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Old 01-11-2013, 01:23:38 AM   #1
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Default Arnold Q&A

Here I simply figured we could gather Q&A's and general talk about arnold since it is a fairly new renderer and we can try and help each other. So lets post the questions here and not in the information thread.

Some groundrules for the thread:

1. Be polite

2. This is not here so you can skip reading the manual, rtfm first then you can talk about it here or if you have trouble finding it in the manual.

3. No flaming about different renderers, they are all good and have their own place in history and people will have different preferences, live with it. Besides, this thread is Arnold only.

Last edited by trayser; 01-11-2013 at 11:40:11 AM. Reason: Updating rules for the thread
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:32:14 AM   #2
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The point is to clutter this thread up and then we can take the good parts and put in the information thread.
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Old 01-12-2013, 04:44:47 PM   #3
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I could not get Arnold to render out an animation sequence, stills aplenty but not a sequence. I've set the render tab with the required extension and padding but no luck. I've never had this problem with a Maya sequence, does Arnold require a specific file format or something for animation.
Way to go though with Arnold, CG's best kept secret, a total joy to use the guy who programmed it is a genius.
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:15:38 PM   #4
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@peanuit

In render settings window/arnold renderer tab you'll find render settings section.
Change render type to Export ass and kick.

Of course, you should setup regular maya settings for sequence rendering ( padding, paths, etc...)
Once you're ready to kick ass, just start render as usual...

You can find more on ass kicking in manual.

( so fun to write this )

---------- Post added at 12:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:46 AM ----------

But, there's something wrong and arnold just renders one frame... Hmmm.... Strange.. I'll look into it...

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Old 01-12-2013, 09:30:30 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply ,Min. Yeah i found that eventually, brilliant isn't it a renderer named after Arnold schwarzenegger and a kick ass file format. I actually got an error some module or other cannot be found. I'll see if I can do a screen grab and come back. A sheer joy to use, Arnold is a breath of fresh air. I've got to get out of the habit though of pressing save after every single change I make, picked it up in Modo.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:39:26 PM   #6
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I have a question. Why the hell didn't you post this shit in the other Arnold info thread?

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Old 01-12-2013, 11:18:01 PM   #7
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Because THAT thread is for INFO only and not Q&A, those we keep here and then move them THERE in form of a faq. So we keep that thread clean from clutter!
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:59:54 AM   #8
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@ Minouminou Export Ass and Kick does not work it only renders the first frame. It is not really an option as it will export every single frame as a full scene file and then fails to render them all. We need batch rendering to work. The manual talks of batch rendering so it should be implemented but it comes up with an error , something like batch render not supported in Arnold. Seems to work in Softimage though.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:51:33 PM   #9
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By Batch render you mean using that Kick.exe?
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:09:51 PM   #10
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Yeah, I know.

I understand it should export .ass files, but I don't get why it renders only one frame.

I guess reading kick.exe manual is book for tonight

---------- Post added at 08:09 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:55 AM ----------

A clue

From the File > Export All / Export Selection menus, simply select ASS Export as the file type. The dialog
will show some Arnold related options under the File Type Specific Options section of the Options area of the
dialog.


Then rendering exported .ass file via kick.exe... Should work... Will try later, but if there's anyone who can do it sooner, be my guest
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:59:26 PM   #11
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If anyone finds the solution to render animations please post on information thread:
http://forum.cgpersia.com/f32/arnold...-thread-66907/

Edit:

For those who have FXPHD - ARN101 - Introduction to Arnold
Lesson 4 shows how to set up a batch render by brute forcing settings from plugin manager.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:05:06 PM   #12
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hello there...is arnold render have color mapping, example:linear, exponential, or reinhard or other, like vray does ?
'couse i need to crank up or reduce the hilight or the diffuse...i use sitoa.thanks
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:35:04 PM   #13
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@ Hawkeye et al ,Checked out the vid and Kicking Ass is really not for us. We need to render inside of Maya, it can be done in Softimage so must be possible in Maya. The individual ass files are for network rendering with kick being the renderer, as we all know now so for one cpu a total waste of time. We should be able to invoke Kick.exe and drop a load of ass files on it which would mean Maya having to create 100s, 1000s of files. Total waste of time it would be quicker to learn Softimage. This is serious, guys I may have to go back to Modo!
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:30:41 PM   #14
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I just kicked off a batch render in maya and it is working, what I did was update to arnold 0.21, that worked for me. I think 0.20 might have been bugged in that way.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:30:09 PM   #15
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I'm playing with Arnold and I got stuck at adding displacement to my mesh. I've done everything mentioned on the manuals but still the displacement does not show up.

I'm using Maya. I was wondering if there is an obscure button that needs to be pressed or something like that. Here's my settings. Any help is appreciated.

Arnold Version .20

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Old 01-13-2013, 09:39:42 PM   #16
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I dont use maya, but do you have a seperate displacement shader node that comes with arnold? (or is that the supplied arnold node you used?)
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:16:40 PM   #17
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in aiStandard1SG, displacementShader1 needs to be conected to displacement mat. not file2
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:47:31 PM   #18
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In your object arnold attributes check bounds padding attribute. It should be same value as displacement height, or close to it.

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In general, you should adjust displacement using object's arnold specific attributes instead of attributes in displacement node.

---------- Post added at 04:47 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:43 PM ----------

@akromatska_monotonia

Actually you can plug file directly and displacement node will be automatically generated. If you first connect displacement node once you plug texture into it, shading group shows file as incoming connection not displacement node... it looks like it's how things work in maya
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:51:21 PM   #19
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Is it possible to make Maya and Arnold lights visible in the render? Can't say I've found anything about it in the manual.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:12:12 PM   #20
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Arnold uses native maya's disp. node. But, as I wrote, in general it's a good practice to adjust things using object's properties.
For example, you can have same displacement texture on several objects, and they will all have different values.

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@Chris-C

If you add some volume scatter, you'll be able to see them. I don't know if there's another way.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:15:36 PM   #21
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u need luminance and +/- averege nodes and dont forget to set type to catclark and iterations a little bit higher 1,2,3 (its up to you) in the arnold tab of your model you want to displacement-render.

i have posted a link right now, look here #42
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:10:40 AM   #22
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@trayser, I am using 0.21 still no batch render! Can others verify this before I do a reformat ,fresh install etc. Is everyone else just doing stills? I have had a go at the command line method and manged to kick ass on one single frame only. Softimage on the other hand goes the whole nine yards unfortunately my geometry is too dense and does not survive the translation.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:56:42 PM   #23
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First I think there is a bug in mtoa .20 when it comes to displacements. don't know how to reproduce but a reboot seems to have fixed it. Now using the default maya displacement node seems to do the trick. haven't really tested the idisplacement node of arnold. Alpha is luminance needs to be checked too.

If all of the above does not seem to work for you, just reboot your comp.

Finally, thanks a lot folks. great community.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:16:37 PM   #24
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@Peanuit, have you tried alembic cache for transfering between the softwares? It is designed to handle huge quantities of data. Think you have to re-apply the shaders though using softimage nodes.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:21:24 PM   #25
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trayser, I think for transfer between maya and softimage he should use the build-in functionality.
As far as I know, Maya does use the alembic 1.0 libraries, not 1.1 (I am not sure!)

But transferring the scene from maya to SI, will require you to setup the materials again (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong)

what kind of animation do you have in your scene, transformation or deformation? (or both)
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:40:01 PM   #26
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Isn't 1.1 compatible with 1.0? I know it worked from houdini to maya but I am not sure which version either of them have to be honest.
I did say he had to re-apply the shaders, but since he have them in maya it shouldn't be to hard to replicate them in softimage.

It is strange with this batch render problem though, I had 0.20 installed and couldn't get it to work, then I installed 0.21 and let it remove the the old installation and installed again. I kept the rlm server and just gave it a new license and after that it just worked. I did however start the batch from the render menu in maya and not the command prompt version. I will have to try that one too and see if it works.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:32:06 AM   #27
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@Peanuit, batch render WORKS fine here (maya 2013 x64 & arnold 0.21)
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:54:39 PM   #28
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Somebody know or try to connect Arnold to The Foundry Katana? Does anybody have any info about this?
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:02:53 PM   #29
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@Seik, tray et al. Thanks for the verifying that. I'll do a new win install. I have probably got my environment variables screwed up as I have Softimage on the same machine. Because of the issue I have had I went a bit deeper into Softimage ,world of pain but worth it. The programme has a certain elegance to it once you get to know it. The Arnold implimentation seems a bit more developed too. Exocortex have an Alembic crate for Arnold (anyone?) it allows you to reference stand ins specifically so your ass files shrink to almost nothing, at the moment with the Alembic dlls I'm getting 200 meg + besides its for network rendering which I have not got, so for the time being it is purely academic.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:05:05 PM   #30
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Hey guys does Arnold support Horizontal Cross HDRI? I have plugged a Horizontal Cross HDRI and it can't wrap the image around the environment properly. I am on Softimage.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:08:56 PM   #31
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on what? shader? Sky? skydome light? you have to change the format there.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:56:42 PM   #32
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On both Sky and Skydome light. Yeah I know that I have to change the format but I think it doesn't support Horizontal Cross(HC) format just like Vray. Vertical Cross(VC) works without a hitch. Trying to make a Dosch HC HDRI to work in Arnold with the Cubic format set but it wont wrap well around the env. But VC HDRI from Paul Debevec's site works great.
Btw all of the above image formats are working in MR.

Try it out guys.

Wait I think I have a solution.....will be back after experimenting a bit.

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Old 01-15-2013, 05:03:26 PM   #33
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hmm, didn't pay attention to the vertical/horizontal o.O Don't have any HC here, but when it's just rotated 90deg, then you could rotate it in another app, or use imagemagic and create a shortcut to quickly rotate images around. (in case you like to use the console tools)

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Old 01-15-2013, 05:36:43 PM   #34
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Hey I got it. I rotated the HC 90 degrees clockwise in Photoshop that made it VC, then I rotated the Skydome light 90 degress in the Z axis to correct it's orientation. Its working great now.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:39:47 PM   #35
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just some blind guess, when you rotate it 90deg counter clockwise, would you still need to rotate the light?
(and/or apply flipping...)
as I said.. no HCs here, nor i'm on SI atm

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Old 01-15-2013, 05:59:39 PM   #36
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Rotating it 90 degrees CCW doesn't work. If you check out a HC HDRI you will see that, HC HDRI can only be matched to a VC HDRI by rotating in 90 degress CW. Once its matched Arnold reads the flattened cube image correctly and applies it correctly, without the seams, to the env. And I had to rotate either the sky or the skydome to correct the orientation.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:02:06 PM   #37
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as I said before, no HC hdri here, + just a blind guess ^^
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:28:55 PM   #38
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Is anybody using MtoA 0.21 with Maya 2012?
If so, when MtoA loads up, do you get 4-5 line pairs like below or is something corrupted in my system?

Maya 2012 sourcing MEL override C:\solidangle\mtoadeploy\2012\scripts\mtoa\2012\me l\AEbump2dTemplate.mel
# Warning: Overriding failed: Maya is still using C:/Program Files/Autodesk/Maya2012/scripts/AETemplates/AEbump2dTemplate.mel #

None of the Arnold scripts are sourced successfully.
The warnings come from registerArnoldRenderer.py in the block of code after line 60 ( def _overrideMelScripts() ).

No errors from the source statement itself but from checking the results of sourcing.
I checked and the parameters to the routine are correct. I even forced forward slashes to the filename in case Python was acting up.

The above doesn't apply to Maya 2013 so don't bother looking at it. Just 2012.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:46:24 AM   #39
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No problem I didn't came up with that idea on my own either. I was reading a similar thread and the last reply was to rotate it 90 degrees CW and so I did and found it working.

Although I was trying a similar thing earlier. Trying to copy and paste and make the image VC.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:10:15 AM   #40
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in mtoa i'm trying to override aa samples per geometry .Not sure how this is done. I added 'AA_samples 3' in the arnold user options on the geometry but nothing happens.I've also tried using override set attributes.There is also an aiuserdataint node but don't know where to plug it in and seems to come as a material like the aiutility. Any help on this would be great!
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:45:12 PM   #41
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Guys, Anyone getting any successful 'Glass' renders? I have followed all available info on the subject but the end result is not predictable. The dark edges of a glass object seem to bleed too far into the body of the glass and at certain angles the object may look like a solid object rather than possesing 2 seperate thin glass walls. Actually getting transparency is tricky too
sometimes you just cannot see through the object.It varies too, from Maya to Softimage.
Still coming up with some nice renders though.
Also there is an environment variable you can set in Maya which allows Standins (with materials) to be opened with Softimage and vice versa. If you have not played about with Standins yet, have a go they are incredible.

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Old 01-23-2013, 10:57:22 PM   #42
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Anyone knows which command use in arnold standalone (kick.exe) for render all the frames?

I am able just render 1 frame at time. I read all manual and --help command in arnold command line and didnt find anything.
No batch word or something similar...

I even tried the siliest solution like *. and doesnt work too..if anyone know how please let me know >D
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:09:52 AM   #43
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From what I get you need to make a bat file that starts the renders or through a renderfarm.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:19:05 AM   #44
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You can use deadline or command line im on the phone
ill post a bat later
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:44:43 AM   #45
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@ Sty, to Kick.exe .Ass as a batch you need to save all your frames first as,.ass files and the kick through the command line as you are probably aware.The only advantage to this is if you have a render network,just batch directly through Maya or Softimage.
@George I did not think kick would do multiple frames on the same machine but if it does you still have the issue of having to save 100s of frames, huge ammount of data.
The exocortex Alembic crate allows standins to be referenced, file size drops 99%, this would be useful!
@myself and the 'glass issue. Arnold does not like stretched UVs, also you have to bump up the render depth
refraction rays but you also have to make sure the total number of rays add up in total rays setting.
I still cannot get any shadow through the glass,though
Anyone?
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:30:22 PM   #46
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is there a trick to decrease rendertimes when rendering with alpha?
an example: I have a scene with lots of trees. The trees have around 50k tries and an alpha cuts out the fine details.
So with alpha channel it needs around 25+ minutes per frame, without alpha channel but bader looking result 5 minutes.
so it would be okay to have rendertimes around 10-15 minutes, but not 25
Anybody has some tipps?
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:09:10 PM   #47
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are you talking about the leafes hanging around the tree ?
are you using decals (textures with alpha channel) ?
are you using transparency or oppacity for the cutouts ?
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:55:11 PM   #48
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There was some kind of similar effect with Mentalray and 3dsmax. Sorry guys, i know this is an Arnold thread, i just try to explain.
For Mentalray/Max, the tip was the way the alpha was filtered. When the Alpha was filtered/antialiased, rendertimes were long.
When the alpha's filtering was set to "none", rendertimes were fast.

I don't know if the same workaround is possible for Maya and Arnold but maybe that's the start of a tip
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:49:07 AM   #49
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UV problem with Arnold and Momentum in Softimage.
I broke a wall with Momentum . Rendering in Mental Ray is okay even exporting with FBX to 3dsMax and rendering there is okay, but in Arnold the UVs are all messed up.
Any idea?

The mesh had only a cubic projection with a texture so nothing special, now freezed obviously.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:56:50 AM   #50
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Yea, talking about the leafes.
I am using a color texture and an extra alpha texture to cut out.
Using Opacity. What do you mean with trancparency? Anything build up with ray_switch?

@stiffi:

thx for you hint, will check that - maybe there is some similar option.


@spirou:
With IFX I had the same problem, but fracture the wall with momentum worked. Did you correct the uv's after shattering?
Another workaround would be extracting the chunks and merge them again (+ merge UV'S)... that worked for me with IFX.
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