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Autodesk has released Arnold, the latest version of its render engine. Highlights including more options for render controls, adding support for Apple native CPU running, improving USD workflow, and more. Check out the new features of Arnold with XRender!

Image courtesy of Nicolas Morel

| New Support for Apple Native CPUs

One of the main features is Arnold's native support for Apple M-series processors, the M1 and M2 chips, for CPU rendering. According to Autodesk, compared to running Arnold in Apple's Rosetta 2 emulation mode in DCC applications that also natively Apple Silicon, native M-Series support increases 20% of render speed when using universal binaries.


As the only application that works this way with Arnold (since Houdini, Katana and Maya all still use Rosetta emulation), Cinema 4D seems now to be the only 3D modeling and animation software that supports Apple native CPU rendering. In addition, The Arnold batch rendering tool kick, the Arnold library, and Arnold for Cinema4D are now available as universal binaries.

Arnold GPU rendering - The driver type must be set to DCH

As for GPU rendering, no new updates was released in version, so only Windows and Linux are still the only systems supported, with a NVIDIA GPU of the Ampere, Turing, Volta, Pascal, or Maxwell architecture required.

| Textures and Hair

Automatic generation of TX files from source textures is supported as a part of the rendering process in the new version, helps to improve time to first pixel, overall render time, and uses less memory.

Hair melanin and redness

The Arnold Standard Hair shader's melanin_redness parameter now displays in ACEScg color space, showing a more correct results.

Anrold - Sharp textures through reflections and refractions

The updated also contains the enhancement of the sharper textures through reflections and refractions. According to the release note, "This can result in higher resolution texture mipmap levels being loaded in memory, so scenes that were affected by this can see an increase in texture cache usage.

| Improve USD Workflow

The update also continues to extend support for USD workflows, which now uses USD 22.08. MaterialX shaders are now supported in both the USD procedural and the Hydra render delegate.


In addition, both Alembic references and payloads are supported, together with Imagers, the post effects nodes added Arnold 6.1.

| Availability

Arnold 7.1.4 is available for Windows 10+, RHEL/CentOS 7+ Linux and macOS 10.13+. X86-64 CPUs need to support the SSE4.1 instruction set. Apple Mac models with M series chip are natively supported. Integrations are available for 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Houdini, Katana and Maya. You may have an over view of the new features from its official announcement or click here to check all new features in Arnold

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