Why is Arnold Render not publicly available?

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Old 11 November 2012   #61
For 3ds max it's even better: with 1 license you get unlimited render node licenses. The 10 node limit only applies to distributed rendering (rendering a single frame on just one machine, using the processing power of up to 10 other nodes).


That seems odd. I remember at Scanline VFX we had to buy render licenses using Max for the render farm. It wasn't free. (I saw the bill) but it was certainly inexpensive. While at another studio looking at Vray render licenses we were quoted $800 for every 10 node bundle. This was not for distributed rendering.
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Old 11 November 2012   #62
Originally Posted by Bitter: ...

As a sidenote, the Sony Arnold contains many features and licensed technology that does not exist in the commercial Arnold. Some of these features may never make it due to licensing...


I was suspecting that too and yes it can lead to a misleading perception. So all those studios who are happy MtoA customers, just don't know how to efficiently handle other raytracers? There has to be more to it.
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Old 11 November 2012   #63
The difference is that Arnold actually makes me sleep better while other renderers keep me up all night worrying about crashes and what not. : )
 
Old 11 November 2012   #64
I've worked at places using both Vray and mental ray that turn out good work, but you would be horrified by the methods they use.

Here's a problem with age: mental ray is 20+ years old. Vray is now 10+ years old. Any retained technology someone gets used to is still used by some artists. This means slower renders typically. Or possibly artifacts that have become part of someone's workflow.

For example: 2012 had sequences rendered in Vray with Adaptive Subdivision and not DMC because one person in charge just. . .didn't like DMC. And some other shots were lit not with a dome light, but a giant poly sphere. And I have been told all sorts of bizarre things believed about mental ray from studios working on major blockbusters.

Arnold does not have this history or complexity. It's new and as features are added, deprecated, changed, etc. The fate will be the same. Users will complain about moving on. A new feature will introduce a bug. Compatibility will break. And they will find their self in the same boat. And this is because people are people and not because the software is ill-designed.

I am seeing ambient occlusion renders done in Arnold for example. Why?! Arnold is a path tracer. Ambient Occlusion is automatically included in the render! People refuse to let go of a technique designed to fake global illumination even when using it in something where it's automatic! For artistic considerations that's one thing, but that's not the reason I'm being given for using it.

With any choice of software you have to stay on top of changes. I'm still trying to get people to use features in mental ray that are 5 years old like Native IBL. It's fast and easy and makes FG stable. But the comfort level means they go back to lighting solely with FG. Ack!
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Old 11 November 2012   #65
Arnold has its own problems as well. It's a fantastic render but it has its complications. Indirect diffuse, spec and often sss flicker like hell, not even mention reflections (I realize that most reflections are covered already in indirect and direct spec).

The way to solve this is usually ramp up samples, glossy samples for ind. spec, hemi for ind. diffuse, but there are times where you won't be able to solve it even with high values (which by the way, multiply like crazy render times). We had shots where the only way to solve this was making an hdri of the env. and render the flickering objects in other layers.

Another thing arnold doesn't perform so wall are shaders with refraction. Cristal and the likes are hard to shade and get nice results (and is pretty expensive to render as well).

Arnold ease of use is great, though there are times where I'd love to have some flexibility in the parameters. I guess that's down to habit or personal preference.

I guess the biggest arnold strenght is how easy it is to use, which in some point you're gonna pay for that in render times. But, then again, is far easier to spend money on render nodes than it is to spend on people to develop tools to use it easily (not to mention if you have to train these people).

Keep in mind that I'm working with an older version that the current, and some of the "issues" I've mentioned might have been fixed (I've heard there's a raytracing sss now, which works with IPR).
 
Old 11 November 2012   #66
@JWRodegher

Your experience matches most I hear.

As complexity in a scene increases, the simplicity of setup can be nice. But the overall brute force nature and the fact that these changes are global increase render times dramatically.

The solution is buy more or faster nodes on the render farm.

You have to balance this with your budget and render times for delivery.

Now, something to remind everyone: closed betas are covered under NDA typically. Anything said in here has to stay something that can be found using Google or inferred from the nature of what can be found publicly.
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Old 11 November 2012   #67
@bitter

got your message, but AFAIK arnold is developed since 1997-8?, well it is certainly not a new renderer. Old enough for any renderer to get lost in complexity and bugs.
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Old 11 November 2012   #68
Exactly, the breaking point is complexity (I'm working on a feature film and some sequences are pretty complex, with trees and grass on all the whistles). It makes sense though, there's no trick. When it gets too complex, it's gonna take its time to render and I insist, it is easier to throw some more render nodes than bring people to optimize.

I don't mean to put down Arnold though, it's a fantastic renderer. But I wanted to state that it is not all happiness and candy, it has its problems (which I do not expect any renderer or any software for that matter not to have).
 
Old 11 November 2012   #69
got your message, but AFAIK arnold is developed since 1997-8?, well it is certainly not a new renderer. Old enough for any renderer to get lost in complexity and bugs.


At the time it was basically an ambient occlusion renderer with a handful of people and no customers.

It's significantly different than what it used to be.

Once you add customers you get customer requests for features. Sometimes this is good and others times they request stupid things. But. . .these things may end up integrated anyway.

So in reality, it's a new commercial renderer that requires integration like everyone else now.
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Old 11 November 2012   #70
Originally Posted by ViCoX: The difference is that Arnold actually makes me sleep better while other renderers keep me up all night worrying about crashes and what not. : )


We are experiencing some maya segfaults when working with scenes but when actually rendering it's stable.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #71
I think that's Maya.
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Old 11 November 2012   #72
Originally Posted by mustique: I was suspecting that too and yes it can lead to a misleading perception. So all those studios who are happy MtoA customers, just don't know how to efficiently handle other raytracers? There has to be more to it.


I've been following every post from MR pro's here ever since (inlcuding elementalray), and I still love MR.
But there IS definitely more to it... it's just more reliable than MR (in Maya!).
Originally Posted by ViCoX: The difference is that Arnold actually makes me sleep better while other renderers keep me up all night worrying about crashes and what not. : )



Originally Posted by JWRodegher: Arnold has its own problems as well. It's a fantastic render but it has its complications. Indirect diffuse, spec and often sss flicker like hell, not even mention reflections (I realize that most reflections are covered already in indirect and direct spec).

The way to solve this is usually ramp up samples, glossy samples for ind. spec, hemi for ind. diffuse, but there are times where you won't be able to solve it even with high values (which by the way, multiply like crazy render times). We had shots where the only way to solve this was making an hdri of the env. and render the flickering objects in other layers.

Another thing arnold doesn't perform so wall are shaders with refraction. Cristal and the likes are hard to shade and get nice results (and is pretty expensive to render as well).

Arnold ease of use is great, though there are times where I'd love to have some flexibility in the parameters. I guess that's down to habit or personal preference.

I guess the biggest arnold strenght is how easy it is to use, which in some point you're gonna pay for that in render times. But, then again, is far easier to spend money on render nodes than it is to spend on people to develop tools to use it easily (not to mention if you have to train these people).

Keep in mind that I'm working with an older version that the current, and some of the "issues" I've mentioned might have been fixed (I've heard there's a raytracing sss now, which works with IPR).


yep. that's pretty much it. But I think that's the future... easier for the artist, more expensive in computation.

oh and Bitter. I tried your suggestions with 4 FG rays, force mode. Yep the IPR reacts good, but it's nowhere near as fast as with Arnold. They improved the threading of the render view very well. Something that I miss in MR for Maya to be honest.
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Old 11 November 2012   #73
This is an interesting thread to me. I don't use Arnold but I do still (occasionally) use MR, but I use modo for just about everything. modo has a great interactive preview and one of the thing you can do is just set it to whatever resolution you want (even if it's much larger than the screen) and turn on 'extended refinement passes'. If you do that you don't have to set the number of GI rays..or IR samples...or SSS samples per material or blurry reflection rays per material..or shadow samples in an area light (or anything). It just keeps firing away over and over again.

It takes longer, but it's dead simple to just 'go'. It's a no brainer when I do product stills (similar to Maxwell, Arion and Octane in that manner), it's pretty much an even trade-off of my time vs. render time...except I can then use 'my time' for something else. However, when I have to render 1,000 HD frames then I go in and tweak every setting to get the best render time - because 5 minutes per frame over 1,000 frames is a lot of time to save. I'm guessing a lot of users are just going to go with the 'extended refinement' route (in all renderers once they all have that feature). One other neat trick you can do is just tell modo to render each frame of an animation for (say) 10 minutes and it will move on to the next. This type of rendering is really useful when you know you need an animation done for review by end of day or something like that.

I'm interested in Arnold (having SI and not being in love with MR) but don't need 5 licenses (or whatever it is). I can't say I disagree with their business plan though, it seems to be working for them. I really do think the combination of an interactive 'preview' and the ability to 'refine until I'm happy' are the biggest advancements in rendering from a user perspective since GI became ubiquitous.

-Greg
 
Old 11 November 2012   #74
The extended refinement mode doesn't have as nice AA as a normal render...
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Old 11 November 2012   #75
This is a very interesting thread guys ! Thanks for all the feedback

I have never try Arnold but there is one thing that trouble me with this engine, and this will not be politically correct , but i don't really like the outpout it produce.
I don't like Alice in Wonderland, I don't like Amazing Spiderman Lizzard skin shaders, i don't like green lanterns creatures they looks so fake. But i do find that surf's up render was just kicking ass (prman) !

So i could be totally wrong, but i don't like this new fashion , this new Dogme for physically plausible quest ! Because in this world you base your outpout on a sort of faith in the respect of law of physics. Now this is the engineers that produce the outpout. Studios might find that everything is running smoothly now the artist have the tool to play with light they don't bother with technics. But to me its an illusion, the R&D has created a canvas to play with, but its a lock canvas, your forget a key element of cinematography : you don't care about reality you just create a cheated reality that look real .

On the other side we have engine like prman and 3delight who are PITA to setup, but i do find that at this time the outpout they produce is better especially for creatures rendering. I've always love the paradigm choosen by the reyes : CHEATS. And i find very frustrating this new addiction for engine where at the end you have very few control on what you do. You are free to play with a lock canvas that obey the law of light. But for true perfectionist the goal is always to get the nicest possible outpout even if you must violate some physicall law to achieve it ...

Well i write this and i realise that i'm completely trolling this topic about arnold. But i would be very interested to get your pov about this Bitter. Do you think i'm completely Has Been , or is their a part of truth in that ...

Cheers

E
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Last edited by SebKaine : 11 November 2012 at 10:42 AM.
 
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