from Microstation to Maxwell Render

As you probably already know:  Bentley has created a Maxwell Render Exporter that makes it possible to export any 3d scene directly from Microstation to the fantastic render engine Maxwell Render .  Read more about it here: 

IMHO Maxwell is far superior to Microstation when comes to material setup, lighting and photorealistic renderings, - but at the cost of longer render times.  However - a great advantage is that Maxwell Render automatically uses all your processor (CPU) cores, not like Microstation that uses only one (1).  I have an 8 core pc (dual quad core) - and believe me - Maxwell does not feel/respond slow at all on this PC.

So, is Maxwell difficult to use? Not if you are into photography and familiar to expressions like f-Stop, Focal Length, Shutter, ISO and so on.  Maxwell Render works like a camera.  Not a simple point and click camera - more like a SLR camera... :)  I like the interface of Maxwell Studio a lot, and I find it fairly easy to use. 

Just create a 3d model and texture it in Microstation as you always do, and then export it to Maxwell.  Make any adjustments to materials and light you need in Maxwell Studio and hit Render!


 Here are some test renderings that I've made during the last year or so, all of them modeled with Microstation and rendered in Maxwell Render - but please bear in mind that I'm at a beginners level when comes to Maxwell:


one of the first materials I created in Maxwell, just to learn the controls:


testing maxwell displacement:


a simple glass/liquid test:


just some chairs (chair model from


bedroom: chairs not modeled by me - but I've modeled the bed in Microstation...


I made rthis material to learn to create composite materials in Maxwell using weightmaps.  The materal consists of both the textile and the letters and is applied to a simple rectangle.


close up test:  simple test scene created and textured in Microstation.  Lighting, material optimation and rendering in Maxwell:

same scene:







my TestLab...  :-)  

(have a look at the Maxwell material gallery and you understand the strange objects shown here...)


A "all-in-one-material" - everything is in one single material:


 Outdoor scene (model by Jeff Patton,  


(sorry about my rather lousy english) 

  • Wow it' s real. 3d rendering is great. It makes your world real and fantastic.

  • That stuff is really cool Kurt. Would you ever consider selling any models or rendered images or even textures on ? You probably don't need a few extra bucks per month but you can also use it to get your name out there.

    We would love it,

    Paul Farcus


  • the differences are mainly that Maxwell Render is an unbiased render engine, and the best choice for true photorealistic renderings.  The materials system is very powerful, yet not to complicated for the average user.

    For me as an Microstation user my first choice for render engine will be Luxology Render, because this is fully integrated in the program.  There is a very simple exporter to Maxwell aswell, but this is no longer being developed and enhanced.

    Luxology Render does not deliver the same quality as Maxwell Render (maybe 95%), but it is much faster, and more flexible.

  • outstanding work !

    I realy like the closeup test.Maxwell render requiers more than 3D skills, but also photographic techniques !

    I also had a look at your work on luxology rendering system, what are the differences ?

    We also have a blog called forbetterlab :

    please have a look at our work !


  • the exporter is included in the Athens Beta release.