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What's New - Spotlight on Imagers in Arnold 6.1


MAXtoA 4.2.0 introduces Arnold and is a feature release bringing a brand new post-processing framework (imagers), support for nested dielectrics, much improved progressive and adaptive sampling, on-demand texture loading on GPU, and a variety of enhancements and fixes.


  1. Download Arnold for 3ds Max.
  2. Follow the installation instructions.

Autodesk Network Licensing in Arnold 6 requires new license files with an updated 2020 version. Please follow the instructions on this page to generate your license file. More info about Arnold 6 licensing can be found here. 

System Requirements

  • Autodesk 3ds Max 2019, 2020 or 2021.
  • Windows 7 or later, with the Visual Studio 2019 redistributable.
  • CPUs need to support the SSE4.1 instruction set.
  • GPU rendering requires an NVIDIA GPU of the Turing, Volta, Pascal, or Maxwell architecture. We recommend using the 451.77 drivers or higher. See Getting Started with Arnold GPU for more information.
  • Optix™ denoiser requires an NVidia GPU with CUDA™ Compute Capability 5.0 and above.




  • maxtoa#645 ARV: Handle image saving from ARV > Save Image
  • maxtoa#722 Enable Randomwalk2 SSS choice for the Physical material
  • maxtoa#723 Imagers implementation: imagers are exposed as shaders in the material editor browser, and should be connected in the Imagers slot, at the bottom of the main rendering setting tab. Imagers can be chained in the material editor, through their input parameter.
  • maxtoa#814 Expose Material Import and Export to MAXscript
  • maxtoa#829 Add ability to import more than 1 material at a time.
  • maxtoa#838 Expose aov_prefix for toon shader
  • maxtoa#840 Increase the texture cache size default to 4096 MB
  • maxtoa#841 Extend the verbosity of the Info verbose level
  • maxtoa#848 Switch to using the new Arnold Rendering API
  • maxtoa#849 Expose the parameters for nested dielectrics
  • maxtoa#854 New mix_shader's add_transparency parameter
  • maxtoa#856 Not all the rendering options rollouts should be expanded by default
  • maxtoa#859 Physical camera exposure control for ARV and to-ass mode: the physical camera exposure controls apply also when rendering in ARV, and when kicking exported .ass files.
  • maxtoa#871 Map the Max bitmap's filtering to the image's filter
  • maxtoa#889 Visual C++ redistributables for Visual Studio 2019 (Max 2019 and 2020 only)

Arnold Enhancements

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  • SSS type for Physical Material: You can now choose which Arnold Standard Surface SSS type will be used when rendering Physical Material in the render options. (maxtoa#722)
  • Import/Export MAXscript commands: Import and export materials MAXscript commands are now available. (maxtoa#814)
  • Import multiple materials: Arnold Menu->Import/Export->Import Materials lets you ctrl-click to pick more than one .ass/.mtlx to import several materials at once. (maxtoa#829)
  • New parameter for mix_shader: The add_transparency parameter is now exposed on the mix_shader shader. (maxtoa#854)
  • Physical camera exposure in Arnold Render View and ASS files: The physical camera exposure controls now apply when rendering in the Arnold Render View and in exported .ass files. (maxtoa#859)
  • Support for 3ds Max Bitmap filters: The filter (Pyramidal, Summed Area, None) of Bitmaps is now translated correctly to the Arnold image shader. (maxtoa#871)

GPU Enhancements

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Incompatible Changes 

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Bug Fixes

  • maxtoa#735 ARV: crash when lights are instanced with missing .ies file
  • maxtoa#749 ActiveShade refreshes after saving the scene
  • maxtoa#755 ARV: crash with tyFlow and procedurals
  • maxtoa#779 ARV/AS: crash when using Undo/Redo on node creation/selection/deletion
  • maxtoa#801 ARV: "Start IPR" button has wrong initial tooltip
  • maxtoa#815 ARV/AS: tyFlow instances do not inherit the material
  • maxtoa#819 Arnold menus duplicated in Customize User Interface menu list
  • maxtoa#820 Crash exporting physical material with displacement to .ass file
  • maxtoa#826 ARV: Optix Denoiser ignored for both prod and IPR
  • maxtoa#842 USD viewport display - crash crashes when geometry has polygons with nb of sides > 32
  • maxtoa#855 Incorrect ASinVP with Camera and Safe Frame active at the sides of the view
  • maxtoa#870 ARV/AS ghosting when copying an object
  • maxtoa#880 ARV-IPR crashes with HDRI OSL in Imagers slotmaxtoa#881 ARV/AS do not refresh with animated objects
  • maxtoa#884 ARV: Imagers and Region are not working correctly
  • maxtoa#887 ARV: Rendering with safe frames does not give correct results
  • maxtoa#890 Crash using Arnold Denoiser and ARVmaxtoa#891 ARV
  • maxtoa#891 Arnold cannot render Tyflow cloth particles

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