Autodesk acquires Solid Angle (Arnold renderer)


Let’s look at Mudbox as a similar asquistition example, when it was bought it was held in high regards in what it did, lot’s of talk on how it thrive under the autodesk umbrella and look at it now, a forgotten stepchild.
No matter how good this product is in the future it will never be as good as the day before it was bought by autodesk, that is just how it works(as far as support and development speed is concerned).


Redshift and Vray all the way…


the clever ones are;)


Someone posted on another forum that ADSK announced on the NAB Live Stream today that Arnold will be included for free in the next major version release of Maya and Max.


I don’t think it’s Autodesk specifically, but rather whenever a big parent company buys a smaller one, it’s easy for a team to lose its motivation to innovate and survive when they no longer have their feet held to the fire. Look at Mental Ray after the Nvidia buyout.


Why would they announce that at NAB then be so vague and evasive about it in the FAQ and press release?


Sooo…we’re gonna apply logic to ADSK strategies now? Nope, not falling for that one…too easy. PASS.


As a Maya/ Arnold user i think this could be good. Maybe they’ll include Arnold as the default render or tweak it so the default materials could benefit from the AOVs.

In any case i don’t think they’ll kill it because it really is better and easier than the default render engines that come with Maya.


I believe that I will end up paying more for this in my Maya licences down the track


Our challenge is that we cannot publicly disclose future features in future products so we are not able to say specifically what will be in future versions of 3ds Max and Maya and we are definitely not announcing Arnold availability with either of those products at NAB. Maya 2106 ext 2 and 3ds Max 2017 (announced at NAB) will both ship with mental ray. What we can say is that we are in the process of evaluating integration of Arnold with these products.


Since Max no longer has Mental Ray/iray installed by default (have to install them separately), I’ve wondered if there wasn’t a rift in the business relationship between AD and Nvidia, and a plan to replace it with their own high-end production renderer. The acquisition of Solid Angle seems to imply that very direction, and it makes sense.

Mental Ray has diminished in the production rendering role, especially with the spate of 3rd party rendering solutions…VRay, Corona, Octane, Thea, Arion, etc.


Is a perpetual license, or lack of a future feature?

By that video and the 180 a year later, I’d give whatever AD announces a shelf-life of a year.


The rumour mill had been spinning harder and faster for the last couple months, to the point even people who’re not normally much “in the know” had started catching wind of it.
Maybe they wanted to avoid the Nth leak where the public makes announcements for them three months in advance of their press release :slight_smile:


I dont think it’s about their existing renderer per say but more about they IP, patents so they can apply it in their own renderer(s)…


As a long-time mental ray user, I’m excited, even if it’ll take some time to switch over long-time projects with MR assets. This announcement simplified everything for us. Arnold was probably too expensive for us at the current prices. I kept thinking sooner or later something major will change with how many players there currently are in the market and how different the pricing is between similar-ish products.

While Vray’s pricing keeps creeping upward, that makes me think they’ve hit their critical mass where they’re not expanding much to new users. Meanwhile Renderman’s cost is less than half of what Arnold’s is. I kept thinking Arnold will eventually cut prices or Renderman will somehow fail to gain back market share with its new engine.

I like that Marcos remains in control and can be dedicated to making the renderer better and not be sidetracked with doing other things - like making a GPU platform like Nvidia currently is.

I wonder what the rendering licensing will be like - will it be unlimited arnold licenses or tied to the number of maya/max network licenses?

I’ve been reading threads on other forums about this and generally most people seem upset that AD bought them. I guess they would rather of AD have licensed Arnold rather than buy them - despite that Marcos seems pretty obsessed with making the best render engine he can regardless of where the money comes from.


we will continue to offer perpetual licenses for Arnold though i cannot guarantee that will be in perpetuity there is currently no plan to change that

As regards that video that was definitely true at the time. That was the strategy we were embarked upon then. Plans can change. It happens all the time to us all as individuals and of course as organizations. We are typically pretty diligent about not talking about the future too specifically anyway. Fact is, if you are making any decision today about any technology based on what you think its going to be several years down the road you are taking a pretty big risk because so many things can change - companies get bought and sold, new technologies disrupt old, new needs emerge, new opportunities arise and others disappear, new users from new markets may push products in new directions etc. the list of potential changes is endless and unpredictable.Which does not me anthat everything changes all the time but does mean its sometimes hard to predict just what will change when


My point is it wasn’t even ‘no plans to’, it was pretty explicit.

Yet the move to rental was talked about to investors barely a year later.

So anyone expecting anything from Autodesk in the belief that it will last more than a year, should look to past behaviour.

I find it hard to believe that it wasn’t even being discussed internally when that video was released - it seemed more like a ‘hey, we’re not like those jerks at Adobe, we love our customers - we’re not doing what they’ve done…’

A year on… ‘yeah we are like those jerks at Adobe - customers? Pft.’

You also talk about perpetual being a better option for some people in that video - yet we have to put up with the marketing BS telling us that it’s now the better option?

Autodesk could at least be honest for once in their lives - maybe they’re too busy sending out shirty letters to ex-subscribers threatening legal action?


well I only know what I know when I made that video, and that was the plan then. Yes it did change one year later - I am not denying that. And yes plans can change fast sometimes within 3 months so it does happen. I am not saying our track record has not had its ups and downs but that is hardly an Autodesk exclusive - I was at Softimage when the EOL of Media Illusion, Matador and Elastic Reality happened - and that was a very painful time for those customers. I have seen the rise and fall of Cineon, Chalice, Wavefront Composer, Eddie, Socratto, Shake, Commotion, Reyz, and more - this industry is a tough one and companies of all sizes large and small are constantly making tough business decisions. Sure we are not perfect - we make mistakes - but at the same time we are pretty dedicated to the M&E industry its an industry we love and are passionate about. Maya was an acquisition and there was nothing short term about our investment in it.


gpu is the only way to go, despite what ad is saying today (arnold is cpu only for now, so they have to say that). the speed increase over cpu’s is to big to ignore it. cpu developement is to slow to catch up with gpu’s.
in two years, we have volta with 64gb of ram (pascal with 32gb), not to mention the new ram bridge in pascal, so that argument will also die very fast.

and because i dont think ad is bying arnold for just two years, i guess they have something in their backhand for gpu. what ad is saying today will not play a role tomorrow, as we all know. :wink:


Well it makes sense.

I bet Arnold sales must have droped a lot with the up-rise of Redshift and generally GPU based rendering.
It is the best move for them.

Wow, we have come a long way since the days were we had to light everything manually.
Happy to have lived this transition.