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LinkedIn Learning

3ds Max: Rendering with Arnold (2017)

via LinkedIn Learning


The Arnold renderer in 3ds Max makes photorealism easier than ever. In this course, learn to light, shade, and render using the powerful tools of Arnold.

Arnold is a high-quality rendering engine in 3ds Max 2018. Realistic rendering is easier than ever with this brute force Monte Carlo ray tracer. The physically-based rendering of Arnold accurately simulates light in the real world, but allows the breaking of physical laws to achieve artistic styles. This course is an overview of the core features of Arnold for lighting, materials, and rendering in 3ds Max.


  • Welcome
  • Using the exercise files
  • Updating the MAXtoA plugin
1. Concepts
  • Course prerequisites
  • Introducing Arnold
  • Arnold rendering concepts
  • Performance and compatibility settings
  • Optimizing Arnold Render Settings
2. Studio Lighting
  • Creating an Arnold quad area light
  • Setting Arnold light parameters
  • Setting object render properties
  • Mapping light color
  • Creating an Arnold spot light
  • Masking light with gobo filter
  • Suffusing illumination with a fill light
  • Bouncing light with Diffuse rays
3. Environment Lighting
  • Image-based lighting with a Skydome
  • Image-based lighting with scene environment
  • Creating a distant light
  • Daylighting with Arnold Physical Sky
  • Using Environment Advanced mode
  • Optimizing interior daylight with Skydome portals
4. Materials and Maps
  • Base parameters of Arnold Standard Surface
  • Mapping Diffuse and Opacity
  • Controlling specular roughness
  • Refracting light with Transmission
  • Surface relief with bump mapping
  • Shading with ambient occlusion
  • Building an Arnold shading network
5. Rendering
  • Test rendering with the utility map
  • Mesh subdivision with Arnold Properties
  • Displacement with Arnold Properties
  • Adding an Arnold atmosphere
  • Rendering a panorama with VR camera
  • Next steps

Taught by

Aaron F. Ross

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