Arnold is slow


Hi there, Ive had a chance to use arnold now in a studio production where things need to move fast.

A very reflective scene with Lights, shiny blurred glass, and shiny bulbs and each frame is like an hour!

I can’t really figure out how to optimise the scene as I need rays for transmissions…

Is it the case Arnold is just too time consuming…?



in a nutshell, yes :slight_smile:
If you can offload things like DOF and moblur to post, and try going with lower sample values, while using a denoising plug, (either the built in one or a 3rd party tool like Neat) that can help. In general you need access to a pretty hefty render farm if you are going to use Arnold in production.


Well looks like they are moving to Red shift in the place I’m in now. Makes sense I suppose, I’ll have to do a bit of testing.


Arnold is horrendously slow next to the competition.
The simplest scenes bring it to a screeching halt.
Materials are also relatively weak when compared to other engines; At least in C4D.

I was forced, literally told @ Google that it was the only choice I had for rendering.
They threw me on a 6 core machine and said deal with it. So I quit and moved to Adobe.


To be fair the machine I’m on is a 2013 Mac trash can so not a real test, but still it is slow on their pic machines as well.

For stills maybe, excellent

But animating a fly through is costly.


Arnold is rather built for quality and robustness, than final speed. That’s why big studios like it and most of us don’t.

Things are changing, but only a year or two ago, Marcos Fajardo from Solid Angle was still very much against denoising and any shortcuts, while also skeptical about GPU rendering. It was all about “Brute force everything” and “Machine time is much less costly than human cost so just throw more CPU at it”.

I believe they’re pretty good at that, production proven, memory efficient etc…

But for most indies/small/medium studios it’s probably not the best option when you have renderers that just “Look good” (no matter how they cheat it) and get to the final frame much faster.

Oh and since Autodesk bought it and changed the licensing, it’s no longer available on some renderfams either (like Rebus).


In agreement with the consensus here. I LOVE what I get out of Arnold however, so keeping my license and using it for shorter shots and stills. Also holding out for Arnold GPU which IMO will be a big deal when/if it happens.