This is an important tool for our 4th year students who have been working on their films for several months. Two film teams are using Arnold, the rendering engine from Solid Angle society, which is an ArtFx partner. Below we discuss this software in detail with the students who have tested it.


Arnold: a very powerful engine

Arnold is a photorealistic render engine based on the algorithms of Global Illumination.
Ultra-high performance, this software offers a powerful Ray Tracing engine capable of rapidly calculating and coding very advanced algorithms.
The result: a substantial increase in the speed of the Ray Tracing and the number of rays in a tool specifically dedicated to computer graphics for films, commercials and video games.


Application Examples for Arnold

Numerous societies have adopted Arnold: Digital Domain, Prime Focus, The Mill, Luma Pictures, Psyop, Digic Pictures, Modus FX, Marza, Mikros Image, Framestore, SPI, MPC, etc.
It has been used in recent film productions like: X-Men: First Class, Captain America, Underworld: Awakening, The Avengers, Alice In Wonderland, etc.
While its first client was in the video game sector for environment creations, it has also been well exploited in the production of commercials.


Trailer d’Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (Digic Pictures)


ArtFx students who have tested Arnold

Yoann Gouraud, 4th year student:

« I have found Arnold very intuitive and modern. Gone are the numerous sliders and attributes which were bloating the interfaces of older engines! Arnold is easier to use because it reduces the number of clicks necessary to set-up a good quality render.
The different controls allow easy and fast adjustments of Global Illumination (brute-force), the Sub Surface Scattering (raytraced), the linear workflow (in place by default), AOVs and many others…
The shading is simplified thanks to the utilization of a unique shader (a little like the VRay render engine), allowing the creation of a large variety of materials. The lighting is controlled on the basis of being physically accurate. Arnold allows a high degree of control over the final image.
Using this software is also very straightforward thanks to the extensive and efficient documentation provided alongside it. I find this engine completely in-line with today’s needs and I enjoy working with it.
The fact that Marcos Fajardo (its creator) communicates regularly with users is great and promises a bright future for this engine which is now being used by major studios around the world »


– Amandine Claude, 4th year student:

« The transition from Mental Ray to Arnold was a little difficult at first, especially given the small amount of information available regarding this render engine. Once that stage was passed, we were aware of its enormous potential and how logical it was to use. This engine is both “unbiased” and “path tracer,” which gives you the advantage of creating realistic images in a short amount of time, unlike Octane and Maxwell which are unbiased, but require constant refinement. The photorealistic render becomes accessible after a very short rendering time.
The Sub Surface Scattering and the displacement become accessible without overly burdening our rendering time. In the end, there are fewer parameters and setting options in comparison with Mental Ray, but they are very precise and efficient. We wish all render engines were like this: efficient, logical and devoid of superfluous elements. »


The official 2013 Arnold Showreel



[small_button]English version by Danielle Harrell, English teacher for ArtFx[/small_button]