The Arnold for Katana plugin comes in two flavors: Solid Angle's KtoA, and a minimal variant of that which ships with Katana and will already be available when Katana is installed.


KtoA comes bundled with Arnold core, and is tuned to work with the version it is bundled with.  It also has additional plugins, such as common shaders, volume plugins (OpenVDB volumes), kick, the Arnold python API, and so on.  Generally to launch Katana with KtoA you just need to expand the KtoA tarball and set the following environment variables, customized to your environment (the PATH and license variables are not required):

Each KtoA version comes pre-qualified for particular Arnold core and Katana versions, and comes bundled with a particular Arnold core version. Please see the release notes for each KtoA version for  compatibility.


This version of the plugin is deprecated, and no longer ships with Katana as a pre-built plugin.  Please use KtoA from Solid Angle SL instead.

The Katana-Arnold plugin that ships with Katana is based on the same code as KtoA.  To use the ArnoldX.X plugins that ship with Katana, you must install a compatible version of the Arnold SDK as Katana does not ship with the Arnold core itself.

To install Katana follow the instructions in the Katana user guide

Katana-Arnold plugin Arnold4.2 support Arnold or better, which can be downloaded from the Solid Angle download area. The supplied plug-in was compiled, and tested against this version. Minor version increments of Arnold may work, as long as they are API compliant with the supported versions. To use a different version of Arnold or to expose new features from Arnold, you may need to modify and recompile the Arnold for Katana plugin.

The current version of the Arnold plug-in may not be compiled against the exact same version of the renderer that your studio uses. To this end, Katana currently includes the source code for the plug-in so you can match it to your current version. Compiling the Arnold plug-in to match your Arnold version Included within plugins/Resources/ArnoldX.X/src are two source directories so studios can compile the Arnold renderer plug-in to match the version of Arnold they are currently using. Makefiles are included within both directories to make this compilation easier.

Setting Environment Variables

After installing Katana and downloading Arnold, the following environment variables ought to be set, and an example of each is given:

  • ARNOLDTREE is the path to your Arnold installation root. This is not used by Arnold itself, but by Katana's Arnold integration; if you do not set this, you should instead symlink the path from your Arnold installation to /usr/local/arnold

  • KATANA_HOME is the path to your Katana installation root.
  • PATH should be modified to include at least the Arnold bin directory, which is in $ARNOLDTREE/bin, and additionally you can include $KATANA_HOME as well to place the katana binary in your path for convenience.
  • KATANA_RESOURCES should be set or modified to include the Arnold/Katana renderer resources; this is $KATANA_HOME/plugins/Resources/Arnold4.0.

If you are using a bash shell, you may create an script before running katana. The contents of this file would look like this (modify your paths accordingly):



When rendering in Katana, always check the Render Log Viewer (bottom right) for any errors.


If the plugin cannot find then make sure the LD_LIBRARY_PATH is pointing to the location of your arnold bin (/work/apps/arnold/dist/Arnold-

More Environment Variables

There are a few more environment variables of interest:

  • PYTHONPATH: you may want to extend this to include the python subdirectory of your Arnold installation ($KTOA_ROOT/python)
  • (deprecated) ARNOLD_SHADERLIB_PATH: you may extend the areas that Katana searches for your Arnold shaders with this variable
  • ARNOLD_PLUGIN_PATH: you may extend the directories that KtoA searches for your Arnold shaders, procedurals, volumes, drivers, etc plugins
  • PATH: if you wish to use kick or maketx directly from KtoA, please append to this the path to the bin subdirectory of KtoA
  • LD_LIBRARY_PATH: usually does not need to be set, but to get access to it may be necessary to append the bin subdirect of KtoA to this variable

Licensing Environment Variables  

Although not specific to Katana, you may want to set the following environment variables to remove the Arnold watermark from your rendered images:

  • foundry_LICENSE is set to your port and license server for Katana, e.g. 4101@localhost; please see The Foundry's documentation on licensing of Katana for more information
  • ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE is set to your port@host for Autodesk CLM licensing of Arnold
  • solidangle_LICENSE is set to your port and license server for Arnold, e.g. 5053@localhost; or, it is set to the path of your node-lock license file
  • (deprecated) ARNOLD_LICENSE_HOST is set to your license server for Arnold, possibly localhost
  • (deprecated) ARNOLD_LICENSE_PORT is set to your license server's port, usually 5053
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