formZ | Render Options | Engine


Engine Tab

The parameters in the Engine tab control rendering quality, performance, and efficiency.

Launch Application

When Maxwell Render is invoked from the display menu or Render button, the application specified here is launched to handle the resulting MXS.

  • Maxwell: The plugin translates the formZ project into an MXS file (Maxwell Scene format), then launches the Maxwell application, which immediately renders the scene described in the MXS file.
  • Studio: The plugin creates the MXS file, then opens the scene in the Studio application.
  • None: The plugin creates and saves the MXS file, but no application is launched. This option is sometimes used in preparation for sending the scene to the Maxwell network renderer.
  • Network Render: The plugin creates the MXS file, then launches the Maxwell Network Manager and loads it into the Add Job Wizard.

    Network Rendering


    The use of Automatic filename with the Timestamp option enabled is recommended when doing network renderings; enabling this will avoid a situation where mxs files might otherwise be overwritten.




  • CPU Production (finish CPU engine), CPU Draft (draft-quality CPU engine used in Maxwell Fire), or GPU.
  • Off, Intensity, or Color + Intensity: Enables Maxwell’s Multilight. Multilight allows you to interactively adjust the intensity and/ or color of the emitters in the scene and to alter the ISO and shutter speed during rendering or after the render has finished. The adjustments may be keyframed and animated over time, and a sequence of images can be saved. With Multilight, with just one rendering you can save different images of the same scene under different lighting conditions or make lighting animations. Note that Multilight will result in significantly larger file sizes and increased RAM usage, especially when the Color option is enabled.


Quality / Performance
  • Time: Time is the maximum time Maxwell will render before stopping. As it is possible to stop Maxwell at any time, it is generally best to leave this set to a higher number of minutes than will be necessary to obtain a clear image.
  • Sampling Level: Rendering will also stop if it reaches the specified Sampling Level (SL), if it is unable to reach the specified SL before the Time has been surpassed.
  • CPU Threads: This parameter specifies how many threads will be spawned by the Maxwell render process. Setting this to zero will cause Maxwell to auto-detect and render using all available CPU resources. Setting the number of threads to [CPU physical cores – 1] represents a good trade-off between rendering speed and machine responsiveness, in case the machine must be used for other purposes while rendering. If a negative number is supplied, Maxwell will render with all available logical processors, minus the specified number.

    Time vs. SL


    In Maxwell, the image is regularly updated during rendering. You can terminate a Maxwell render at any point in time, and save the resulting image at the time of render termination. For single image renders it is generally better to keep the sampling level limit high (the default of 25 works well); the render can always be stopped at any time if the result is satisfactory with a lower sampling level. Also, renderings can be resumed (processed further) later, by opening the MXI file in Maxwell and clicking on Render. See Maxwell Render.

    For animations, the sampling level is often set to a lower value and the maximum render time left high, so that a consistent sampling level is achieved for each frame.

Extra Sampling
  • Enables additional sampling of specific regions within the rendered image. See Extra Sampling.

Maxwell's integrated denoiser eliminates noise in renderings. This makes it possible to achieve an excellent render quality in a fraction of the time it would take without denoising. See Denoiser.

  • Auto Configure:Off allows manual configuration of all settings. Fast sets parameters automatically for the most efficient denoising at the expense of some accuracy. Accurate trades some speed for maximum accuracy.
  • Apply Denoise: At each SL computes the denoised image after each SL is reached (starting at the specified SL). Useful when you are not yet sure what SL will be required to produce a satisfactory denoised image. At End is more efficient as the denoised image is only calculated once, when the rendering is complete.
  • Denoise Shadow: Denoises the shadow channel as well, which improves accuracy. Disabled when Auto Configure is set the Fast.
  • Use GPU: Enables GPU acceleration.

    Denoiser Settings


    Due to requirements of the denoising system, Apply Denoise is automatically set to At End when the GPU engine is used, or Extra Sampling is enabled.

    Denoising is not available in CPU Draft mode.

Illumination and Caustics
  • These options are used to accelerate renderings when specific optical phenomena are not required for your image. These controls allow you to deactivate certain aspects of the rendering calculations. These options are also useful in cases where you want to see the isolated effect of only the indirect light in the scene, for compositing purposes.

    Render Optimization


    If speed is more important than absolute realism, disabling Reflected Caustics–Indirect, Refracted Caustics–Direct and Refracted Caustics–Indirect will improve rendering times with an often acceptable loss of realism for architectural visualization work. Disabling Reflected Caustics–Direct will further improve rendering times, but at a sometimes significant loss of realism. Carefully compare the reflections of glass and metals onto other materials, as well as the refraction of real (but not AGS) glass, when deciding if these optimizations are acceptable for your project.

Command Line
  • Specifies command options that affect the rendering process, including some lesser-used features not available through the graphical user interface of the plugin. For example, -priority:low launches the Maxwell Render process in low priority mode. Multiple commands may be entered on the same line. See Running flags.