Saturday, January 30th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Autodesk ships Arnold 6.2

Arnold 6.2’s new V-Ray-style Light Mixer imager enables artists to relight images without re-rendering. Images: Lee Griggs.

Autodesk has released Arnold 6.2, the latest version of the VFX-industry-standard production renderer, adding a new Light Mixer system for relighting images without the need to re-render them.

The release also extends Arnold’s GPU rendering and USD toolsets, and adds support for OpenColorIO 2.0.

New Light Mixer post effect enable artists to relight images without re-rendering
Arnold 6.2 builds on the new framework for applying post effects to renders introduced in Arnold 6.1.

New ‘imager’ post effect nodes introduced in the latest release include the Light Mixer, which makes it possible to edit the contributions of light group AOVs to an render.

As with Light Mix in V-Ray and Corona Renderer, or the Multilight system in Maxwell, or it makes it possible to relight an image without re-rendering it, speeding up look development.

Other changes to post effects include support for light bloom in the existing lens effect imager.

In addition, both the native Noice denoiser and the Nvidia OptiX denoiser are now implemented as imagers, making it possible to set up a scene to denoise automatically after rendering.

Updates to Arnold GPU, better USD support and support for OpenColorIO 2.0
Arnold GPU, the software’s GPU render engine, continues to evolve, and now supports shadow groups, in addition to the initial support for light linking introduced in Arnold 6.1.

Start-up performance has also been improved, with Autodesk claiming “up to a 2x speed-up in start-up time”, translating to a 4% decrease in render time when rendering a scene for the first time.

Support for the USD file format also continues to evolve, with Arnold’s Hydra render delegate now supporting physical camera parameters and per-face material assignments.

Arnold also now supports Katana’s Hydra viewport, making it possible to transfer scenes to Katana via USD; and supports final-frame rendering via Solaris, Houdini’s USD native layout and lighting toolset.

Other significant changes include support for OpenColorIO 2.0, the latest version of the open colour-management standard, which forms part of the 2021 VFX Reference Platform specification.

Arnold also now supports up to 256 AOVs, up from 15 in the previous release.

Plugins for 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Houdini, Katana and Maya updated
Arnold’s integration plugins have also been updated with C4DtoA 3.3 for Cinema 4D, HtoA 5.6 for Houdini, KtoA 3.2 for Katana, MAXtoA 4.3 for 3ds Max, and MtoA 4.2 for Maya supporting Arnold 6.2.

System requirements and availability
Arnold 6.2 is available for Windows 10, RHEL/CentOS 7+ Linux and macOS 10.13-10.15. Integrations are available for 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Houdini, Katana and Maya, and there is a legacy plugin for Softimage.

The software is rental-only, with single-user subscriptions starting at $45/month or $360/year. Multi-user subscriptions start at $630/year. The plugins are free.

Arnold GPU is supported on Windows and Linux only, and requires a compatible Nvidia GPU.

Read a full list of new features in Arnold 6.2 in the online documentation