[MtoA] Instancing lights

If you want to instance lights in Maya, use Duplicate Special. MtoA will correctly translate those instances to Arnold (as copies, not instances, because Arnold itself doesn’t support light instances).

MtoA doesn’t support the particle instancer for lights.

PS I don’t think Maya supports instancing lights with the particle instancer. The Maya docs say “Do not instance lights; they’ll have no effect in rendering.”, and that’s the behavior I’ve observed with mental ray and the Maya Software renderer. Also, if I leave the viewport set to Viewport 2.0, Maya crashes when I try to use the particle instancer with point or spot lights (and that’s without MtoA loaded).

Using gobos instead of IES lighting profiles

Arnold 4.0.16 added photometric lights, which can use IES light profiles.

Arnold does not support IES lighting profiles [generally, IES profiles are not used a lot in film/VFX work]. Most of the time, you can do what an IES light does by using an appropriate gobo (aka a slide projector). For example, SHED used gobo lighting in place of IES on their recent IGA Aide Gourmet spot.

SHED created their own gobo filters to create a similar look to IES lights