Solid Angle has released Arnold 5, the latest update to its production renderer, updating the API and sampling algorithms, and adding new physically based Standard Surface, hair and volume shaders.
The release also introduces support for Light Path Expressions and a number of workflow and performance improvements – but not for GPU rendering: a feature that many users had hoped to see.
Most of the key changes in Arnold 5 are beneath the hood, notably to the C++ API, which Solid Angle describes as having been “cleaned of legacy features, refactored, extended and simplified”.
Arnold’s sampling algorithms have also been updated in version 5. Solid Angle claims that the changes should result in reduced render noise for both direct and indirect illumination.
There is also a Standard Hair shader, which again, is physically based and replaces the old hair shader.
It comes with a wide range of parameters, including two representing melanin, the pigment in human hair and skin, making it the only hair shader we’re aware of with biologically plausible controls.
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