Maya: Rendering with Arnold

with Aaron F. Ross
Maya: Rendering with Arnold

Arnold is the new high-quality rendering engine in Maya 2017. Realistic rendering in Maya is easier than ever with this brute force Monte Carlo ray tracer. Arnold's physically based rendering accurately simulates light in the real world, but allows breaking physical laws to achieve artistic styles. This course is an overview of Arnold's core features for lighting, materials, and rendering in Maya.
Topics include:
  • Arnold rendering concepts
  • Lighting with Maya and Arnold lights
  • Controlling exposure
  • Filtering light with Barndoor and Gobo
  • Light attenuation with decay
  • Image-based lighting with SkyDome
  • Exterior daylight with Physical Sky
  • Arnold standard material attributes
  • Mapping material attributes
  • Rendering refractions
  • Mesh subdivision and displacement at render time
  • Shading effects such as ambient occlusion and vertex color
  • Camera effects such as fisheye and depth of field
  • Animation image sequence rendering


  • Introduction
    • Welcome
    • Using the exercise files
      3m 43s
  • 1. Concepts
    • Course prerequisites
      1m 36s
    • Introducing Arnold
      3m 52s
    • Arnold rendering concepts
      3m 53s
    • Interactivity in the Arnold RenderView
      6m 27s
    • Adjusting render settings
      7m 25s
  • 2. Lighting
    • Creating an Arnold area light
      4m 21s
    • Setting aiAreaLight attributes
      4m 47s
    • Controlling camera exposure
      2m 38s
    • Mapping area light color
      6m 6s
    • Setting Arnold attributes of a Maya spot light
      4m 51s
    • Filter light with a barn door and gobo
      5m 46s
    • Suffuse illumination and diffuse reflection
      8m 33s
    • Attenuation with aiLightDecay filter
      4m 39s
    • Image-based lighting with aiSkyDomeLight
      6m 20s
    • Rendering a background with aiRaySwitch
      9m 15s
    • Exterior daylight with aiPhysicalSky
      3m 49s
  • 3. Materials
    • Diffuse aiStandard attributes
      2m 38s
    • Mapping Diffuse and Opacity
    • Controlling Specular Roughness
      4m 29s
    • Shading with ambient occlusion
      8m 1s
    • Rendering refraction
      4m 56s
    • Rendering vertex color with aiUserColor
      3m 26s
    • Smooth mesh subdivisions at render time
      2m 39s
    • Shaping a mesh with displacement
      4m 47s
  • 4. Rendering
    • Adding an aiFog atmosphere shader
      3m 3s
    • Correcting distortion with fisheye projection
      2m 49s
    • Rendering a panorama
      2m 59s
    • Rendering bokeh with depth of field
      4m 24s
    • Rendering an image sequence
      4m 15s
  • Conclusion
    • Next steps