Lee Griggs

Introducing Arnold 5.1

By - - Arnold
5 mins
Last modification: 11 Apr, 2018

Introducing Arnold 5.1

We’re excited to bring you Arnold 5.1 featuring a set of powerful new tools to help deliver a better rendering experience to artists everywhere.

Building on the core architecture updates introduced with 5.0, many of the new features are in direct response to artists’ requests, providing solutions to some of the most complex rendering challenges. And since 5.1 is fully binary compatible with 5.0, upgrading is easy.Toon shader robot

Amongst the key updates, major advancements in sampling and denoising give artists more control over image quality, while a new Toon shader and enhancements to built-in shaders deliver a more satisfying out-of-the-box experience. A fully native Alembic procedural and material assignments and overrides offer ultimate flexibility to keep pipelines running smoothly and efficiently. A new Profiling API and structured statistics provide an extensive set of debugging tools that will help technical users to maximize render throughput.

Optimizing for quality and speed

  • Adaptive sampling offers a streamlined way to easily tune image fidelity, so users can reduce render times without jeopardizing final image quality.
  • Two new denoising solutions give you the option to use much lower quality sampling settings to optimize your rendering process:
    • The OptiX Denoiser based on NVIDIA AI technology is now integrated into Arnold.
    • The Arnold Denoiser is a standalone tool that offers the temporal stability needed for final frame denoising.

Denoiser - Barbie
Denoiser - bathroom
Toon shader

A new Toon shader has been integrated as part of a non-photorealistic rendering solution, provided in combination with the Contour Filter, making it easier to achieve incredible new styles and effects. While Arnold is long known for producing beautiful photorealistic imagery, many users have asked for functionality allowing toon or stylized non-photoreal looks, and this new shader will open up a tremendous range of options.

Managing complexity and scale

For technical users, Arnold continues to offer the stability needed to scale performance without sacrificing image quality. 

  • A native Alembic procedural will help studios working with Alembic pipelines to better integrate Arnold, optimize their Alembic workflow, and eliminate production bottlenecks.
  • A new Profiling API plus structured statistics, including the ability to output data in JSON format, offer a set of powerful debugging tools so users can more easily identify performance issues and fine-tune rendering processes.

Interoperability for open pipelines

Arnold 5.1 lays the groundwork for major developments in supporting open industry standards, helping to dismantle technical roadblocks that might be limiting your choice of tools.

  • Material assignments and overrides: Fully interactive inside of Arnold, a new set of operators makes it possible to override any part of an Arnold scene and modify the Arnold universe at render time. Support for open standard frameworks including MaterialX will make it easier than ever to transfer rich material and look-development content between applications and renderers.


A full list of new features and functionality including progressive rendering and overall enhancements to built-in shaders can be found in the Arnold 5.1 release notes. Visit the Arnold Support Portal for details.

Arnold has supported plug-ins available for Maya, Houdini, Cinema4D, 3ds Max, and Katana.

Posted By
Published In
  • Arnold
  • Rendering
  • Film & VFX
  • Games
  • Design Visualization
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| 1 year ago
wow, i loved the animation at the end of video, i hope to see a tutorial how can this be done, LOVE IT!
| 1 year ago
Good, but when will be released plugin for 3ds max? Tell us please ))
Edited by lcxfd3MG 1 year ago
| 1 year ago
very cool and thanks to the team. and when will the version be released in 3ds max?
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