Autodesk ships Arnold 6.0.4 | CG Channel
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Arnold 6.0.4 improves the rendering speed on modern multi-core CPUs like the new Threadripper Pros from AMD. The update also brings significant new features to the renderer's 3ds Max and Cinema 4D plugins.

Autodesk has released Arnold 6.0.4, the latest version of the industry-standard VFX renderer that improves rendering performance on modern multi-core CPUs.

The update also features automatic file path reassignment when working with multiple operating systems, a new Rim Light tint control for Arnold's Toon shader, and enhancement of GPU rendering, as well as OSL and USD support.

The integration plugins also receive some important new functions: The 3ds Max plugin MAXtoA receives Arnold RenderView, a new real-time rendering preview and initial support for the tyFlow physics toolset.

The Cinema 4D plugin C4DtoA receives Arnold Scatter, a new render time scattering system.

Faster rendering on modern high-core CPUs
Although Autodesk has consistently released updates for the renderer since it shipped Arnold 6.0 last year, Arnold 6.0.4 is arguably the most significant.

The changes in the core renderer include improved support for modern high-multi-core CPUs such as AMD's third-generation Ryzen Threadripper chips and the latest Intel Core i9 and Xeon CPUs when rendering under Windows.

According to Autodesk, the changes can reduce render times “from a few percent to orders of magnitude”.

AMD's current top-of-the-range Threadripper Pro 3995WX made a test scene of medium complexity 1.27 times faster than in previous versions. A "stress scene" with 8 GB of textures rendered 237 times faster.

Workflow improvements include automatic file path remapping, which can be used to change file paths for individual operating systems. This applies, for example, to working under Windows, rendering to Linux rendering nodes.

Toon shader updates, GPU rendering, and better OSL and USD support
Updates to existing tool sets include a new color control for the rim light in Arnold's Toon shader, with which the lighting is tinted with the basic color of the surface and the intensity of the rim lighting effect is modulated.

New GPU renderer Arnold GPU now supports custom AOVs: functions that were actually introduced in Arnold 6.0.3 but expanded in 6.0.4 to support global AOV shaders.

The change allows shaders to be added to set specific AOVs without changing the original shader tree.

Support for Open Shading Language has been expanded, and Arnold 6.0.4 offers initial support for attributes and for the ray tracing function in OSL shaders via the trace function.

The USD procedure introduced in Arnold 6.0 has been updated. and the Hydra render delegate, which allows Arnold to run as a viewport renderer in compatible software such as Houdini, now supports USD curves.

MAXtoA: New Arnold RenderView real-time preview and first support for tyFlow
Outside of the core renderer, the DCC integration plugins have also been updated, with both the 3ds Max plugin MAXtoA and the Cinema 4D plugin C4DtoA receiving important new functions in addition to the functions in Arnold 6.0.4.

MAXtoA 4.1.0.71 introduces the Arnold RenderView window, which provides an interactive, real-time preview of changes made to a scene during lighting or look development work.

Autodesk describes it as "resolving multiple limitations of (3ds Max) 's native render view, where the rendering updates when the mouse is dragged and not when the mouse is released.

Users can select cameras, AOVs, and shading modes at any time without having to export the scene again.

Other features include the option to isolate objects, lights, materials, and individual shader nodes to support debugging shader trees, as well as "basic" color correction.

MAXtoA also receives initial support for tyFlow, Tyson Ibele's popular next-gen rewrite from 3ds Max & # 39; Particle Flow Toolset, although it is currently limited to tyFlow's instantiation operators.

C4DtoA: New Arnold Scatter spreading system
C4DtoA 3.1.0 adds Arnold Scatter, a new render time spreading system.

The Arnold Scatter object allows users to "distribute" millions of instances "across a surface using parameters, vertex maps, or one of the Cinema 4D shaders to control the distribution pattern.

With C4D's effectors, you can animate the size and transformation of instances for motion design work.

The other plugins receive minor updates, whereby MtoA 4.0.4 for Maya and HtoA 5.4 for Houdini primarily support the new functions of the Arnold 6.0.4 core.

System requirements and availability
Arnold 6.0.4 is available for Windows 7+, RHEL / CentOS 6+ Linux and Mac OS X 10.11+. Integrations are available for 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Houdini, Katana and Maya, and there is a legacy plugin for Softimage.

The software is only available for rental. Single user subscriptions start at $ 45 / month or $ 360 / year. Multi-user subscriptions start at $ 630 / year. The plugins are free.

The Arnold GPU is only supported on Windows and Linux and requires a compatible Nvidia GPU.

Read a full list of new features in Arnold 6.0.4 in the online documentation

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