Foundry, the leading software developer for media and entertainment, today releases Mari 5.0. This pivotal release features fundamental USD advancements, improved artist tools, and enhanced procedural workflows to reduce pipeline friction and boost creative collaboration.

Mari 5.0 comes packed with a range of improved artist tools, including an enhanced brush engine which offers an unprecedented level of control over a brush’s color and HSV jitter effects on a per stroke, per tip splat, or on a pen pressure-controlled basis. Custom brush tips can also now be fully color-managed images for added artistic freedom.

Bake Points now support Filters, adding the ability to non-destructively Blur graph networks, unlock Mari’s procedural capabilities and artists’ creative potential. Further optimizations to Mari’s core technology include an improved flattening engine that reduces bake speeds by up to 50% in some scenarios.

Using a workflow to author USD Preview looks for assets look-developed in Mari 5.0, artists can now easily create preview looks for DCC’s with Hydra-powered viewports, like Foundry’s own Katana. This enables artists to develop preview looks, alongside their production look, earlier in the pipeline.

In a move that continues our commitment to align with the VFX Reference Platform, Mari’s third-party libraries have also been upgraded in order to match those specified by the VFX Reference Platform CY2020, so VFX vendors can more easily build in-house software to work within Mari. Moreover, OCIO in Mari now adheres to the CY2021 specification of 2.0, enabling artists and studios to use OCIO v2 config files.

Rory Woodford, Product Manager, Mari, comments:

“After focusing our last three releases on the New Material System, in 2021 we took a fresh direction for Mari to bring look development and lighting teams closer together and reduce pipeline friction between Mari and Katana using USD technology. Our other goal this year was to further enhance artists’ quality of life by polishing existing workflows, as we know that even the seemingly smallest changes can have a considerable impact on artists’ lives.
We cannot wait to see how artists will use our refreshed painting engine to achieve creative artworks or how extensive technical artists will make their procedural workflows using Bake Point Filters. Mari 5 puts us on a path to bring further USD-based look development workflows to Mari artists, reducing the feedback loop between departments.”

Learn more about Mari 5 and purchase it on Foundry’s website.

Tanya Combrinck
Author: Tanya Combrinck

Tanya is a writer covering art, design, and visual effects. She has 15 years of experience as a magazine journalist and has written for publications including 3D World, 3D Artist, Computer Arts, net magazine, and Creative Bloq.