3Delight for Katana.

Katana ships with cutting-edge rendering engine, 3Delight NSI. It’s super-easy to get up and running: simply install it at the same time as you install Katana.

Interactive renders are free with Katana, and batch rendering licenses can be purchased separately.

Focused on artists Katana 3.0

Artist-first user experience

Lighting is a creative endeavour that transcends computer graphics and rendering is a technical process specific to computer graphics. The quality of the user experience is the difference between feeling like an artist or a computer technician. 3Delight NSI puts the artist first with a simpler set of controls and elegant workflows without sacrificing power and speed. Freeing artists to make intuitive choices supporting their primary goal: the artwork.

Incredible Live Rendering

Live rendering in Katana with 3Delight NSI is a liberating experience. Changes to almost all aspects of global controls, scene content, lights, cameras, geometry, surface and displacement shaders, update quickly during a live render. Start a live render session and just work.

Simplified Global Controls

Overall render quality and speed is controlled by two decoupled parameters: Samples and Pixel Samples. Stop losing valuable time tweaking global and per object settings to solve render quality or speed problems. 3Delight NSI intelligently manages all per ray type samples, leaving the artist more time to focus on lighting.

Art Direction Focused Control Parameters

Art direction needs and the design of modern physically correct ray tracing, don’t always combine into artist friendly controls. With 3Delight NSI, complex physical phenomena like volumes have WYSIWYG art directable parameters for transparency and scattering, yet utilize physically correct maths to provide the best of both worlds.

Multi-light - Light Mixing

In 3Delight Display, a lighting artist can click and drag on top of an image to rebalance light intensities and colours of individual lights or groups of lights. All edits are fed back to the GafferThree nodes in Katana so changes are captured at the source. This workflow is a complement to live renders as the images can be at final high resolution quality, creating a rich collaborative workflow between artists, art directors and clients.

Multi-Camera - Simultaneous viewpoint rendering

3Delight NSI supports artists tasked with complex look development, lighting design and stereoscopic production tasks in Katana with the powerful ability to render from multiple cameras at the same time with just a few clicks. Supporting live, preview or batch renders, the same system can support everything from simple stereoscopic renders to look development of an environment from all required angles at the same time.

Artist-Friendly Render Viewer

3Delight Display is the dedicated render viewer that comes with 3Delight NSI. With contact sheet style AOV displays, OCIO color management and 4K playback, it’s a robust tool in it’s own right. 3Delight Display is a key component in the Light Mixing and Multi-camera workflows.

Powerful lighting tools Katana 3.0

Powerful lighting tools

3Delight for Katana has a range of lighting tools that provide a multitude of options for lighting artists. All lights and objects with incandescence utilize the same light sampling technology. Therefore no single lighting tool has limitations of noise, speed, or quality relative to the others.

Typical Lights (Area, Spot, Point and Distant)

3Delight comes with basic lighting tools like distant, point, spot and area lights. The area light contains multiple shape options of square, disc, sphere, and cylinder which can be changed during live renders. The spot light has barn doors built-in and the point light can be modified to cast physically accurate hard or soft shadows.

Powerful Mesh-Based Lighting Tools (Mesh and Incandescent)

The Mesh light takes any polygon or subdivision model and turns it into a light source. This is the go-to tool when standard area light shapes don’t match art direction needs. The Incandescent light controls a scene objects incandescence, even if it’s mapped with textures. CEL statements allow control of complex arrays of objects from one light. The Incandescent light can be used with VDB volumes to illuminate a scene from things like fire and explosions.

Flexible Image Based Lighting Options (Sky and Environment)

3Delight NSI provides two powerful options for light contributions from environment-based sources. The Sky light is based on the Hosek-Wilkie model to provide analytical recreations of environment illumination with simple artist controls. The Environment light uses HDRIs for customized accurate scene lighting. Both utilise the advanced 3Delight NSI HDRI sampling technology, providing fast renders, accurate scene shadows, and removing the need for any blurring, or use of lower resolution images.

Light Filters

3Delight NSI for Katana has a simple set of light filters that are a balance of artistic freedom, performance and quality. The Decay light filter allows an artist to customize the intensity falloff of the light from the source to its first bounce, with subsequent bounces following the rules of physics. This minimizes the sampling artifacts of other intensity modification techniques. The Gobo light filter allows an artist to control the output of their light by the use of LDR or HDR slidemaps.

3Delight engine Katana 3.0

Supercharged rendering engine

The 3Delight NSI render engine has been fine-tuned for superfast rendering of subsurface scattering, volumes, atmosphere, displacement, hair, depth of field, motion blur and other complex production challenges. A custom, system-level texture memory management system facilitates efficient renders even with large texture datasets. Built to scale linearly by core, you can maximize your hardware investments. Or leverage the 3Delight Cloud system and render with 1000s of cores.

Unified Sampling

The 3Delight NSI is built on top of an intelligent unified sampling approach. This enables artist friendly controls like a single sampling control to all the shading elements: BRDFs, lights and environments. Using 3Delight NSI, an artist spends less time fine-tuning technical settings and more time being creative.

Powerful Light Sampling

3Delight NSI has a unique, rapidly converging light sampling algorithm that allows you to render large amounts of light sources (hundreds of thousands) efficiently. All light sources in 3Delight NSI share this sampling approach. Therefore the relative cost of each light type is consistent, giving freedom of choice to the artist.

HDR Image Sampling

3Delight NSI's HDRI sampling algorithms converge extremely fast and the pre-blurring of textures is not required. Illumination and shadow qualities align with the size and intensity of the HDRI content. Quality HDRI captures directly translate to quality illumination.

Instancing and Modest Memory Footprint

Rendering very large scenes utilising instances is a fundamental part of 3Delight NSI’s architecture design. Render start-up times are fast and memory footprints are low. Both instance source and instance ID based workflows are supported.

Atmosphere and Volumes

3Delight NSI has fast and robust support for Atmosphere and Volume shaders, with all adjustments fully supported in a live render. VDB Volumes can light a scene via their incandescence or by using the Incandescent light in the GafferThree.

Modern Subsurface Scattering

3Delight NSI as of version 1.5.5 uses Random Walk SSS. Three simple controls are all that artists need to create stunning Subsurface Scattering effects. Older Dipole SSS is supported for legacy projects if needed.

3Delight and Katana 3.0 pipeline

Pipeline strength

3Delight NSI combined with Katana is a powerful toolset for your production pipeline. The plugin provides workflows that focus on an efficient import of scene data in multiple formats, full and robust OSL support, and efficient collaboration with the compositing department.

Deep EXRs and Cryptomatte AOVs

3Delight NSI has an easy two-click setup to enable deep renders. 3Delight NSI for Katana can export Geometry ID, Scene Path ID, and Surface Shader ID in EXR or Cryptomatte ready EXR files.

Prelit Material compositing AOVs

3Delight NSI supports the modern workflow of Prelit Materials, instead of older methods of Shadow Mattes, which are not GI aware. Resulting in special AOVs where values below 1 control shadows, and values above 1 control bounce of CG objects onto match-moved VFX elements. This technique provides a modern approach for compositors to finesse the integration of CG elements into vfx plates with less work.

Shaders UIs created from from OSL Metadata

3Delight NSI is 100% OSL powered including all patterns and shaders. The display of the shading parameter interfaces in Katana is automatically driven by the OSL meta-data. Implement your own full shaders, closures, or patterns and use them in either Katana, Houdini or Maya.

NSI Archives

Some workflows in Maya or Houdini do not have an easy path for transport to tools like Katana. The 3Delight NSI Archive is a renderer ready archive format, and the simplest way to transfer complex setups, like Maya Mash to Katana for rendering when they do not transport easily through common open source data formats.

Xgen and Yeti

3Delight NSI for Katana has dedicated Xgen and Yeti nodes, as these are very common tools for scattering objects or and hair/fur. The Yeti node allows for interaction with the cache settings to modify the results on a per sequence or shot basis. The Xgen node allows for the loading, display and rendering of assets generated through Maya’s Xgen toolset.

Modern architecture with Nodal Scene Interface

New modern architecture

Nodal Scene Interface (NSI) is the API that powers 3Delight NSI for both local and cloud rendering. NSI is a nodal and hierarchical scene description, allowing 3Delight NSI to be incredibly nimble during live rendering, flexible for production needs, quick to develop for and highly adaptable for many DCC programs. An introduction to the NSI API can be found below.

Explore NSI