Arnold 5 is here :)

I’ll try to summarize a few changes (there is a lot) from a practical point of view:

  • New shading system: Base Color (aka Albedo) / Metallic / Roughness workflow
    • The new aiStandardSurface is replacing the aiStandard shader
      Easy to switch from aiStandard: There is a convert button at the top of the shading Attributes in AE
    • Full energy conversation: The shader automatically do everything for you (for example, if Transmission Weight = 1 -> the Base Color part is grayed out in AE and of course it’s rendering correctly – as if the Base Color weight were 0)
    • Transmission component is really good: you have a Depth and Scatter slider 🙂
    • Coat component
    • Geometry section: Opacity, Bump and Thin Walled attributes are here
    • Advanced section: Caustics, Internal Reflections, Exit to Background attributes

  • New aiStandardHair shader is great as well
    Physically accurate with better control

  • New aiStandardVolume shader
    You can use this as the previous aiVolumeCollector shader. Unfortunately custom shapes are still not supported (only cube and sphere).
    Tip: If you don’t want to use the channels, just delete the channel names in AE!

  • No skin shader! You should use the new standard shader’s subsurface component instead. (This is a little bit odd, for me at least.)

  • Shadow Matte instead of Shadow Catcher.

  • New Sampling system: at the same sample settings you’ll get less noise 🙂

  • From now on the SkyDome Light automatically appear as Background and works as Refraction source (now called Transmission). The Camera slider in the Visibility section provide the control to disable the SkyDome Light as background.


  • Because of the new system you need to remove the AOVs from your old scenes and reactivate them.

You can use the native Substance Painter textures in Arnold

Basic connections:

  • Base Color to Base Color
  • Metallic to Metalness
  • Roughness to Roughness (in the Specular component)

Of course you have to set the file nodes correctly as usual (set the Color Space attribute to Raw for Roughness, Metallic, Normal etc.), and turn on the Alpha is Luminance when you using the texture’s Out Alpha output.

Screenshot 2017-04-14 23.19.19

Cheers, D

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