Hello, Arnold GPU

Arnold is one of the most popular renderers in animation and film production, the software and renderers supported by Fox Renderfarm including Arnold, we are also an Arnold render farm. With the recent release of Arnold-5.3.0.0, the first version of the Arnold GPU (beta) has been officially released. We can share some of the results and thoughts about the pre-test of the Arnold GPU.
The principle of Arnold GPU
More than two years ago, Marcos Fajardo (author of the Arnold) talked about the possibility of Arnold GPUs for the first time at SIGGRAPH2015. At the time, a full-platform-supported GPU renderer based on the OpenCL computing framework was designed. However, the current Arnold GPU is based on NVIDIA Optix rendering architecture, the bottom layer is CUDA language, CUDA is much more friendly than OpenCL, the development progress is certainly faster, and the most important thing is that CUDA is faster and more stable. With the release of the RTX series of graphics cards, vector intersection processing is getting faster and faster, and it is more suitable for GPU ray tracing algorithms.

Arnold CPU and GPU effects
The original purpose of Arnold GPU rendering was to keep the CPU and GPU rendering results close to each other, which is the effect and speed of the different rendering modes of the beta version.
Test environment:

Katana3.0 KtoA 2.3.0.0 gpu19 GeForce GTX 1080
Using 8 render threads
Parameter settings:
AA samples = 6
GI diffsue samples = 3
GI specular samples = 3
GI transmisson samples = 3
GI diffsue depth = 2
GI specular depth = 3
GI transmisson depth = 8
Light sampling is the default
Metal
  Metal (CPU on the left, GPU on the right)
Rendering time:
CPU - 2m13s
GPU - 10s
In summary, the metal BRDF material does not require much computing performance, and can be well calculated on the GPU, so the CPU and GPU noise is less, GPU rendering is much faster. When there are many hard surface materials in the scene, the GPU will show more powerful speed and performance without losing the rendering quality.
Glass

Glass (CPU on the left, GPU on the right)
Rendering time:
CPU - 31m57s
GPU - 17s
Glass BTDF material, ray tracing renderer is too slow and too inefficient. Although the Arnold GPU renders extremely fast, it is obvious that the rendering details are lost and the noise is dense. Still using the CPU to render slowly is more reliable.
Subsurface scattering  

Subsurface scattering (CPU on the left, GPU on the right)
Rendering time:
CPU - 6m39s
GPU - 36s
Subsurface scattering(SSS), also known as BSSRDF, is the biggest surprise for Arnold GPU in so many tests. The Arnold GPU implements the random_walk BSSRDF in standard_surface.
First, the Arnold 5 comes with two types of SSS:
Dif
Random_walk
Diffusion is an empirically based SSS model that renders results faster because many of the parameters are obtained by looking up the table. This empirical model is also commonly used today. Random_walk is a complete light reflection calculation based on a real physical model.
Going back to the Arnold GPU, it doesn't support diffusion but uses random_walk directly. The results are perfect, the noise is small, and the rendering is very similar to the CPU. In actual production, this is a CG production requirement that is fully qualified for film.
Cornell Box

Cornell_box (CPU on the left, GPU on the right)
Rendering time:
CPU - 23m37s
GPU - 1m27s
The result is perfect, although the rendering time is slow, but the effect is amazing. Compared with Redshift, the speed is fiasco, and the effect is over. The biggest problem with Redshift is that indirect lighting tends to be too bright and dark details are not enough. The effect of the Arnold GPU is basically the same as that of the CPU. At this point, it is the best known in the current renderer (prman doesn't know).
Please note here that the reason why the rendering time of the GPU is significantly faster than the CPU is because the sampling is the same, and the sampling result is the same, the noise of the GPU rendering result is significantly more than the noise of the CPU rendering result.
Arnold Beta Edition Limitations
Because Arnold is still in the early beta version, many features are not available. It should be a little early to use the Arnold GPU for production. Here are some of the bigger drawbacks.
General restrictions
GPU rendering, based on the same sampling, more noise than CPU
GPU rendering will read all textures into memory and video memory, not supporting streaming texture
GPU rendering does not support bucket rendering, all supported AOVs are left in memory
GPU rendering does not support OpenVDB
Shaders restrictions
OSL Shaders is not supported yet
Third-party Shaders are not supported at this time
Does not support AOVs write, does not support write_aov
Lights restrictions
Cylinder_light is not supported yet
Disk_light is not supported at this time
Mesh_light is not supported yet
Light_links is not supported at this time
Light_filters is not supported at this time
The future of Arnold GPU
Arnold wants to use GPU rendering for movie-level projects, but because of the GPU's own shortcomings, many renderings must be calculated using the CPU, which is more efficient. Therefore, it is very important to switch between rendering between CPU and GPU freely. Based on this, Arnold can provide high quality CPU unidirectional ray tracing rendering while providing efficient GPU Optix ray tracing rendering.
A set of APIs supports CPU and GPU
Arnold was originally designed to use a set of APIs that are compatible with CPU and GPU rendering. Now Arnold GPUs are beginning to be compatible with some of the Maya native materials available in MtoA, at least for this, Arnold has made some progress.
Support for OSL Shaders
The latest news, from the developer forum, NVIDIA is working with Sony to develop OSL GPU-based compatibility, including several important features of OSL: Closure and LPEs. Will join the Arnold GPU soon.
Rendering consistency
Now it seems that Arnold still does a good job of restoring effects. GPU rendering tries to move closer to CPU rendering because the two rendering architectures are different and no longer extend.
Reference: MIYAZAKI

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Arnold for Maya Tutorial: Ice Cube Material
Arnold for Maya Tutorial: Ice Cube Material
Fox Renderfarm is known as a powerful but affordable render farm in the CG industry. Fox Renderfarm supports most mainstream software, Renderers, and Plugins, including Maya and Arnold. This article is about the knowledge of ice cube material in the basic material related learning in the Arnold tutorial. I hope it can be helpful for your learning of Arnold. In all kinds of texture making, ice cubes are a special kind. The overall texture of the ice cube is transparent, and has high specularity and refraction, as well as a certain caustics. Although the ice cubes are smooth, fine particles can still be seen at a certain angle. These particles are actually some small white bubbles generated during the ice-making process. There are many ways to achieve this effect. Today we will share a method of making ice cubes. Production First create a block to serve as the main body of ice. Then create an Arnold base shader and modify some of the settings. Because the ice cube material is transparent. There is no color, so there is no surface color. In Diffuse, set Color to black. Increase the Weight value in Specular. Because the surface of ice has no roughness and is very smooth, you need to open Fresnel to simulate this effect. Set the refraction, the value of Weight also needs to be adjusted up, the value of IOR is set to 1.33, and then check Fresnel, also need to check Caustics. Now the basic texture of the ice cube has been set. Now you need to add a small bubble effect to the ice cube. First create an Arnold 3D texture material, give the model, the following dialog box appears, just close it. After jumping out of the Aibump3d1sg node, you just need to drag the created Arnold texture to the Surface Shader in Arnold of Aibump3d1sg, then the model will appear small bubbles of bump effect. Next, place the ice texture made in the Shader of Aibump3d1 in the texture. Next, you need to add a Stucco texture map to the Bump Map in the 3D node, and then change the Bump Height to 0.5. Now that the material part is complete, the rest needs to add an HDRI. Open the material editor, create an aiSky environment ball map in Arnold, and paste an HDR environment map in Color. Change the value of Intensity to 2. Some settings are required before rendering. Click the Background link in the Environment to create the aiSky texture that was just created, so that the lights in the scene are set up. The sampling value of Cameraca is increased to 5 (the higher the value, the slower the rendering speed). Refraction value is set to 4. Set the Refraction value to 4 in Ray depth. Create a sphere as an environment and check Visibe in Refiections in Render Stats. Then conduct a rendering test. Rendering In 3D texture mapping, Maya's own 3D texture mapping can achieve many different effects (turn off the highlighter and refraction of the shader, and the following effects appear, The highlight and refraction of the shader are turned on, rendering:
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Arnold\ V-Ray\ Octane\ Conora\ RedShift, Which Renderer Is The Best?
Arnold\ V-Ray\ Octane\ Conora\ RedShift, Which Renderer Is The Best?
Nowadays, many people use 3D software to create their works, so the use of the renderer is essential. There are many popular renderers, including V-Ray, Octane, Arnold, Conona, RedShift. But for many new 3D artist, which renderer is the best? The principles of these renderers are basically the same, but the operation methods are somewhat different. Of course, the focus of each rendering is different. Let us take a look at it now. Basic introduction to the renderer: The work from the Runner in Evermotion 2017, rendered by V-Ray. V-Ray The V-Ray renderer focuses on interior design and outdoor design for 20 years. The biggest feature is that it is almost half of the building performance, and the latest 4.0 version of the various functions are also very perfect, many works can be fake. Disadvantages, perhaps because V-Ray has too many setting parameters, material adjustment and lighting performance is very difficult, not very friendly to novices! Aronld official show Arnold Arnold is very powerful. The physics-based ray tracing engine CPU renderer is the most stable! Of course, the CPU is not strong enough, the rendering speed is also anxious, especially the rendering of transparent objects such as glass, as well as its powerful node-like operation, so that novices love and hate it! Of course, as an attitude to study the renderer, Arnold is highly recommended to learn! RedShift Next, talk about RedShift, the GPU-based renderer, the most intuitive experience is that the real-time preview and rendering speed is fast, and has a powerful node system like Arnold. It is more suitable for artistic creation, especially for animation. As for the authenticity of the rendering effect, it takes a lot of time to practice and accumulate knowledge. Octane Octane is also a GPU-based renderer. First of all, its SSS and replacement functions are quite good. The speed is also very fast, the light is softer, and the rendering looks very comfortable. Similarly, if the slightly larger scene is solved by PL, the efficiency will drop, but the speed is not fast. There are also problems with dryness that can sometimes become one of the features of the work! PS: The current version of OC does not support A card, nor can it exclude lights. The work from the first place of Evermotion 2017, rendered by Corona. Conona is also a highly recommended renderer. It comes from V-Ray. It can be seen as a simplified version of V-Ray. LightMix lighting solves the trouble of late dimming. The material system will not have to worry about it by default. Very small and practical, quick to get started, of course, just out of the official version, it is said that next year will be a node system, while the animation is somewhat weak! If you do indoor and outdoor design, static frame rendering can be used, after all, it is best at the ray tracing rendering engine! In fact, the renderer is just a step in the work, we can choose different renderers according to different work content, find the best for you.
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Arnold Render Farm | Fox Render Farm
Arnold Render Farm | Fox Render Farm
Fox Renderfarm is a global technology company specialized in cloud computing services for rendering in entertainment industry. We supports most popular 3D software, renderers and plugins all over the world, like 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, SketchUp, Blender, LightWave, V-Ray, Redshift, Corona, and more. Supported internal and external plugins for 3ds Max, Maya, or Cinema 4D are integrated to our Arnold support. GPU & CPU rendering are both available in arnold render farm. Fox Renderfarm fire up thousands of rendering nodes instantly, high availability, no waiting necessary, easy to use, refers to MPAA security standards, also a flexible render farm pricing for you. The more reason you choose us in arnold render farm are below: - The partner of Oscar winning production teams. - With Hollywood level production experience for years. - 24/7 Live customer care & technical support. - Response time: 10-15 mins. - Contact available via Skype/Email . - As low as $0.04 per core hour - Volume discounts available up to 60%. Fox Renderfarm has an outstanding team with over 20 years’ experience in CG industry. Team members are from Disney, Lucasfilm, Dreamworks, Sony, etc. With professional services and industry-leading innovations, they serve leading special effects companies and animation studios from over 50 countries and regions, including two Oscar winners. In 2015, Fox Renderfarm formed a global strategic partnership with Aliyun (Alibaba Cloud Computing) to provide global visual cloud computing services. Get $20 free trial to register and rendering your artwork online now!
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