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You can use an Arnold 2020 license


any version of Maya, 3ds Max, Houdini, CINEMA 4D, Katana, or Softimage, as long as there is an Arnold 6 version of the plugin available


For example, you can use an Arnold 2020 license with Maya 2020, Maya 2019, and Maya 2018.

Manage licenses with the new Arnold License Manager

There’s a new Arnold License Manager that provides a user interface for:

  • Signing in (and, if necessary, installing the necessary single-user licensing components)
    • Maya and 3ds Max users may also sign in in the main application.
  • Switching between single-user and network licensing
  • Connecting to network license servers
  • Getting diagnostics
  • Installing the Autodesk Network License Manager (super helpful for macOS, where it sets up a plist daemon to automatically restart lmgrd)

The Arnold License Manager is available from the Arnold > Licensing menu in Maya, 3ds Max, Houdini, CINEMA 4D, and Katana.


Get single-user licenses for Arnold


Monthly, annual, and 3-year single-user subscriptions of Arnold 6 are now available on the Autodesk e-store.

No more license servers! With a new single-user subscription, you just sign in with your Autodesk ID.

Get a 30-day trial 

If you want to try Arnold for 30 days, all you have to do is create an Autodesk account and sign in.

You need a new network license for Arnold 6

For network licenses, Arnold 6 switches to ARNOL_2020 licenses (Arnold 5 uses ARNOL_2018)

That means you have to log on to your Autodesk account and generate a new network license.


After a release of a new version, it may take a few days for new entitlements to appear under your account.

Your new license will include both ARNOL_2020 and ARNOL_2018 licenses, so you can use the new license file with either Arnold 6 or Arnold 5.


You can also run the Arnold License Manager from the command line.

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Maintenance/permanent licenses

If you still have an active maintenance plan, your licenses will be Autodesk NLM licenses.

Education Licenses

Schools can get free Arnold licenses, and those licenses are Autodesk NLM licenses.


onthly Subscriptions

Monthly subscription purchased from the Autodesk e-store use Sign In activation.


Arnold renders in evaluation mode with a watermark if you don't have a license. For production rendering, you need a license.

If you use Maya or 3ds Max, you don't need an Arnold license to render without a watermark in the user interface. You do need an Arnold license to do any batch rendering because that happens outside of the Maya or 3ds Max user interface.

If you use CINEMA 4D, Houdini, or Katana, you need an Arnold license to remove the watermark from your IPR renders in the user interface.


Arnold licenses allow you to render without a watermark

Floating licenses

Arnold licenses are floating licenses (also known as "network licenses" or "multi-user licenses")

Floating licenses allow any computer on the network to render with Arnold. The maximum number of computers that can render at the same time (concurrently) is determined by the license count. For example, if you have five Arnold licenses, then at most five computers can be rendering at the same time.

Floating licenses require a license server, which manages your use of Arnold through a license key. The license key typically defines the version of Arnold you can use, the number of computers you can use for rendering, and for how long.

Licenses are per-machine

Arnold licenses are per-machine, and there is no restriction on the number of cores or threads used to render. With one license, you can render on as many threads as you want.

You can run multiple Arnold render jobs on a single machine, and they will all share the same license.

Free Arnold plugins

Arnold plugins (such as MtoA, HtoA, SItoA, C4DtoA, KtoA, and MAXtoA) do not require a license. You can install and use any of the Arnold plugins. An Arnold license is required only when you want to render without watermarks.

Licenses are global

Arnold's license usage is not restricted to a territory or region.

Floating licenses can be used by computers at multiple geographic locations (as long as they can connect to the license server), and node-locked licenses can be used anywhere (for example, a node-locked license on a laptop can travel with the laptop).

Render farm licensing

Every node on a render farm needs an Arnold license. This includes TeamRender clients for CINEMA 4D.


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