New! MAXtoA Arnold Plugin Version 0.6

By - - 3ds Max
Duration
4 mins

Our first update to the new MAXtoA Arnold plugin is now available on the Solid Angle site. You can download the new version from here: https://www.solidangle.com/arnold/download/

New Features and Benefits in MAXtoA v0.60

Versions

This v0.60 update to MAXtoA still requires a minimum of Service Pack 2 for 3ds Max 2017, which is included in the installer. 

Arnold has been upgraded to version 4.2.14.2.

New! Cloud Rendering Service Preview

For a limited time and as a technology preview, the Arnold plug-in for 3ds Max can be used in combination with the new "3ds Max Cloud Rendering" pilot program. This cloud rendering service is free for a limited time, and produces watermark-free images with the Arnold renderer.

After you've installed MAXtoA, go to https://renderpilot.3dsmax.autodesk.com to download and install the cloud rendering plugin. You will need to log in with your Autodesk account information. 

Once you have your model ready to render, send it to the cloud service by selecting the "Submit to Cloud Rendering" in the Render Setup dialog box:

You'll then get the dialog box for uploading and submitting your job to the service:

Adjust any final settings and select "Upload and Render". You have options here to open the cloud queue web page, and you can also access that link from the main Rendering menu and the "Show Cloud Rendering Queue" option.

The service works with Arnold, Scanline, and ART renderers. Animation size and frame count may be limited in this free preview.

Deformation Motion Blur

MAXtoA now supports both Transform and Deformation motion blur options:

Ensure that Motion Blur is enabled in the Physical Camera, and adjust the settings in the Arnold settings in the Render Setup dialog box (shown above). The Motion Blur settings in the camera are not used.

AOVs in ActiveShade

You can now use ActiveShade to interactively view AOVs. There is a new drop-down menu item which shows the AOV names previously defined in the Arnold settings:

New "Preview (AA)" Setting

In the Sampling and Ray Depth settings is a new "Preview (AA)" setting and adjacent enable checkbox:

This setting, when enabled, creates a fast low-quality prepass rendering prior to the final-quality rendering specified in the "Camera (AA)" setting. For normal rendering use, a prepass settings of -3 gives a fast idea of scene lighting, and you can cancel the rendering if adjustments are needed. Prepass should be used for ActiveShade.

Disable this setting whenever you are creating final renderings to save on render time, particularly to network or cloud machines. 

Additional Arnold Shaders

We now have two categories of Arnold shaders shipping with MAXtoA: "built-in" and "MAXtoA_Shaders".

The new MAXtoA_Shaders category contains numerous shaders needed for creating complex and interesting materials in Arnold. Both categories of shaders are documented here: https://support.solidangle.com/display/AF3DSUG/Shaders

The 3ds Max Blend Material

The legacy 3ds Max Blend material is now supported in MAXtoA. 

Additional Environment and Background Options

The Physical environment mode now includes an Enable checkbox, along with a Samples setting. We are also providing a button to quickly open the Environments & Effects dialog box so you can define the environment map:

The Enable option enables the automatic Skydome that is (now optionally) added to your scene at translation time. This option allows you to easily produce high-quality image-based lighting to your scene with just an environment map.

It is not recommended to use a Skydome for interior scenes; Distant and Quad lights will produce faster and higher-quality images with reasonable AA settings. Skydomes are noisy for scenes lit through a portal. See the Solid Angle site for more information on ideal workflows.

The Samples setting allows you to optimize your rendering by adjusting just the sampling of the automatic Skydome. Adjusting the specific source of rendering noise, rather than adjusting the overall Camera (AA) settings, will typically produce faster results.

In the Advanced mode you now have more control over the automatic Skydome:

The Samples setting shown in the Physical mode is duplicated in the Advance settings.

Depending on your Environment map, you may need to increase the default "Custom Resolution" that Arnold uses to sample the environment. Higher values improve the accuracy of the lighting but will increase render time. The default of 1000 works for many scenes, however a too-low setting may result in inconsistencies in rendering, particularly animations. You may need a larger number if your environment has small bright light sources like those found in the Physical Sky or an HDR sky image. 

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Tags
  • 3ds Max
  • Animation
  • Film & VFX
  • Games
  • Design Visualization
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