Foundry has released Katana 4.0, its look development and lighting software. Foundry is the leading developer of creative software for the media and entertainment industries.

The team at Foundry have actively expanded on capabilities of their lighting range. Katana 4.0 introduces key features that empower artists to tackle the rising demands for complex, high-quality work on shorter schedules and tighter budgets.

They have updated USD technology, and pioneering Foresight Rendering workflows comprising two new features, Multiple Simultaneous Renders and Networked Interactive Rendering, provide artists with a fast, scalable feedback process and giving them the added confidence on their creative choices.

This image shows a scenario where the materials and lighting of the lion can be adjusted while viewing the outcome from multiple camera angles during a live render.  The distance from the camera, the viewed angle all have an impact on how the artist would adjust lights or material.  Each facet can be changed knowing how the choices impact the possible uses allowing an artist to make a well informed choice.

“The Katana 4.0 release is the most significant one for Foundry in the last decade,” says Jordan Thistlewood, Director of Product – Pre-production, Look Development & Lighting at Foundry. “It’s the culmination of many years of planning and work. The new lighting mode breaks with 20+ years of UX standards for the creation, placement and editing of lights in a CG workflow. Working with lights is now tactile, as artists can work via gestures while interacting with the image itself. The Katana Foresight workflows allow look development and lighting artists to work at incredible new levels of efficiency. These powerful workflows turn Katana into a command centre, allowing artists to look-develop an asset or light multiple shots at the same time. Never before have artists had this much power and it’s just the tip of the iceberg for us.”

The new Artist Focused Lighting Mode empowers artists to emulate the creative decisions and thought process of live-action cinematographers. A combination of several new workflows, this mode supports the creation and editing of lights directly on top of the rendered image in Katana’s viewer with gestures, making the work very intuitive and tactile.

This image shows an artist lighting multiple shots at the same time. Katana has always been the king of sequence based lighting and Katana 4 extends that power even farther. Each shot can have global or precise per shots changes.

Katana 4.0 introduces the game-changing Foresight Rendering workflows. These features allow artists to work simultaneously with renders from multiple shots, frames, assets, asset variations and other tasks from within one Katana project file. They can use the added horsepower of networked machines for fast and scalable rendering feedback when the limits of their local machine are reached. This means a Katana interactive session can scale up at least linearly by the number of machines a studio gives an artist to power their rendering.

USD advancements in the form of an updated Katana Hydra bridge, robust USD Preview Surface support and USD Material Export provide better fidelity and performance in Katana’s Hydra viewer, whilst making Katana the best place to drive look development for a Hydra Viewer or final render to all other departments.

Related links:

Foundry Katana 4 features

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