Maya Learning Memo : About Renderer

The renderer is a rendering program. Rendering is the process of drawing a two-dimensional image based on 3D data, such as vertices, edges, faces, attributes, textures, and camera (viewpoint) information.

Maya has following renderer.

  • Arnold
  • Maya Software Renderer
  • Maya Hardware Renderer

Maya 2017 and laters has the Arnold, and removed the Metal Ray License which had been included in Maya 2016. Since Maya 2017, the Arnold become a default renderer.


Difference between Arnold included with Maya and stand-alone Arnold

The Arnold included with Maya is a MtoA, which is plug-in of the Maya.

The stand-alone version of Arnold is also available. There are some difference between the MtoA plugin and stand-alone Arnold.

  • The background rendering functionality.
  • Availability of command line program.

The MtoA plugin only has a direct rendering function from Maya.

The stand-alone version has the ability to render distributed rendering using multiple machines or without going through Maya.

Need for stand-alone version

When rendering complex scenes or rendering with high quality, Arnold may takes a long time. I felt this even on my machine with a Core i9 CPU and Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti GPU, so I thought I would want a machine dedicated to rendering if I was using it for work.

I think the weakness of the MtoA plug-in is that modeling work cannot be done during rendering, especially when multiple images are rendered for animation, etc.

The GPU rendering would improve it a lot, but I feel the rendering results of GPU rendering are not as clean as. I think there is a lot of noise. I need to learn more about adjusting light sources.

It would be more cost-effective to add a license for a stand-alone version of Arnold than to add a license for Maya. Another way, you can use a render farm.

Let's share this post !

Author of this article

Akira Hayashiのアバター Akira Hayashi Representative, Software Engineer

I am an application developer loves programming. This blog is a tech blog, its articles are learning notes. In my work, I mainly focus on desktop and mobile application development, but I also write technical books and teach seminars. The websites of my work and books are here -> RK Kaihatsu.