Foundry releases V.4.0 of Katana lighting & look development software
October 29, 2020

Foundry releases V.4.0 of Katana lighting & look development software

LONDON — Foundry ( has released Katana 4.0, the latest update to its look development and lighting software. Building on multiple developments that 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. 

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.

Katana 4.0 introduces foresight rendering workflows, a feature 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, while making Katana well suited to drive look development for a Hydra Viewer or final render to all other departments.

“This 4.0 release is the most significant one for Katana in the last decade,” explains Jordan Thistlewood, director of product – pre-production, look development & lighting, Foundry. “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-plus 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 center, 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.”