Sunday, August 3rd, 2014 Posted by Jim Thacker

Arnold 4.2 and new Houdini and C4D plugins due soon

Framestore head of R&D Martin Preston discusses Arnold. The studio used the upcoming Arnold 4.2 on Guardians of the Galaxy, reporting performance boosts of up to five times under specific conditions.

Solid Angle has announced Arnold 4.2, the latest update to its increasingly VFX-industry-dominating renderer, along with new plugins for Houdini and Cinema 4D. All three will go on show at Siggraph 2014.

No new features, just better performance
The press material for the 4.2.x release series doesn’t mention any new functionality: just performance – specifically, simultaneous reductions in render time, noise levels and memory footprint.

Solid Angle claims that beta testers report 25-50% performance gains on actual production scenes, and backs that up with quotes to that effect from The Embassy VFX and Belgian animation house Nozon.

Framestore is even quoted as reporting “5x speedups in how our procedurals could expand to generate our environments” on Guardians of the Galaxy.

New bridge plugins for Houdini and Cinema 4D
In addition, Solid Angle is broadening its potential user base with bridges to two new DCC packages. The new Houdini and Cinema 4D plugins join the existing Arnold for Maya and Arnold for Softimage.

Of the two, the Arnold for Houdini (HtoA) is the more advanced, having already been used in production by Prime Focus and Framestore NY, and due for an official release during Siggraph itself.

The Cinema 4D to Arnold plugin (C4DtoA) is newer, and will only be demoed at the show, with a public release to follow at the end of the year.

Nevertheless, the press release notes that the current build is the result of “a year of independent development”, and cites Ugly Kids’ Daniel Hennies – also a key mover in bringing Krakatoa to C4D – as an “early instigator”.

See all three at Siggraph
That’s the news in a nutshell: the three official press releases – available via the link below – provide some extra user quotes, and offer some more detailed context for the reported speed boots in Arnold 4.2.

Read more about Arnold 4.2 and the Houdini and Cinema 4D plugins on the Solid Angle website