Friday, 29 July 2016

Autodesk Releases Maya 2017: Mental Ray Is Out, Arnold Is In

Autodesk has just released a new version of Maya, titled Maya 2017 (I know, we're only half way through 2016) - which now features an entirely new system for rendering your images. 

The old ray trace renderer, Mental Ray, has been dropped, and Autodesk have chosen Arnold instead. For those of you have have never used Arnold before, and might have some catching up to do, Animation Apprentice student Lee Caller has helpfully put together a YouTube playlist of videos that will walk you through the basics of the Arnold renderer. 

Arnold is a great renderer, and no doubt a significant improvement on Mental Ray. However, there is a catch, and it's a pretty big one.

The version of Arnold embedded in Maya is limited. You can render single frames with no difficulty, but as soon as you try to make a batch render of your work - Maya will give you a watermark.

So, if you are a student making a short film, or indeed simply trying to render out a lit version of your animation, you will no longer be able to use Maya for your entire production pipeline. From Maya 2017 on, you will need to purchase an Arnold license from Solid Angle.

And who owns Solid Angle? Autodesk, the same folks who own Maya.

For more on the experience of studying at Bucks New University, come and visit us at one of our Open Days, take a virtual tour of one of our animation studios, check out what our students think of our course, and see why we're ranked in the top 12 creative universities in the UK.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, you can still render animations with the built-in Arnold. You select "Render Sequence" and it will render your animation via Arnold just fine - the caveat is that it prevents you from doing additional work in that loaded instance of Maya, until the render is complete. Workaround for that is open your scene in another instance of Maya.

    Batch Render is considered as part of a renderfarm solution and for that you do need to buy an Arnold license.