Autodesk ships Arnold 6.1 | CG Channel
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Autodesk has released Arnold 6.1, the latest version of the industry standard VFX renderer, which adds a new framework for post effects and for rendering physically correct nested dielectrics.

The update also provides support for partially loading textures in the Arnold GPU and initial support for easy linking. plus support for light shapes in USD scenes.

The integration plugins for 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Katana and Maya have also been updated.

New set of Imager nodes for applying post effects to interactive and final quality renderings
Arnold 6.1 introduces a new framework for applying post effects to renderings and adds a new set of "Imager" nodes to modify images before they reach the output driver.

In the first implementation, there are five imagers that you can use to image images and make color corrections, lens effects, and settings for exposure and white balance.

Imager nodes can be chained and used in both final and interactive rendering. Currently, however, it is only possible to edit existing imagers during the IPR, not add new ones.

New priority system in the standard surface shader for physically correct nested dielectrics
The update also introduces a new system for rendering nested dielectrics, which models adjacent transparent materials like water in a glass container as overlapping volumes.

Arnold's Standard Surface Shader now includes a dielectric priority property that allows artists to control which material within an overlap area determines dielectric properties, such as index of refraction (IOR).

In contrast to the legacy mode, which is still available by setting a global property, the new system correctly calculates the refraction of light at the boundaries between materials.

The support for partially loading textures reduces the memory usage in the Arnold GPU
GPU renderer Arnold The GPU supports the partial loading of textures and reduces the memory requirement when rendering scenes with tiled or mipmapped textures, e.g. B. in TX format.

According to Autodesk, the memory required for textures in a typical scene can be “up to 5 times smaller”, although the reduction in overall GPU memory usage is less.

In the scene shown in the documentation, the total GPU memory usage in Arnold 6.1 is 2.2 times lower than in Arnold 6.0.2.

Other changes to the Arnold GPU include support for light AOV groups within light path expressions and initial support for light linking: currently it is not supported on volumes.

Updates to USD support and overall rendering performance
The update also builds on the initial support for Universal Scene Description-based production pipelines that began in Arnold 6.0. The Arnold USD procedure now supports the UsdLuxShapingAPI.

In the current version this means that spot and IES lights are supported in scenes in USD format.

The Hydra render delegate, which allows Arnold to run as a viewport renderer in applications like Katana or Solaris, now supports per face material assignments and the UsdTransform2d preview shader.

There are also a number of performance improvements, particularly on Windows: According to Autodesk, Arnold now runs "on average 7-8% faster overall" on the operating system.

There are also custom improvements to interactivity with IPR renderings and when using adaptive sampling.

Integration plugins for 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Katana and Maya have also been updated
Most of the integration plugins for DCC software have been updated, with MAXtoA 4.2 for 3ds Max, C4DtoA 3.2 for Cinema 4D, KtoA 3.1 for Katana, and MtoA 4.1 for Maya supporting the functions added in Arnold 6.1.

At the time of writing, only the Houdini integration plugin HtoA does not support the new features.

System requirements and availability
Arnold 6.1 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 plug-in for Softimage.

The software can only be rented. 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.

For a full list of what's new in Arnold 6.1, see the online documentation

Tags: .tx, max. 3ds, Arnold, Arnold 6.1, Arnold USD procedural, Autodesk, C4DtoA, C4DtoA 3.2, Cinema 4D, color correction, dielectric priority, exposure, GPU memory usage, GPU rendering, Houdini, HtoA, Hydra render delegate, IES light, imager, Refractive index, integration, interactive rendering, IOR, IPR, Katana, KtoA, KtoA 3.1, lens effects, light AOV group, light linking, light path expression, light shaping, LPE, MAXtoA, MAXtoA 4.2, Maya, mipmapped texture, Mtoa, MtoA 4.1, nested dielectric, new features, material assignment per face, plugin, post-processing, price, softimage, solaris, spotlights, standard surface shader, system requirements, tiled texture, tone mapping, universal scene description, USD, UsdLuxShapingAPI, UsdTransform2d, white balance

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