Archive tab with options for creating an Arnold Scene Source file (instead of a rendering)
Arnold Scene Source (.ass) is the native scene definition format, stored in human-readable, editable ASCII files.
MAXtoA lets you export scenes to .ass and .usd (.usda and .usdc) files that can later be rendered outside of 3ds Max with kick (a multi-platform, command-line utility) or used for rendering via procedurals procedurals. It can be found under the Archive tab in the Render Setup. The window will show some Arnold related options.
If the options are grayed out, it is because you are in ActiveShade. If you change to Render Production, they should be visible. Alternatively, you can export an a .ass file from the File> Export menu.
You can export your model as a procedural via this option. The archive is saved as a (.ass/.usd) file. MAXtoA lets you save scenes to .ass/.usd files that can later be rendered outside of 3ds Max with with kick (a multi-platform, command-line utility) or used for rendering via Proceduralsprocedurals.
You can also specify which of the following types of nodes are included in the .ass export:
Use Binary Encoding does not affect the USD format. It depends on the extension (usd/usda/usdc). .usda is ASCII, therefore the binary flag does not apply.
A procedural generates generates Arnold nodes. This option lets you save the generated nodes in the .ass instead of just saving the procedural and its parameters.