Autodesk ships Arnold 7.2.2
Autodesk has released Arnold 7.2.2, the latest version of the production renderer.
The update makes edits to large scenes “nearly instantaneous”, makes renders generated on AMD, Apple and Intel CPUs perceptually identical, and extends USD and MaterialX support.
The plugins for 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Houdini and Maya have all been updated to support the new features.
Faster rendering of scenes with large numbers of instances or lights
Despite the small change in version number, Arnold 7.2.2 is a fairly significant update in terms of render performance and quality.
When editing lights or shaders in complex scenes – those with “millions of instances” – the time to first pixel is “nearly instantaneous, instead of having to wait multiple seconds”.
Autodesk suggests that the changes will be particularly significant when working on scenes that use the USD Point Instancer.
Global light sampling performance – a focus of the previous release – has been further improved, reducing render times on scenes with large numbers of lights.
Perceptually identical renders across supported CPUs
Arnold’s CPU renderer should now generate visually identical results across supported hardware.
According to Autodesk, while images rendered on AMD, Apple and Intel CPUs were previously often “perceptually equivalent”, they should now be “perceptually identical”.
The amount of noise in volumes when using a mesh light with very small triangles has also been reduced, as shown in the image above.
Expanded USD and MaterialX support
In addition, support for USD and MaterialX has been further extended, with the update making it possible to render MaterialX nodes defined in third-party node definitions.
Supported by all of the integration plugins
Arnold’s integration plugins have also been updated to support the new features:
System requirements and availability
Arnold 7.2.2 is available for Windows 10+, RHEL/CentOS 7+ Linux and macOS 10.13+. Integrations are available for 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Houdini, Katana and Maya.
GPU rendering is supported on Windows and Linux only, and requires a compatible Nvidia GPU.
The software is rental-only, with single-user subscriptions costing $50/month or $400/year.