Katana 3.0v1 Release Notes


These release notes describe changes from Katana 2.6v4 to 3.0v1 in detail.

For a high-level overview of all changes in the Katana 3.0 line, please see the accompanying What's New in Katana 3.0 document.

Table of Contents

Release Date

30 May 2018

Previous Releases

System Requirements

Officially Supported Operating Systems

Hardware Requirements

Minimum Recommended
CPUDual-core processor
Storage1+ GB available for installation
System RAM1+ GB available
Graphics RAM1+ GB available2+ GB available
Display800 x 6001920 x 1080
OpenGLOpenGL 4.3+

'Recommended' does not guarantee that it meets your particular needs

Tested Workstation Hardware

The configurations listed below are those that Foundry have tested with Katana. Due to the constantly changing nature and wide variety of computer hardware available in the market, Foundry is unable to officially certify hardware. The list below can be used as a recommendation and does not guarantee that it meets your particular needs.

Please download and install the latest graphics driver from the NVIDIA website.

If you encounter any issues, please contact Customer Support directly through the Support Portal at the following address: https://support.foundry.com.

New Features

3Delight Renderer

Katana now bundles 3Delight: a uni-directional path-tracer designed to withstand the high demands of production rendering. Workflow options for the 3Delight plug-in include:

The Katana installer presents 3Delight as an optional component of the Katana installation. 3Delight can be used for free in preview and live renders. Disk and batch rendering requires a 3delight_r license to remove watermarks; please contact sales@foundry.com for further information. Katana's example projects now use 3Delight where a renderer if required.

NOTE: Katana continues to support other renderers via the renderer-agnostic Renderer Plug-in API.

Hydra-Powered Viewer

Katana 3.0 includes a new 3D scene viewer tab that is substantially more interactive and scalable than the existing Viewer tab.

The new viewer is powered by Hydra, a modern, scalable OpenGL rendering architecture that was developed at Pixar Animation Studios as a key component of the open source Universal Scene Description (USD) project.

The Viewer (Hydra) tab is implemented using Katana's Viewer API, which has been revised and expanded from Katana 2.6.

Performance Improvements

Application Start-up

Node Graph

Scene Graph



Asset Plug-ins

CEL Matching

Op Types


Geolib3 Runtime

Feature Enhancements

Revised UI Theme

The Katana UI theme and color palette have been updated to achieve an overall flatter appearance that is more consistent with modern Foundry applications.

Notable changes are:

A small number of cases where wrong palette colors are used (for example text that appears in black) remain to be fixed. We also plan to make further refinements to the color palette in order to improve contrast ratios for better readability.

Tabs and Layouts

User Interface

Node Graph and Parameters

Scene Graph and Attributes


Other Feature Enhancements

Documentation Improvements

Online Help

Developer Guide


Bug Fixes

Stability and Thread-safety

User Interface

Node Graph and Parameters

Scene Graph and Attributes


Other Bug Fixes

Changed, Deprecated and Removed Features

Third-party Software Changes

The table below summarizes changes to versions of third-party software shipped with Katana.

Version in Katana 2.6 Version in Katana 3.0
3Delight Not shipped 13.3.14
Alembic 1.5.3 1.6.1
LuaJIT Not shipped 2.1.0
Numpy 1.5.1 (Linux only) Not shipped
Python 2.7.3 2.7.13
RLM 9.3 12.2
TBB 4.4.6 2017 Update 8
USD Not shipped 0.8.0
PyQt 4.10.4 4.11.4
ZeroMQ 3.2.5 4.2.1
PyZeroMQ 13.0.2 16.0.2
VS CRT 2010 (Windows only) Not shipped

Compiler Changes

Katana 3.0 is compiled with GCC 4.8 on Linux, and Visual Studio 2015 on Windows.

Katana 2.5 and Katana 2.6 were built with GCC 4.1 on Linux, and Visual Studio 2010 on Windows.

The change in compilers should not affect most customers. For compatibility reasons, Katana has long separated its APIs into a set of C++ headers and sources compiled directly into customer plug-in libraries and a stable, compiler-agnostic C-based API that's wrapped by the C++ layer. Plug-in authors writing Geolib Ops, for example, are still free to build their plug-ins with their choice of toolchain.

This compatibility note does not apply for Windows plug-in authors building plug-ins that link against Python or Qt: customers are required to re-build these plug-ins using Visual Studio 2015.

NOTE: The standard Windows compiler for building Python 2.7 C extensions is Visual Studio 2008, but this compiler must not be used for building Python C extensions for Katana. Customers may find it necessary to override distutils/setuptools' choice of compiler in order to build native Python extensions that are compatible with Katana. See https://docs.python.org/2.7/distutils/apiref.html#module-distutils.msvccompiler for instructions.

API Changes

Katana 3.0's APIs continue to build with older compilers that do not support the C++11 standard. Support for C++98 compilers will be removed in a future release of Katana.

Katana C++ plug-ins built against Katana 2.5 or later should be binary compatible with Katana 3.0 (with the exception of Windows plug-ins that link to Python or Qt, and plug-ins using the in-development Viewer API).

Katana C++ plug-ins built against Katana 2.5 or later should be source compatible with the Katana 3.0 APIs, with a few exceptions:

Common Plug-ins Compatibility


USD binaries compiled against Katana 2.6 are compatible with Katana 3.0.

The USD source code can be compiled against Katana 3.0 as of USD version 0.8.2.

Support for USD/Katana plug-ins on Windows remains unavailable.


RenderMan for Katana binaries compiled against Katana 2.6 are compatible with Katana 3.0.


Arnold for Katana binaries compiled against Katana 2.6 are compatible with Katana 3.0.

Known Issues

Hydra Viewer

Live Groups


Node Graph

Parameter Expressions