I am very pleased to announce that CG Masters is adopting Katana into its production workflow beginning May 2019.
Katana is a lookdev and lighting management tool from The Foundry that radically simplifies the management of geometry, materials, textures, and image output (AOVs) using a node-based workflow. The design concept is to expose everything to the user in a simple-to-construct, simple-to-diagnose “recipe” or hierarchy of functions. If you are familiar with either the Nuke or Houdini workflow, Katana will feel very familiar to you.
The most common question I hear is: why Katana when I can render Arnold directly out of Maya?
The answer will not be obvious to those who have not yet experienced the power of a node-based interface. Nodes are the future, baby! Stacked or layered systems such as those inherent in many 3D applications can be (to put it politely) difficult to assemble properly and even harder to diagnose. Node based systems are easy. Nodes are infinitely flexible and, best of all, non-destructive. So, decisions you made in your recipe can be easily altered without destroying other work you have done.
More studios are adopting the Katana workflow, which makes a lot of sense, unless you are already rendering out of Houdini/Mantra which comes with its own very capable node system.
Look for more announcements in the near future.