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The Render Options panel is where you specify all the parameters related to the rendering process such as scene file, Sampling level, output paths, which channels to render etc.

The browse folder icons in this panel can be dragged and dropped, allowing you to copy file locations simply by dragging a folder icon over another.


Scene panel

Scene File

Specify the location of the MXS file.

Time (min)

Set the maximum render time (in minutes) for the render. The longer the time, the cleaner and more accurate your image will be.

Sampling Level

Maximum sampling level required. The render will stop when this SL is reached. As with the “render time” parameter, a higher sampling level will give a cleaner and more accurate image. It is important to know that there is no standard SL value to get an acceptable quality level, because it depends entirely on the scene. Some scenes can be completely noise-free at SL=8 or even earlier, while others may need to get to SL=16 or higher. It is important to remark that the Sampling Level standards were re-written for Maxwell Render version 2, so it cannot be used as a quality comparing parameter for images created in version 1.x and version 2.x. In fact, the same Sampling Levels in Maxwell 2 show a much higher quality than those in Maxwell 1.x.


Specify a range of MXS frames to be rendered. For example: 5,8,9 will render frames name0005.mxs, name0008.mxs and name0009.mxs. To render frames 1 through 10, type in 1-10.


Disabled / Intensity / Color enables the different Multilight modes. The options Embedded/Separated allow you to export all each emitters influence as independent images, or save only the composed image. For more information about Multilight, see the Multilight section.

If the Multilight feature is enabled, Maxwell exports all the shadow buffers corresponding to each individual light emitter separately during the same render process, as well as a shadow pass of all the shadows cast by each emitter “blended” together, giving an extraordinary control over the compositing during the post-production process. For example you can change the brightness of an emitter using MultiLight which could then brighten up the shadow cast by another emitter. The blended shadow pass image will take these changes into account.


This parameter is set to a random value each time a MXS is opened and should not be changed during normal rendering. It is used by the MXI merging process to ensure each machine that renders the same images starts with a random seed for the render calculations. In the event you need to compare two renders of the same scene and want them to look exactly the same at a certain SL, then manually set the CPU Id so it is the same for both renders.

CPU Threads

Number of threads dedicated to the render. By default, “Automatic” means that all available CPUs/ Cores will be used. In special situations you may require less threads if the machine is working on other tasks. Note that one core in a multi-core CPU is considered 1 CPU thread. Normally you can leave this parameter at Automatic and set the Priority parameter (see below) to Low in which case you can still do other tasks while the machine is rendering.


You can set the rendering process to normal or low priority. This is useful if you wish to work on your computer while rendering. Setting the render to Low Priority does not mean the render will take longer to finish. If you are not using your computer for other things while rendering, Maxwell Render will still utilize the full capacity of your CPUs.


Choose the render mode you want to use, between Production (final quality) and Draft (for testing purposes). Draft mode utilizes the same rendering techniques as Maxwell Fire allowing you to very quickly preview an animation sequence for example.

Command Line

You can control the render process entering command line flags in this field. See the Command Line section for an in depth description of all the commands available. 

Output image

• Depth: Specify the bit depth for your chosen output format. Some formats such as .jpg only allow 8 Bits per color channel, others such as .exr and .tif allow up to 32 Bits per channel. Half float 16 Bits is allowed on the .exr format. 
• Image: Specify a name along with a suffix (.png, .jpg, .tga, .tif, .jp2, .exr, .bmp, .hdr, .psd) and a path for the image file, created when rendering. You can disable this checkbox if you don't want your final image to be stored to disk (i.e. for test renders). 
• MXI: Specify a name and path for the MXI file, created when rendering. An MXI file is always created during the render, but you can disable this checkbox if you don't want your final MXI file to be stored to disk (i.e. for test renders).


Output panel


EXR timecode

As of Maxwell Render 3.1, we have added timecode (SMPTE format) as metadata to the EXR output format. This is useful for importing a sequence of exr renders and timing it easily with other footage.


Note: If you do not specify an output path, the image/ MXI will be saved according to the settings in Preferences> General in Studio or in the applicable section in your plug-in. The preference allows you to either save the image in the same folder as your .MXS file, or in your system’s temp folder



• Override: Check this option and specify a path to a .MXM file that will override all other materials in the scene (except materials with emitters). This is useful to quickly set up a “clay” render to check the illumination in your scene, or to mimic an ambient occlusion pass if needed.
• Default: Set the path for the default .MXM file used for objects that do not have a material assigned to them. Note that the default .MXM can also be set in the Preferences> Paths section in Studio.
• Search Path: Set the path where Studio should look for any textures and other files used in your scene to avoid “missing textures” errors when rendering. Note that in Studio you can also set several default search paths in Preferences> Materials> Textures.


Materials panel


This checkboxes allow you to easily disable/enable the Motion Blur, Displacement and Dispersion calculations on your render, without the need of editing the scene or its materials.


Globals panel


Extra Sampling 

This feature allows you to define an area of your image that will be rendered to a higher Sampling Level than the general frame, helping to distribute the rendering effort in those areas you consider that need more time. Find more information about the Extra Sampling feature here


Extra Sampling panel 



Several render channels are available, useful for compositing tasks. Find more information about the render channels available in Maxwell in this section

Channels panel 



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