One of the strange thing about supporting Arnold at Autodesk is that you have to be a guru-level licensing expert on Autodesk licensing (not RLM, but Autodesk licensing).
In this case, Maya 2019 would silently fail at startup. Sometimes you’d see the splash screen, but then that would just disappear.
- There was nothing in the Adlm.log
- No MayaAdlm log was created
TIP All these log files are in the Temp folder.
- On Windows, look in %LOCALAPPDATA%\Autodesk\Logs
- On OSX, look in $TMPDIR
- On Linux, look in /var/tmp
Process Monitor confirmed that the ProductInformation.pit file was missing:
ProductInformation.pit is an all-important file used by the licensing infrastructure. Every Autodesk product must be registered in that pit file.
If ProductInformation.pit is missing, or corrupted, then everything stops working.
Or: how to fix the node “xgen_procedural” is not installed problem.
For example, suppose you want to render XGen hair in CINEMA 4D on macOS.
You can use use color_correct with alpha_is_luminance enabled, like this:
If you want to control object visibility with operator, or the Arnold Python API, or by editing an ASS file, you need to understand Arnold’s visibility parameter.
In the UI, the object visibility options look like a bunch of separate parameters:
but in Arnold, all those options are stored in one visibility parameter.
For example, if an object is visible to the camera (primary visibility), and to transmission (both diffuse and specular), then that’s visibility 13.
Why 13? Because 13 = 1 + 4 + 8
- camera rays = 1
- diffuse transmission rays = 4
- specular transmission rays = 8
The Arnold visibility parameter tells Arnold the rays to which the object is visible.
- visibility 0 means the object isn’t visible to any rays
- visibility 255 means the object is visible to all rays
- visibility 253 means the object isn’t visible to shadow rays (so the object does not cast shadows).
Here’s the decimal values for all the different ray types.
To figure out the visibility, just add up the values for the rays you want.
|Ray type||Decimal Value|
|Camera (Primary Visibility)||1|
|Shadow (Casts Shadows)||2|
There’s two denoisers. Here’s when to use them:
- Use the OptiX Denoiser for fast (GPU-powered), slightly-lower quality denoising of IPR
- Use the Arnold Denoiser (aka noice) for high-quality denoising of final frames and animation sequences
For more info, check the docs
You can use kick to render with debug shading. Here’s the flags to use:
- -is to ignore the shaders assigned to the shapes
When you ignore shaders, a default utility shader is used to render the scene.
- -sm sets the shade mode ( ndoteye lambert flat ambocc plastic metal)
- -cm sets the color mode (color ng ns n bary uv u v dpdu dpdv p prims uniformid wire polywire obj edgelength floatgrid reflectline bad_uvs nlights id bumpdiff pixelerror)
Here’s some examples that show how to kick with different types of debug shading (I’ve used the Arnold Render View debug shading modes for these examples)
|Basic: disable all shaders in the scene, switching to a gray ‘ndoteye’ shader; a very fast shading mode.
kick -is -sm notdoteye
|Lighting: renders the scene with a white lambert shader
kick -is -sm lambert
|Occlusion: use ambient occlusion shading
kick -is -sm ambocc
|Wireframe: displays geometry as a wireframe
kick -is -cm polywire
kick -is -sm ndoteye -cm polywire
|Normal: visualizes the normal vector (between 0 and 1, in tangent space)
kick -is -sm flat -cm n
|UV: displays the coordinates of the primary UV set (red=U, green=V)
kick -is -sm flat -cm uv
|Primitive ID: displays random colors based on the per-primitive (triangle, curve) index
kick -is -sm flat -cm prims
|Barycentric: displays intra-primitive parametric coordinates (barycentric for triangles, parametric length, and width for curve segments)
kick -is -sm flat -cm bary
|Object: displays random colors based on the per-object ID
kick -is -sm flat -cm obj
Arnold 5.1 adds operators, which among other things, allow you to override parameters in ass files loaded by procedural nodes.
Here’s a quick example using the brand new MtoA 3.0
I exported some particles from Softimage, loaded them into Maya with an aiStandin (aka an Arnold procedural), and then used a set_parameter operator to scale the radius by 0.5
Note that I connect my operator by setting the Target Operator in the Render Settings.
I can chain two set_parameter operators together, to set the mode and then scale the radius: