Arnold 5 - 3ds Max 2018 - good bye mental ray - hello Arnold!!

Hello everybody :)

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!

Render on!



eodeo said...

I really like Arnold in Max 2018. As a MR fan that never used Arnold before Max 2018, I thought that Arnold would be slow and needlessly complicated. I am glad I got very pleasantly surprised.

Stop me if I'm wrong, but I think you're the one that made Physical material possible for ART/MR with Max 2017 and now Arnold as well. You're the one that made Standard surface uber shader for Arnold 5. I just love Physical material, and now Standard surface looks like it has everything too.

Master Zap said...

Arnold 5 is an immense step up from any previous Arnold version. I'm soooo glad we never had to drag Arnold 4 or anything earlier into max (outside of the 2017 beta stuff, which you can forget about!)


Master Zap said...

And no, no need to correct you. I designed and implemented the Physical material, and yes, the new Arnold "Standard Surface" is based on my spec for the Physical Material. I didn't implement it though, Solid Angle did, based on my spec.


eodeo said...

I enjoyed your fxphd MRY201 production rendering tutorials. Your logic behind MR material parameters looked like a natural improvement that was translated into the Physical material. I'm really glad AD has you on the team. Max improved measurably with you behind the wheel. To me it looks like you joined AD to make Max 2012 as amazing as it was and have been improving Max ever since. I really hope Solidangle realizes how lucky they got to have you on their team.

I feel silly, but I couldn't figure out how to setup shadow catcher material for Arnold. I tried everything I could think of, but in it looks like it’s either convoluted or absent. I even updated Arnold per your suggestion in this post, as that would never have occurred to me to do otherwise. I was one MR per one Max kind of guy for the longest time- ever since MR was included with Max 6, if memory serves.

Is it true that Arnold will get GPU support? I recently switched from MR to redshift and I’m blown away. As good as Arnold is compared to MR/ART, redshift is just in a league of its own.

M Omidvar said...

Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.
You have been the one.
You have been the one for me :(

and now ... hello Arnold :))

Sam Conlogue said...

I've been enjoying Arnold sine the Beta in Max 2017 and love it! For those grabbing the latest build for 2018, just a heads-up that for better interactivity when in Active Shade you'll want to use the User Options at the bottom of the Diagnostics tab and enter "thread_priority lowest" (minus the quotes). The initial release worked just fine, but without dictating the thread priority the later builds seem to eat up too much CPU power to remain truly interactive. Render on!

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