’22 has been a banner year for Cycling ’74. In addition to the new ground-up creation of RNBO, Max and Jitter have seen some big updates. Jitter, the visual/matrix side of Max, got its turn with Jitter 8.5. Let’s catch up, if we can.

Rob Ramirez has the scoop on what’s new in Jitter – and the beta gl3 engine is out of beta and now called glcore:

Jitter 8.5 and GLCore [Cycling ’74 forums]

Basically, you get a new foundation for the latest generations of OpenGL, and reflecting the new status of that engine, tons of documentation and examples. Also:

  • jit.gl.textmult for mesh rendering
  • jit.gl.pass post-processing effects (fog, atmosphere, global illumination etc.)
  • Improved environment handling of light and skyboxes and such
  • gITF material PBR support
  • Lua support for glcore, too

Max 8.5 also got a bunch of little updates beyond just RNBO:

Max 8.5 Released With Support for RNBO

Personally, I think it’s great to see Max adding these features. Your choice of tools is now robust and on fairly equal footing across proprietary and free solutions, desktop and Web software.

Physically Based Rendering was already a big new feature of Max this year:

And in case you missed it, Max 8.3 offered up a ton of new stuff for sound and composition:

A great place to get started is Max’s “8.3 Starters” series, which is also a decent place to get going (or revisit) Max in general:

Max 8.3 Starters

I don’t want to get too far into RNBO and Max licensing here – and save that instead for another time. But to briefly address some of what I was reading:

  • There’s nothing stopping you from making open-source projects in RNBO. If your goal is an open-source project, of course, you should consider freely-licensed engines like Heavy and FAUST. But if you are already a Max user and want to open-source your work, this is possible; we can go into that more in detail.
  • Projects from developers with more than $200k in revenue annually need to register with Cycling ’74, but they still can use RNBO without licensing fees.
  • Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to buy a monthly subscription to RNBO if you paid for a license fee for Max. It’s either all-at-once payment for Max and all-at-once payment for RNBO, or subscription for both. (Seems that’s a symptom of some accounting system weirdness; I do still hope they eventually find a way to make this possible. Meanwhile, there is a trial to check out before you buy.)

Let us know what other questions you have, and what you’re creating in Max – or other environments. I’ll be curious to see!