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Foundry Releases Katana 4.0

Tech leader redefines scalable artist-focused look development and lighting with new version of its industry leading software.

Leading media and entertainment creative software company Foundry has released Katana 4.0, its look development and lighting software.

Building on multiple developments which focused on UX, performance, and overall architecture in the Katana 3 series, Katana 4.0 introduces key features that help artists tackle complex, high-quality work produced on shorter schedules with tighter budgets. 

According to Jordan Thistlewood, Director of Product – Pre-production, Look Development & Lighting, Foundry, “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.” 

A cutting-edge lighting UX, 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, giving them the added confidence on their creative choices.

The new Artist Focused Lighting Mode empowers artists to emulate the creative decisions and thought processes 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.

Katana 4.0 introduces the Foresight Rendering workflows, which 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 include an updated Katana Hydra bridge, robust USD Preview Surface support and USD Material Export, which provide better fidelity and performance in Katana’s Hydra viewer, making Katana the best place to drive look development for a Hydra Viewer or final render to all other departments.

The full list of Katana 4.0 features can be found here.

Source: Foundry

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