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Maxwell Render is a rendering engine based on the mathematical equations governing light transport, meaning that all elements, such as emitters, materials and cameras, are derived from physically accurate models. Maxwell Render is unbiased, so no tricks are used to calculate the lighting solution in every pixel of a scene; the result will always be a correct solution, as it would be in the real world.

Main Features

  • Full support to spotlights, fully controllable new emitters workflow.
  • Extra Sampling feature, that allows to distribute different Sampling Level values in different parts of the image, saving a huge amount of time
  • OpenVDB format supported for volumetric rendering.
  • 360º Animation tool in Studio, to easily create turntable and time-lapse animations in Studio in just one click.
  • Camera sensor models, reproducing the color response of many real world camera models.
  • White balance and Tint tone mapping controls of the render.
  • Floating Shadows and Floating Reflections in FIRE.
  • Support for UDIM and other tiled texture formats.
  • Custom Alpha now based on materials as well.
  • New Technology Preview Network System (TP Network).
  • Hide to Camera in Shadow Channel, to get perfect full shadows for compositing, avoiding the 1 pixel border around the shadow without the need to launch an extra for the full shadow.
  • Devignetting can not be negative, for artsy purposes.
  • New output macro to specify the name of the channel in the output image file name.
  • Improved and simplified licensing procedure
  • Improved Single Sided SSS model
  • Improved performance in scenes with a lot of grass and/or hair
  • 50% reduction of memory consumption in volumetrics
  • Dramatical improvement in memory usage when loading references
  • Dramatical improvement in memory usage and voxelization time in massive scenes with motion blur
  • Histogram now can display RGB curves separately
  • RealFlow RenderKit updated to the latest version
  • Benchwell can be launched now with a command line flag: maxwell.exe -benchwell or maxwell.exe -benchwell:path to write benchwell results to disk
  • Optimizations in FIRE to preprocess the scene faster when editing materials
  • Fireflies and hot spots in FIRE reduced
  • Added support for machines with more than 64 cores in Windows (Windows 7 or higher required)
  • Cleaning after rendering in large scenes is much faster now, allows for the next frame in an animation to start quicker
  • In Studio: display of references in viewport improved
  • In Network: added preference to connect to a specific Manager

Source: http://support.nextlimit.com/display/mxdocsv3/3.1+release+notes