Arnold Renderer in Maya 2018

Take a look at Solid Angle's Arnold Renderer in Maya 2018 from the show floor of SIGGRAPH 2017!

Hi, my name is Marcel Dejong. I'm a technical team lead for Autodesk in North America. And what we're showing here today is Arnold in Maya 2018-- so this will be Arnold 5 in Maya 2018-- and some of the new things that have been introduced in the latest version. 


So one of things that I'm showing as part of the presentation is some of the rendered outputs that Arnold can produce, as well as some of the workflow examples, some of the performance enhancements, as well as the very large volumes of geometry that Arnold can process and start to render immediately, as soon as you're working in Maya. 

All right, so what I have here is one of the vehicles that I show in the presentation. So I have it up in an Arnold render view here with the Arnold render view UI. I also have my render settings up, where we can actually create AOVs, which is the pass's equivalent of other renders. So inside of the AOV window, we can click on the built-in list and get a list of built-in passes that we can start to create for our frame. 

I also have the body selected, where we can actually start to select things like presets. So if I were to go ahead and select a different preset, like a balloon preset, or maybe something a little more like a candy apple red, for example, you could see that it resembles the original jet, but it's shifted to the specular process surface. It's still respecting the color maps that are in there. So normally this would go to a bright, bright red, but because we have a color map on this it will retain that color channel. 

So through here, we can create custom presets, as well. And I have a whole bunch of them loaded, starting at the very bottom below the double line. And if I go to "More," you can see that there's quite a few more that I'm using to quickly get to a look that I want. So once I get to a look, I can then go in here. And let's say we'll also change the preset here to a candy apple red for the front left and the front right. So we can just jump through these presets, and quickly assign the [INAUDIBLE] shaders to a new preset. 

And then once I get to that point, I might want to go in here and select, for example, a normal pass, a z pass, an [INAUDIBLE] pass. I might want to include-- which is also new in Arnold 5-- the code pass, which is a secondary specular We can include the code [? obito, ?] a direct code, an indirect code, maybe a CPU time pass. And if I drop here to the bottom, I can start including things like the specular, maybe specular direct and indirect. And then the last one, I'll include things like refractive passes is the transmission pass. 

So once I move that over, you can see all these are included in the rendering process. And they're by default set to "EXR." And that default is really determined to what it is that you have set under the "Common" tab. So in this case, that is the EXR format. So if I were to change this here to "PNG," for example, you'll see that all that stuff updates here, and it follows along nicely with what I have it set in common settings. 

So the brackets will tell you what it is that it's adhering to, and if I have an exclusion. Let's say for this normal pass, I would set this, for example, to "JPEG," which is not something I would want to do. But let's say I do. And then, go back to "Common." I can switch this back to "EXR," for example. And then that will update all the AOVs correctly, except for the one that I built this exclusion in for. 

So let's go back to "EXR," and maybe select the actual AOV node, which will load all the proper nodes in the attribudators. So you can see that we can get the actual normal path, the actual normal node, as well as the universal driver that works for all. And there's a switch in here that allows you to turn on [INAUDIBLE] AOVs, so that you can build multi-layer EXRs. And of course, also, the AOV filter, the filtering mechanism for this particular pass. 

If you wanted to take a frame like this and then save this off, you could just simply go to "File," "Save multi-layer EXR." And then, you can view it in viewers like RV, one of the most sophisticated viewers out there, which is the Tweak Software RV Viewer. Or we can see not just the individual passes, but also the RGNB, the three components to each of those passes. So that's just a quick overview of how you set up passes in Arnold. There's a lot more control to that, in terms of viewing it inside of the software. 

Or we can go in here, and just maybe open this up a bit. If I wanted to reposition this, I can interactively control this on screen by simply tumbling it. If I wanted to look at a different camera view, like a front view, or a top view, or something else, I can view it that way. For all of these camera views, you will now get your normal view, your [? obito, ?] your code pass, for example. That's a composite code. 

If you want to look at just the direct code pass, AOV, you can just turn that on, or maybe look at just the indirect pass. Or if we wanted to go in here and maybe look at something like a spec, there's a spec, as well as things like z. Now when you select "z," you can see that it goes all white. And that's really because the exposure is off. So I might have to go in here and maybe take this down to an exposure of -8 to actually expose expose the z information. 

And the same is true for CPU time. So If I were to go in here and select a CPU time pass, you could see that based on the values in the frame it gives you information about where it's most compute intensive. And so the more time it spends on something, the brighter the color. And typically areas where you get a lot of transmission-- if I were to go in here and select all of this, and maybe make this like -11, you can see that the transmission components there, like the glass cockpit, is most resource intensive, takes the longest to render. 

All right, so that's just a little bit of an overview of just the very basics in Arnold, and where to get started. So thank you very much for watching, and we'll hope to see at the next show.