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Solid Angle has released Arnold 5

[ #Arnold #SolidAngle #Rendering ]
Solid Angle releases major Arnold 5.0 update with improved performance and new shaders, bundled with 3ds Max 2018.

Highlight Enhancements in Arnold 5.0:

• Shaders:
- Standard Surface: a new standard_surface shader was added, with intuitive and energy conserving parameters, a secondary specular coat with separate normal, metallic Fresnel, thin surface support and more. The standard shader is still available but considered deprecated.
- Standard Hair: a new physically based standard_hair shader was added, with much more accurate specular and transmissive scattering, better diffuse scattering for dirty hair, melanin randomization, and simple and intuitive parameters. The older hair shader is still available but considered deprecated.
- Standard Volume: a new standard_volume shader was added, usable for rendering a wide variety of volumes. The shader provides independent control of density, scattering color and transparency, in a way that is energy conserving by default. Fire can be rendered using blackbody emission driven by temperature. Displacement can be used to add more detail to volumes. This supersedes the density volume shader, which has been removed.
- Utility shader: the utility shader has been enhanced with a new metal shading mode, and a roughness control has been added that affects plastic and metal modes.
• OSL, Closures and AOVs:
- Open Shading Language: shaders can now be written in Open Shading Language, an advanced shading language for production GI renderers. OSL shaders placed in the shader search path are automatically registered as Arnold shader nodes, with their parameters converted to Arnold parameters. Once loaded, they can be inspected, instantiated and linked in exactly the same way as C++ shaders. OSL shaders can be used to implement texture patterns and materials using closures
- Closures: a new closure parameter type has been added, which shaders can output instead of final colors. There are BSDF, BSSRDF, emission, matte, transparency and volume closures. See the API documentation and examples for more details on how to use these. Linking a color to a closure parameter will automatically create an emission closure with that color. A closure parameter however can't be linked or converted to a color, as the integrator only computes lighting after shader evaluation.
- Light group AOVs: surface shaders now natively support light group AOVs, previously this feature was only available for volume shading.
- Light path expressions: light path expressions are used to write lighting components into separate AOVs. No longer should individual shaders define AOVs for direct/indirect light and various layers, rather a regular expression syntax is used to define the subset of all scattering and emission events in the scene that should be written to each AOV. Built-in AOVs are available for the common cases.

• Color Management
- Linear color spaces: any linear color space can now be specified through the color manager for any output driver that supports halfs or floats.
- Color Managers: custom color_manager nodes can now be implemented to handle input and output color transforms. A color manager is a package similar to SynColor or OpenColorIO. If no color manager is specified in options.color_manager, Arnold will use the built-in one which supports linear (no transform), sRGB and Rec709 (non linear)

• Sampling
- Dithered sampling: most samplers (e.g. soft shadows, indirect illumination, depth of field) will now take advantage of dithered sampling, which improves the visual distribution of noise specially at low sample rates.
- Quad lights: sampling has been improved, reducing noise for surface lighting. For comparisons with the previous sampler, options.enable_new_quad_light_sampler can be disabled.
- Cylinder lights: sampling has been improved, significantly reducing noise for cylinder lights in volumes or where cylinder lights are located near other surfaces.
- Disk lights: a novel sampling algorithm has been implemented for disk lights which can greatly improve their rendering quality when shading points near the disk's surface, particularly in volumes

You can read the full release features HERE.

>> See Also: Arnold for Maya Guide

Chad Ashley from Greyscalegorilla has shares his favorite features in brand new Arnold 5 update.

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Solid Angle has released Arnold 5 Reviewed by Ngoc Anh Le on 02:37 Rating: 5
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