Foundry, the leading developer of creative software for the media and entertainment industries, recently released Katana 4.0, its look development and lighting software.
Focusing on the most crucial part of imagery; the lighting, Katana is aiming to help achieve photorealism with the balanced distribution of lighting.
This development of the industry’s most powerful lighting tool makes Katana 4.0 a game-changer for look development and lighting workflows everywhere. Foundry representative shared, “Artists, managers and pipeline developers can expect a cutting-edge lighting UI, scalable rendering capabilities, updated USD technology, and fundamental improvements to look development workflows. Building on multiple developments which focused on UX, performance, and overall architecture in the Katana 3 series, 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. “
A cutting-edge lighting UX, updated USD technology, and pioneering Foresight Rendering workflows comprising two new features; multiple simultaneous renders and networked interactive rendering which provide artists with a fast, scalable feedback process and giving them the added confidence on their creative choices.
Speaking about the advancements brought about in the product, they detailed, “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.”
Foundry director of product – pre-production, look development and lighting Jordan Thistlewood shared, “This 4.0 release is the most significant one for Katana in the last decade. It’s the culmination of many years of planning and work, to deliver the Foundry vision of an artist-focused tool for look development and lighting, that is the most intuitive and powerful yet. 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.”
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.
We hope such developments fuel the creativity of artists and ease their workflow, leading to more photorealistic imagery in the days to come.