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22-09-2016, 03:09 PM   #1
Blocker226
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Join Date: Apr 2014
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Default Shaders and Arnold
Hi all,

So I got my hands on Maya 2017 and wanted to see how good Arnold was compared to Mental Ray. Up till now, I've spent my past 2 years using Mental Ray to good effect, but with it being thrown out of Maya 2017, I decided to try switching to Arnold.

So I made 2 near identical scenes that basically:
  • Use default Maya shaders (Lambert, Phong)
  • No mia_material/aiStandard shaders
  • Symetrical polygon topology
  • Textures with transparency
  • Small size textures (16x16px smallest)

I used Mental Ray's or Arnold's Sun/Sky shader as appropriate. Out of the box, Mental Ray rendered completely fine, with a nice sun and everything.

Arnold on the other hand:
  • Didn't render texture transparency (I checked off 'Opaque' in the render stats)
  • Filtered my textures heavily despite me turning it off (had to disable this in each texture file's 'arnold' tab apparently)
  • Render was abit washed out
  • Noise in the render (might be because I don't know which samples to turn up)
  • Took longer than Mental Ray to render
  • Didn't deform one of my character's legs symmetrically

I'm not sure how I'd switch over to Arnold even if I wanted to (I heard it's better than MR), and my attempts to convert the Maya default shaders over to aiStandard shaders didn't turn out well either. If possible, I'd rather just stick to Maya's default shaders, especially since I'm not striving for hyper-realism. Can anyone here provide some advice?

Here's a comparison image. On the left, Mental Ray, on the right, Arnold.

Last edited by Blocker226; 22-09-2016 at 03:12 PM.
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