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maya_arnold_CM_vs_RAW
Default Color Management settings                         RAW Color Management Settings

Maya Arnold RAW Format
Rendering RAW for more dynamic range, better color, highlights and shadows.


Color Management Settings

Select
Windows->Settings/Preferences->Preferences
    
Select Categories Color Management

Check Enable Color Management (default)

Under Color Transform Preferences
     Change View: to Raw   (default ACE 1.0 SDR-video)


Set Color Space Rules
Under Rule Priority
     Select Default

     change
Input Color Space
: to Utility->Raw   (default sRGB)

     Click Reapply Rules to Scene button
     (This will change all your default Base Color textures maps to RAW format.)

Under
Output Color Transform Preferences
     Check check_box
Apply Output Transform to Renderer
  (important for batch rendering later)



Area Light Settings
Adjust the Scale smaller to make a sharper shadow.
Turn up Exposure, start with 8
Adjust Shadow Color to make shadow lighter.
Set
Soft edge
to 1 to improve the edge quality of the shadow.   (default 0)
Change Samples to 2   (default 1)



Arnold Render and Light Tutorial
maya_arnold_CM_vs_RAW_tutorial
Default Color Management settings                         RAW Color Management Settings

Create a Scene
Create->NURBS Primitives->Cylinder->option
     Select Caps:  Both

In the Channel Box
     Translate Y   1.001

Create->NURBS Primitives->Sphere
In the Channel Box
     Translate X  2.5
     Translate Y  1

Create->NURBS Primitives->Plane

In the Channel Box
    Scale X and Z  20



Add a Lambert Shaders
hypershade Click on this Hypershade icon located at the top of the screen
.
Select the Materials tab
Click on the Lambert icon in the Create list 1 time to create 1 shader ball.
Double click the Lambert Shader ball to bring up the Attribute Editor
     Click the
Map Button map_button.jpg
  across from color
     Add a Checker texture
Under the texture's Attributes
     Change Color 1 to value 0.4
     Change Color 2 to value 0.3
Under the place2dTexturetab
     Change Repeat UV to 16 (both)
Select the polygon plane and hold right mouse over the Lambert material.
     Select Assign Material to Selection

Hit 6 to see the texture



Arnold AiStandardSurface Shader
hypershade Hypershade
Select the Materials
tab, Add an Arnold material
Click on the aiStandardSurface icon
Select the sphere and cylinder
     Hold right mouse over the aiStandardSurface material
     Click Assign Material to Selection
In the Attribute Editor
under Base, Change the Color value to 0.5


Try a Preset
Click on Presets*
     Choose a shader from the list such as Copper and 100%

You can change the aiStandard shader to a Maya Standard shader.
This way you can see a swatch of the shader ball in the Hypershade Window.
     Hold down the button next to Type
          Select Standard Shader



Arnold Skydome Light
Arnold->Lights->Skydome Light


In the Attribute Editor
     Change
Samples to 2   (default 1)
     Uncheck Cast Volumetric Shadow  (This will help speed up the render a bit.)


Arnold Area Light
Arnold->Lights->Area Light

In the Channel Box
     Translate X  -10, Y  15 and Z  10
     Rotate X -45,  Y -45   (There is a pointer on the light icon, this needs to aim at your objects.)
     Scale X .2, Y .2, Z .2    (This will give you sharper shadows.)

In the Attribute Editor 
    Change Exposure to 10

     Set Soft Edge to 1 to improve the edge quality of the shadow.     (default 0)
     Change Samples to 2   (default 1)
     Change Shadow Color to a dark gray



Render Settings
Render Settings icon upper right  srender_settings  (Windows->Rendering Editors->Render Settings...)

Change Render Using to Arnold Renderer    (Arnold is the default)
Presets-> Import Render Settings->Default Settings   (This resets all settings)
Under the Common
tab:
     Choose Image format: tif
     Uncheck Dither
     Frame.Animation ext:  name.#.ext


Faster settings
Under the Arnold Renderer tab:
Under the Sampling arrow:
     Set Camera (AA) to 3      (default 3)
     Set Diffuse to 2      (default 2)
     Set Specular to 1      (default 2)
     Set Transmission to 0      (default 2, use if you are using transmission in your shader)
     Set SSS to 0      (default 2, use if you are using Subsurface in your shader)
     Set Volume Indirect to 0      (default 2, use for smoke and volume effects)

Under Filter
     Change Width to 1   (default 2)

Under the Ray Depth arrow
     Set Total to 4      (default 10)
     Set Diffuse to 1      (default 1)
     Set Specular to 2      (default 1, nicer reflection)
     Set Transmission to 0      (default 8)
     Set Volume to 0      (default 0)
     Set Transparency Depth to 4      (default 10)



Render an image to the Render View
Click the Render View icon upper right render_view to open the window
Click the Render the Current Frame icon  render_current_frame_render_view  from the window



RAW Color Management
Use the settings in the beginning of this page to change to RAW format for more dynamic range.

You may need to change some of your colors. Colors and textures respond differently in the RAW color space.



Make the Skydome Light Invisible in Background
aiSurface2

The Skydome light will show up in the background, blocking the alpha channel.
Select the aiSkydome Light in the Outliner menu or the Hypershade menu->Lights tab
In the Attribute Editor under Visibility, change the Camera value to 0



Single Sided
Arnold rendering is very slow because it is calculating reflections, refractions, shadows, and ambient attributes. In order to help speed up the rendering make everything single sided.

Select all the objects in the scene, except for the floor plane.
Choose Windows->General Editors->Attribute Spread Sheet.
Select the Render Tab.
Click the Double Sided Column.
Input 0 to turn off all selected items at once.
attribute_spread_sheet



If you do not see Arnold options
Install plug-in
Keep in mind that Autodesk did not develop Arnold; it is a plug-in for Maya, so you may have to enable it in the Plug-in Manager before you can see it as an option in your Render Settings window.
     To enable the plug-in:  Windows->Settings/Preferences->Plug-in Manager
    
Check both the Loaded box and the Auto Load box next to mtoa.mll
     (Located near the bottom of the list.)


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