As those of you who has downloaded 3ds max 2018, you've noticed two things: mental ray is gone, and in its place, you find Arnold 5 !
Going forward, anyone wanting to continue using mental ray, should talk to NVidia, who will be releasing it directly to users. It will not be available through Autodesk any more.
Arnold in Max
The last year for me has been busy as hell, but insanely fun!! We've done the impossible, and integrated a renderer fully in one year!
So when you do get 3ds max 2018 you will find Arnold 5 inside it - in the form of the MAXtoA plugin. The one that ships with max is build 712.
If you instead go to http://solidangle.com/arnold/download/#3dsmax
...you will find a much newer version. (Yes, even same day as 3ds max 2018 was released with MAXtoA built in, we released a new MAXtoA that was 100 builds newer... :)
Yes, that's how we roll. Release newer stuff same day!
Arnold 5 is an amazing piece of technology, and working with it has been a complete joy. It's a giant step up from the old Arnold 4 both in features and technology, but more importantly in "cleanliness" of the API and its internal concepts.
The addition of "closures" is a complete godsend. This relegates the work of rendering to the renderer, as it should be. No longer are material shaders little dumb raytracers that count lights and shoot reflection rays. A material shader returns mix of BxDF closures, and the renderer itself takes care of doing "the right thing" with them.
That allows seamless mixing of materials including the AOVs (which are actually light path expressions), as well as mixing C++ based shaders with OSL shaders however one wants.
I am extremely happy to be working with Arnold and the Solid Angle team, and it's a fantastic piece of technology. Arnold 5 is a pure joy to code for, and Solid Angles willingess to simply remove and delete old stuff is very uplifting (but scary too :) )
I hope you guys will enjoy playing with Arnold 5 in 3ds max.
I will probably start a new blog for Arnold related rendering stuff going forward, coz posting it on a half-dead blog called "mental ray tips" seems.... well..... not exactly fitting.
Enjoy playing with it!