4 has several new features and feature enhancements in addition to bug fixes. This page documents the new features, and links to the appropriate page of the online help so you can get the information you need to start working with the new features right away. To read about bug fixes and feature enhancements, navigate to a specific release.
Mari now features a workflow for rapid application of material presets that describes the look of a surface in Mari using a new file format containing the information Mari needs to make an area of an asset look like a particular material. See Managing Materials in Mari.
Material Ingest Tool
Mari now features a tool that allows artists to quickly convert any set of texture maps into a Mari material preset. See Creating Materials with the Material Ingest Tool.
Mari now features a new type of layer that applies a Material file to a project through a simple and familiar layering workflow, which is more compatible with artists that are more familiar with Photoshop than with complex 3D programs. See Working with Materials in the Layers Palette.
Improved Node Graph User Experience
• You can now expose node properties of a Group node by clicking the Promote button.
• Multi-Port Batch connection: you can now batch connect sibling output ports to similar sibling input ports.
• Simpler methods to access a Group node subgraph have been added.
To enter a Group node, Ctrl+double-click the Group node to open its subgraph. Alternatively, select the Group node and press Ctrl+Enter or in the Node Properties palette, click the S button.
• Group nodes now support more than one output.
Multi-Channel Group Layers
Mari now features a Group layer type that spans multiple painting Channels. See Multi-Channel Layer Workflow Rules.
Arnold Standard Surface Shader
Mari now features an approximation of the Arnold Standard Surface vendor shader. See Arnold Standard Surface.
Mirror Projection brings highly-requested simultaneous, symmetrical painting workflows to Mari, without the need for specialized UV layouts. Previously, painting the same designs on both sides of a symmetrically formed model required a considerable amount of asset preparation with a lot of repetitive actions. Now, artists can paint on one side of a mirror plane while Mari projects the same paint to the other side of the mirror plane, dramatically increasing artist efficiency.
Mirror masking prevents secondary projected paint overlapping across the mirror plane. The masked side of the mirror plane can change automatically based on the artist's view, or be locked to one side. Ordinarily, mirror-projected paint would overlap at the mirror plane where one side meets the other, resulting in an asymmetrical center. By masking the opposite side of the mirror plane for each projection, the paint meets at the mirror plane with a perfectly reflected edge.
The mirror plane can also be locked onto an object or locator, allowing the reflected edge of the mirror projection to be manipulated to the best symmetrical position and orientation. Ordinarily, to paint a model symmetrically, the artist first has to ensure it’s correctly aligned to the center of the scene. The ability to manipulate the mirror plane gives the artist full freedom on where the symmetrical paint will fall, without any prep in other applications beforehand, increasing artist efficiency and creative control.
Note: For more information, see Mirror Projection.
Simplified Color Picking
Mari now uses a single OCIO color-picking colorspace to define all saved colors and color-picking tool colorspaces. This achieves a 'what you see is what you get' workflow when managing your chosen colors.
Simplified View Transform
The Colorspace toolbar has been refreshed and renamed to the View Transform toolbar. Labels have been replaced with tooltips, controls have been combined, and there is now a visual indicator of the data type being viewed. See View Transform Toolbar .
Note: The Color Manager (Viewer Transform) palette is deprecated and will be removed in a future release.
Channel Property Indicators
Mari now contains visual indicators in the Channels palette, to define whether a channel contains color or scalar data and to display the channel's bit-depth. This lets you manage channel configurations at a glance. See Channels Palette.
See Color Data and Scalar Data for more information.
OCIO Colorspace Filter
Mari now contains the OCIO Colorspace filter. This allows you to convert paint target and buffer's colors to another colorspace within the currently loaded OCIO config, without affecting any channel settings. See Filter Functions.
General Color Performance
Mari's colorspace processing has been optimized. This results in faster project load times.
Accelerated Procedural Layer Color Management
The existing GPU accelerated color management system has been extended for paint data to work with procedurals as well.
Perceptually Linear Scalar Display
A new scalar monitor colorspace has been added to the View Transform allowing artists to view scalar data perceptually linear. For example, in a scalar channel a linear ramp now appears in a similar fashion as other 8-bit based imaging applications, rather than displaying the raw data like Nuke does. The information as used by Mari is still in the expected data format, providing the best results with the most artist-friendly workflow.
Scalar Toggle for Color Attributes in Procedurals
In Procedurals that include color attributes, the color controls contain a toggle that sets the context in which the procedural effect is to be used for Scalar or Color data. By default, Mari detects the channel's color data type and sets the toggle accordingly for layers created through the Layers palette. For Procedural nodes created through the Node graph, this color/scalar toggle defaults to color. Procedural nodes that are to be used within masks and scalar channels have to be set to scalar manually. See Color Data and Scalar Data for more information.
OCIO Role Driven Project Colorspace Defaults
Mari now recognizes and uses new OCIO role names to configure the project's colorspace defaults. For full details of roles and targets, please refer to Project Settings Dialog.
Selection Groups Preserved Between Object Versions
When a new object version is added, Mari now attempts to match selection group's membership across to the new version. This allows you to define selection groups once and have them applied across all subsequent object versions. See Adding and Removing Object Versions.
Non-Active Selection Group Indication
Selection Groups containing selection members that are not present in any active object versions now show as gray in the Selection Groups palette. See Adding and Removing Object Versions.
The New Project Dialog layout has been refreshed with new tabs for setting up the initial project lighting. When using channel presets, Mari now automatically builds a shader and connects the created channels to the corresponding Node Graph shader inputs.
A new Export Manager Dialog for managing the batch exporting of channels and Bake Point nodes has been implemented. You can now configure and manage multiple export targets from the same source, as well as perform format conversions during export.
A new Palettes toolbar that contains a button for each of Mari's palettes has been introduced. This allows for quick and easy access to your palettes. See Configuring Your Workspace.
With so many tools stacked in a toolbar, on some systems they would not all fit on screen. Mari's tools of similar function have been grouped under a single button in the Tools toolbar. See Toolbars.
Node Graph's Advanced Mode
Having the full Node Graph locked away behind a preference was an obstacle. So the basic Node Graph mode has been removed and the Advanced mode is now standard. This unlocks the full Node Graph in Non-Commercial too. See Node Graph.
Texture Sets Palette
There is now a palette for managing texture sets inside of Mari. You can drag-and-drop to load multiple related images, texture sets, into the Image Manager in a single action. The first supported texture sets are from Megascans with a dedicated tab that can browse through the keywords and tags that come with each downloaded library item. See Texture Sets Palette.
The HUD has been updated to match Modo’s style. Various control palettes have been merged and tools have been grouped together to declutter the UI. The Projection palette has been merged with the Painting Palette and the Brush Editor palette has been removed. To create custom brushes in Mari 4.0, adjust the brush properties in the Tool Properties Palette. Then drag the new brush preview from the toolbar to your shelf for later use. See Configuring Brushes.
Drag and Drop Fill Mechanism
A drag-and-drop triggered mechanism can now be used to fill your current item selection with the color being dropped. The fill works across all selection modes (Object, Patch, and Face). When using the Marquee Select tool, dragging a color to the canvas fills the selected area of the paint buffer. See Selection Functions.
Color and Control Precision
The Colors Palette is now scalable for better precision, and the component sliders have been improved to show the resulting color at each point along the control. You can now adjust numerical values with your keyboard and mouse wheel as you would in Nuke. See Changing Numerical Values.
Group Layer Workflow
The Layers Palette is now more intuitive when working with Group layers. Creating new Group layers, with layers selected, now groups those layers inside the new Group Layer. Creating new layers when a Group Layer is selected, adds those new layers to the selected Group Layer. See Groups, Pass-Through, and Mask Stacks.
A curve attribute now displays as a grayscale gradient in Mari's properties panels and a separate, scalable curve editor window displays to allow for precise editing.
Mari now contains a new shader, which is based on the 2012 paper from Brent Burley of Walt Disney Animation Studios, describing a BRDF shader that follows a set of principles to make BRDF shader control more intuitive, less complex, and artist friendly. See Principled BRDF .
The latest features from OpenSubdiv, including scheme choice, geometry, and UV boundary interpolation methods have been added. Mari now matches renderer mesh subdivision more closely, increasing efficiency when painting. See Subdividing Objects.
VFX Platform 2017
Extended Source Grade
The source grade mechanism has been extended to match the grading controls available in the grade adjustment layer.
You can now maximize/minimize any palette by pressing the spacebar while the pointer is hovered over the palette. This allows you to easily focus on a single palette.
Mari Per-Version User Preferences
Mari's user preference files are now saved with the application version embedded in the file names. This allows you to switch between different versions of Mari without the danger of corrupting the UI layout or preferences.