Foundry updates Katana look development & lighting tool
January 5, 2023

Foundry updates Katana look development & lighting tool

LONDON — Foundry ( recently announced Katana 6.0, the next major version of its look development and lighting tool. The latest release introduces new features, including a Performance tab, and Material Solo to speed up manual tasks and processes. 

Katana 6.0’s new 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.

Material Solo allows users to easily preview their look development  and get a better understanding of how every node impacts the final result. 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 — 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, helping to save time.

Initially introduced in Katana 4.5, the improved NetworkMaterialEdit Material Interface allows artists to easily modify and manage the material interface within the NetworkMaterialEdit node, giving artists the freedom to break away from linear workflows.

Back in December, Foundry announced Nuke 14.0 and Mari 6.0. The new 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.