Foundry - Katana
Katana®'s highly efficient, collaborative approach to lighting and look development gives you the creative scope and scalability to meet the needs of today’s most demanding CG-rendering projects.
Equally suited to both short and long-form animation and VFX projects, Katana’s unique design lets you work with massive scenes and high volumes of shots; easily reuse looks; and make revisions without repeating scene setup work, so you can spend more time achieving higher quality results.
What's new in Katana 3.0?
Katana 3.0 brings some of the most hotly anticipated features to-date. There’s a new, modern and powerful viewport driven by Pixar's USD Hydra technology, allowing artists to interact easily with vast amounts of geometry. The toolset ships with the 3Delight rendering plugin, giving users best-in-class live rendering, free of charge for interactive renders. The UI has been updated to be more modern, with new transform tools and features that are more responsive. Performance improvements mean Katana 3.0 is up to 1.5x faster than Katana 2.6, and will continue to get faster through the year. And it’s been updated to use more of the libraries from VFX Platform 2017.
- Collaborate with other team members to share art direction and technical setups
- Reuse work between assigned tasks, with flexible node-graph and rule-based workflows
- Load even super-large scenes at lightning speeds, thanks to deferred loading and processing
- Work in parallel to finish faster with the ability to separately update look-development and animation data
- Use your renderer of choice, with a unified workflow for Renderman, V-Ray, Arnold and 3Delight, or add your own renderer
- Integrate, automate or customize Katana to fit your pipeline and processes with extensive C and Python APIs
What is Katana?
High-efficiency collaborative workflows
Powerful node graph
Collaboration and reuse are at the heart of Katana®’s look development and lighting time-saving efficiencies. Using the node graph, artists work by defining a series of ordered steps, similar to a recipe. These recipes can be shared with other team members, or reused for other parts of the project.
Live Groups provide a robus and powerful mechanism that lets you group and publish parts of the node graph and save them to disk for sharing or reuse. Similar to a referencing system, you can manage versions of these groups, and publish changes to them wherever they are used.
Increased artist productivity
Katana lets you gather items into sets called Collections, either by manual selection, or by using Collection Expression Language (CEL) to create rules based on naming, metadata or other attributes. Using rules instead of explicit selections protects your work from upstream changes to scene contents, and helps build flexible and robust node-graph templates.
Artist-focused interactive controls
Working Sets and Interactive Render Filters let artists fine tune rendering speed, quality and content—along with the information presented in the viewer—as they work, for a faster interactive experience. At final render time, Katana ignores these settings, ensuing that artist optimizations do not impact output results.
Hydra Powered Viewport
Katana features a modern and powerful viewport driven , by the PIXAR USD Hydra technology designed to work with with modern graphics cards, handle massive scale, and allow PBR lighting and shading. This USD Hydra powered viewport can handle incredibly complex sets of data quickly and efficiently, allowing artists to work faster and more accurately, as well as interact easily with vastly more geometry.
Efficient lighting production
Focused lighting production toolset
Katana’s lighting production toolset is designed to save you time. You can manage light creation, light linking, constraints and light filters from a one-stop control panel; create large sets of lights and control their intensity, color and other parameters from a single item; and build up hierarchical, inheritance-based sequence lighting.
Integrated 3Delight Rendering
Allowing for fully interactive live rendering, Katana 3.0 ships with a rendering plugin from the makers of 3Delight. Live rendering responds to changes in your scene to lights, shaders, cameras, geometry, volumes,materials, global settings providing an artist focused Katana experience. Unique workflows like light mixing adjust lighting interactively on finished frames, while edits are fed back directly to lights or groups of lights in Katana’s GafferThree lighting tools. The fully OSL-based shading engine is compatible with both Katana and Maya, allowing for the direct transfer of look development files between the DCC apps.
Flexible look development
Look Files store the texturing and shading for an asset separately from the geometry, allowing each to be independently versioned and updated—so that your look development team can work in parallel with your lighting team, for example.
Template materials can be easily saved as a material library for reuse as references; together with the ability to instance materials as children that inherit selected parameters from the parent material, they help to ensure a high-quality, consistent look across the production.
Pipeline and color management
OCIO color management
Industry-standard OpenColorIO (OCIO) color management runs through all image-related operations in Katana, so you can work with the confidence that your color spaces are correct. Like Katana, OCIO was developed at Sony Pictures Imageworks.
A choice of scripting languages
Support for Python, Lua and C++—along with powerful libraries like ILM’s Imath—provide great flexibility for any level of pipeline developer. The Python script editor has a rich tab completion system to aid in coding and learning; paired with the searchable developer docs, this helps users to get up to speed.
Foundry – Maintenance
As part of maintenance, you’ll get all new features, bug fixes and updates, through both minor and major releases. In addition, you get exclusive access to both technical support, and to beta programs, where your voice helps to shape the future of our products.