, the leading developer of creative software for the Media and Entertainment industries, today announces the next major version of its look development and lighting tool, Katana 6.0. This latest release introduces new features, including a Performance tab and Material Solo, to speed up manual tasks and processes unlocking valuable time for artists.
The release is the third product update from Foundry this December, following Nuke 14.0 and Mari 6.0 respectively. Katana 6.0 aligns with Nuke and Mari on software standards including VFX Reference Platform 2022 and USD 22.05. Beyond Katana 6.0, work is underway to introduce native USD workflows with a shared approach to the new USD-native 3D system in Nuke.
With an increasingly evolved toolset, Katana 6.0 features a new Performance tab so artists can keep track of the scale of their scenes, Material Solo allowing users to easily preview their lookdev and get a better understanding of how every node impacts the final result, and a further extension to look development with LiveShadingGroups.
Debug and troubleshoot
The Performance tab allows users to keep track of the scale of their scenes and debug more effectively. From the size of the Node Graph itself to time spent against various nodes, this new feature uses a customizable color-coded Heat map to help artists understand where bottlenecks may lie in the Node Graph and troubleshoot faster.
Preview any section, any time
Katana 6.0 also introduces Material Solo—a new feature enabling artists to gain immediate visibility over components of their material setups. This grants them the ability to quickly isolate and debug complex material networks and enjoy the functionality of previewing any section, at any time, for a more efficient workflow.
Building on Macros and User Parameters which was first introduced in Katana 4.5, Katana 6.0 extends its look development toolset with LiveShadingGroups. This feature unlocks collaboration by allowing users to share and reuse their work between projects, assets or other artists. Any changes made in a LiveShadingGroup will automatically be applied to other scenes that contain it, saving valuable time.
Modify with freedom
Lastly, Katana 6.0 introduces another evolution to functionality introduced in Katana 4.5 - the NetworkMaterialEdit Material Interface. This feature allows artists to easily modify and manage the material interface within the NetworkMaterialEdit node, giving artists the freedom to break away from linear workflows.
Paul Denhard, Senior Product Manager for Look Development and Lighting at Foundry, comments: “Our focus for this release was simple: make it easier and more efficient than ever for artists to work in Katana. These exciting updates are the result of ongoing collaboration with lighting and lookdev artists and we are confident these will help get them to the first pixel quicker without sacrificing visibility and control. We’re excited to see how Katana continues to streamline artists’ workflow and enable creativity, even when producing high volumes of work in a short timeframe.”