Arnold was bundled for free in the Autodesk Maya since version 2017. It will no longer include licenses for NVIDIA’s Mental Ray with Maya. Arnold has supported plug-ins available for Maya, Houdini, Cinema 4D, 3ds Max, Katana and Softimage.
I had done some testings with Arnold Renderer. Arnold gives me outstanding image quality. It is about being able to have a high degree of control over how the image is created and every attribute. The render time of Arnold Render is longer as it is a unidirectional path tracer that uses a “brute force” method that is slower but more precise than mental ray approaches like final gathering which can look a bit blurry on indoor scenes.
Arnold is used by many visual effects and animations studios to produce stunning imagery for films and TV, like Pacific Rim and Gravity.
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