Thursday, November 12th, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Solid Angle releases Arnold 4.2.11


Arnold 4.2.11 introduces Russian Roulette termination for the standard and Lambert shaders to improve render speed on interiors and scenes that contain a lot of glass objects. Click the image to view it full-size.

Solid Angle has released Arnold 4.2.11, the latest update to the industry-standard production renderer, optimising its standard shader for indoor scenes, and adding a new global shader override option.

Improved ray termination for scenes with high GI depth
The headline feature in the release is the use of Russian Roulette termination in the standard and Lambert shaders for greater efficiency when rendering scenes with high GI depth.

According to Solid Angle, this can speed up renders by up to 4x on “glass-heavy and indoor scenes”.

The demo scene above shows this in action, cranking up the sampling in Arnold 4.2.11 to generate a much cleaner render in roughly the same time as in Arnold 4.2.10.

New global shader override, more metadata stored in EXR files
Other new features include a global shader override option, which does just what the name suggests, overriding a given shader on all objects in a scene for scene troubleshooting or test renders.

In addition, more information is stored as metadata in images rendered in EXR format, including global render options like sample settings and ray depths and basic render stats like poly counts and memory usage.

The deep EXR driver also now supports custom metadata and attributes. Other changes include better threading on many-core machines, plus a number of API changes and bugfixes.

All five existing linking plugins – Maya, Softimage, Houdini, Cinema 4D and Katana – have been updated to take advantage of the new features in the core engine, although by and large, there are no other major changes.

Pricing and availability
Arnold 4.2.11 is out now for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. A node-locked licence costs $790, while a floating licence costs $1,220, both including one year’s maintenance. All of the integration plugins are free downloads.

Read a full list of new features in Arnold 4.2.11 on Solid Angle’s website