Friday, August 18th, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

Autodesk makes Arnold free to schools and colleges

Autodesk has made Arnold free to educational institutions. Staff at schools and colleges can now request extra standalone licences of the renderer, on top of the limited versions that come with 3ds Max and Maya.

The firm has also introduced new ‘Arnold Packs’: discounted bundles of annual Arnold subscriptions that halve to cost of annual rentals when buying in blocks of five.

Free educational licences of Arnold for batch rendering and use with Cinema 4D and Houdini
The announcement makes Arnold available free to schools and colleges on a similar basis as Autodesk’s other products, following the company’s acquisition of original developer Solid Angle last year.

The software can be used for “purposes directly related to learning, teaching, training, research or development” if it doesn’t involve professional or commercial work.

Faculty at educational institutions can request free licences of Arnold for their students to use: unlike some other Autodesk tools, the institution needs a licence server in order to qualify.

As a result, individual students will have to request Arnold educational licences through their schools.

Arnold already comes with educational licences of Maya and 3ds Max, but the bundled version is limited to interactive rendering, meaning schools previously needed extra commercial licences for render farms.

The move also makes Arnold more accessible to users of non-Autodesk DCC software that supports the renderer: primarily Cinema 4D and Houdini, but also Katana.

Cost of commercial subscriptions halved when renting in blocks of five
Solid Angle has also announced Arnold Packs: bundles of five annual subscriptions priced at $1,500/year – half the cost of buying the subscriptions individually.

There is no limit to the number of packs you can buy, so for a studio, the scheme effectively halves the cost of Arnold licensing, so long as you keep upping your subscription in blocks of five.

The news follows Autodesk’s decision earlier this year to switch Arnold to the same rental-only subscriptions policy as its other software, with sales of perpetual licences due to be discontinued in 2018.

Read the full announcement on Solid Angle’s website