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Lighting and Shading with Arnold for Maya

A 5-week course focused on Arnold for Maya and how the software has helped shape the current entertainment industry today

Course overview Course overview

Course Overview

Use Arnold in Maya

Learn how to render using Arnold for Maya, gain knowledge on some history of the software and how it has helped to shape the current entertainment industry today. Arnold is primarily used for animation features and feature film visual effects. The course will cover all the major elements of Arnold, including render settings, lights, and shaders. It will also cover some rendering theory and how Arnold works under the hood. It will be taught using Maya, but Arnold for Maya has a lot of similarities between other packages—like Houdini and Cinema 4d—so skills learnt here would be transferable to other packages. Upon completion, students will be confidant in lighting and surfacing in Arnold. (Lectures by Nick Deboar)


Course Format:   Standard
Lecture Type:   Pre-recorded
Feedback:   Individual recordings
Duration:   5 weeks
Assignment:   Deadlines each week
Q&A:   Once a week
Materials:   MtoA (Maya to Arnold) Maya 2017
Skills level:   Intermediate
Prerequisites:   Knowledge in Maya

Lighting and Shading with Arnold for Maya WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

What you'll learn

The more you know, the better.

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What is Path Tracing? Overview of how Arnold works, and how it differs from other renderers | Sampling settings: the best way to manage all the different sampling settings to minimize render time and noise | Ray depth: used to created indirect effects, like indirect diffuse bounces | Arnold Render View for Maya: Mtoa ships with a custom render buffer, that has many improvements over the stock render view in Maya | Linear workflow in Arnold: linear color is essential for creating photo realistic renders | Interactive rendering: real-time rendering and iteration with Arnold | AOVs: separating material properties like Specular/Diffuse into separate passes | Geometry settings: overview of Arnold's geometry overrides; how to render polygons as a sub-division surface
Lights! Area/Sky/Sun/IES and mesh lights. When to use which light, and strategies to avoid noise without increasing render time | Using HDRIs in Arnold | Light filters and gobos | How importance sampling works when using textures | Physical sky shader | Textures and using the TX file format: Covering the advantages of this format, and what mip-mapping is | Converting sRGB textures to linear | TX Manager | UDIMS and uv tiles | aiStandard shader overview: Covering all the settings of the standard Arnold shader | Common settings for materials like metal/wood
aiSkin: creating a realistic skin shader, and how sub surface scattering works in Arnold | Normal maps | Displacement: auto bump, how to displace geometry with a texture, using displacement maps from other packages like ZBrush
aiHair: rendering and shading hair in Arnold | Creating custom Aovs: for example, IDs for compositing | Rendering deep exrs | Shadow catcher shader | Rendering motion vectors | Baking renders into textures
Atmospheric effects: God rays in Arnold | Camera settings: motion blur, depth of field | Misc Arnold nodes: utility, raySwitch, wireframe, ambient occlusion | Stand ins: used to bake scenes into.ass files, and load them only at render time | alSurface: third party uber shader

Bringing out the best in talent

Lectures by Nick Deboar

An awesome industry pro!


July 21st!

winter TERM Registration

May 14, 2019 - Jul 23, 2019




July 21st!

Pricing & Schedule

Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education.

These Finance Options allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

Employer Reimbursement

Animation Guild CSATTF

Payment Plan

Companies that hire our students

  • Naughty Dog
  • Luma Pictures
  • Google
  • EA Games
  • DreamWorks Animation
  • Blizzard Entertainment

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