WARNING : [ass] node name already in use

Shader nodes must have unique names.

So if you’re using standins, each standin ASS file has to have unique shader node names. Otherwise you’ll get unexpected results when you render, like all standins having the same shading, or some “flickering” in animation if the order of standin loading changes.

In the Arnold log, look for “node name already in use” warnings:

WARNING | [ass] standin_01.ass line 50: node name "aiStandard1SG" already in use
WARNING | [ass] standin_01.ass line 58: node name "aiStandard1" already in use
WARNING | [ass] standin_01.ass line 118: node name "file1" already in use
WARNING | [ass] standin_01.ass line 147: node name "aiNoise1" already in use


If each standin should look different, you need to have unique shader names in each ASS file. If you’re using MtoA, that includes the name of the SG node (for example, aiStandard1SG).

WARNING mtoa_shading_groups: unresolved reference

Any time you see “node … is not installed” and “unresolved reference” warnings when you try to kick an ASS file exported from Maya, the problem is missing MtoA shaders.

00:00:00 18MB WARNING | [ass] line 259: node "MayaFile" is not installed
00:00:00 18MB WARNING | [ass] line 288: node "MayaShadingEngine" is not installed

00:00:03 23MB WARNING | [ass] line 238: pSphereShape1.mtoa_shading_groups: unresolved reference to 'aiStandard2SG'
00:00:03 23MB WARNING | [ass] line 137: aiSkyDomeLightShape1.color: unresolved reference to 'file1'
00:00:03 23MB WARNING | [ass] line 188: pPlaneShape1.shader: unresolved reference to 'aiStandard1SG'
00:00:03 23MB WARNING | [ass] line 197: pPlaneShape1.mtoa_shading_groups: unresolved reference to 'aiStandard1SG'
00:00:03 23MB WARNING | [ass] line 229: pSphereShape1.shader: unresolved reference to 'aiStandard2SG'

When you render with kick, you need to specify the location of the MtoA shaders. You can do this several ways:

  • Set the ARNOLD_PLUGIN_PATH environment variable. For example:
    export ARNOLD_PLUGIN_PATH=/home/render/solidangle/mtoa/2016/shaders
    set ARNOLD_PLUGIN_PATH=C:\solidangle\mtoadeploy\2016\shaders
  • Use the kick -l flag to specify the MtoA shader location.
  • In Maya, set the Shader Search Path in the Arnold Render Settings, then export the ASS file.

[RLM] Communications error with license server (­17)

These warnings mean that Arnold can connect to the RLM license server, but Arnold cannot connect to the solidangle ISV server:

00:00:12 14MB WARNING | [rlm] * Communications error with license server (­17)
00:00:12 14MB WARNING | [rlm] * Connection refused at server (­111)

Usually the problem is that the solidangle ISV server is not running.

You can check the status of the solidangle ISV server with RLM Web Admin. I like the get the RLM diagnostics (Diagnostics > Run Diagnostics) from RLM Web Admin and review that.

In rare cases, the problem is something else, such as:

  • Some sort of network connection problem. For example, I recently had a case where we would get these warnings when we used the IP address of the license server in solidangle_LICENSE. But as soon as we switched to using the hostname, everything worked.
  • Another RLM instance is running and listening to port 5053, and that instance doesn’t have a solidangle ISV running. I heard about this second-hand, from a customer; I didn’t see it with my own eyes and I don’t know how it’s possible. You can have multiple RLM instances running, but each instance has to have a different port otherwise you get ” “Port 5053 in use, waiting…” messages and the second RLM won’t start.