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Autodesk has released a new version of its production render engine, Arnold 7.2.3. The release added new support for GLS system on GPU, and introduced native support for Apple Silicon for Houdini. Scroll down to learn more with XRender.

Native Apple Silicon Support for HtoA

| Global Light Sampling Support on GPU

One of the major feature in this new version is the support for Global Light Sampling (GLS) on GPU to speed up the render of scenes with multiple lights.

Speedup over 7.2.2 GPU version using 1 light sample

The global light sampling system was originally introduced in Arnold 7.2.1 as a more “efficient sampling technique for lights”, and the implementation for GPU in this new release is almost the same as the original CPU, that is, speed up scenes with “moderate to large numbers of lights” render 2-6 time. For important information on the optimal number of light samples to use with GPU, you may click here to view the GLS documentation.

| Native Apple Silicon Support for HtoA

Together with the release of Arnold 7.2.3, Arnold for Houdini (HtoA), the Houdini integration plugin, gets updated as well. Released the same day as Arnold 7.2.3, HtoA 6.2.3 is now available for users. HtoA 6.2.3 is “minor feature release using Arnold” and it introduces native support for Apple Silicon.

Native Apple Silicon Support for HtoA

Previously only available in Arnold for Cinema 4D and Arnold for Maya, the native support for Apple’s M1 processors is now available in Arnold for Houdini 19.5. According to the data from Autodesk’s test, running natively on Apple M1 chips can give “speedups of up to 1.45x compared to running with x86_64 Rosetta 2 translation.”

| What’s More

For shaders, new `out_distance` and `out_direction` output parameters have been added to the distance shader to return the direction and distance to the nearest surface.

In addition, the shading state shaders have also seen improvements with the introduction of multiple outputs, allowing a single state shader to have various output connections in a shading network.

Arnold 7.2.3 is available for Windows 10+, RHEL/CentOS 7+ Linux and macOS 10.13+. Integrations are available for 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Houdini, Katana and Maya. GPU rendering is supported on Windows and Linux only, and requires a compatible Nvidia GPU. For more details of the updates, you may click here to read the release note.

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