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Katana 3.5 View Release Notes

core performance

Core performance 2-30x faster

In 3.5, we’ve rewritten Katana’s engine in collaboration with Intel to improve core performance and speed, making an already formidable tool 2-30x* faster for many operations, but especially when handing over information to a rendering plugin. The result: drastically reduced time to first pixel so artists can achieve high-quality results faster. This engine overhaul also brings improvements in incumbent hardware, allowing for farm utilization to scale up with the most recent advancements of server CPUs, whilst future-proofing any other advancements in the CPU space.

*As tested during development on a Dual-socket Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2667 v4, 3.20GHz with a total of 16 logical cores (32 threads); memory: 64 GB RAM; OS: Linux CentOS 7.66.1810.

Improved rendered image refresh rate

Improved rendered image refresh rate

Improvements to the performance of Katana’s display of rendered pixels means that Katana 3.5 now shows rendered images in its Monitor or Monitor Layer just as fast as a renderer plugin can make them. Artists no longer have to choose between functionality and viewing speed, since they’re neatly tied together in this latest release.

New Monitor Layer

New Monitor Layer

Katana’s new Monitor Layer brings artists closer to their work by allowing them to interact with ray traced renders directly in the viewer. With the image and the tools needed to manipulate it now in the same place, artists have a more streamlined, holistic experience. Katana’s Monitor Layer is 100% compatible with all existing renderer plugins and does not require a USD pipeline. This workflow also comes with a performance boost, with drastic improvements to refresh rates of large images with or without large numbers of AOVs.

shading group

Network Material Create Improvements

Improvements to Katana’s Shading Group mechanism allow artists to make customized shading groups with user defined input and output connections that form the parameter interface. Shading Groups can be whole materials or regularly utilised blocks of shading nodes. Simple workflows allow selected nodes to turn into Shading Groups via a hotkey, both in large numbers, and with better interactivity.

USD nodes

USD Import nodes based on USD 19.11

Katana 3.5 includes integration with a Foundry-supported, renderer agnostic set of USD tools, allowing studios to set up, experiment and build powerful USD production pipelines with less development effort. Our aim is to open source the USD plugin source code and manage pull requests as part of our larger open source plans, so studios and artists can integrate a customized USD into their pipeline.

USD Update

Core USD updated to USD 19.11

As part of our ongoing commitment to USD, Katana 3.5 features the most recent USD source code so artists and studios can use the latest version of Maya plugins, Houdini 18 and Katana together in one pipeline for seamless cross-software collaboration.

Katana 3.2 View Release Notes

UX improvements

New Network Materials UX

Katana 3.2 brings a totally revamped material node graph system inside the Network Material Create Node, providing elegant organization for artists and teams. Shading nodes now have a new artist-focused design with a fully exposed, left-to-right workflow. It’s far easier to see everything, with all possible outputs at your fingertips, and different views are available, allowing you to expand or decrease the level of detail displayed at any one time. New Shading Group nodes allow for the clean organization of a complex network: put together a series of shading nodes and the Shading Group effectively becomes its own self-contained widget, which can be connected and applied to multiple nodes.


3Delight NSI 1.5

3Delight NSI in Katana 3.2 has seen a number of exciting updates. SSS in 3Delight NSI has been improved to use the Random Walk method delivering incredible results. A powerful new workflow allows artists to render from multiple cameras at the same time in a few clicks. For artists engaged in look development of an environment, being able to judge choices from all important camera angles at the same time is a game changer. Also, displacement maps can be used with the Principled shader directly, saving time. Hair and fur shader improvements result in excellent aesthetics. The 3Delight rendering plug-in is now multithreaded by default, with scene export times improved between 30% to 400%, and instance and VDB Volume rendering memory footprints improved by as much as 8x.

USD Hydra Upgraded

Viewer Upgraded to USD 19.05

As part of our ongoing commitment to USD, we’ve upgraded the underlying technology used for our Hydra-powered viewport. Katana’s use of Hydra has been updated to USD 19.05, introducing the ability to use the render delegate system in their pipeline.