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MaxtoA System settings (Render Production)


This tab allows control over various Arnold system settings.

Arnold RenderView
Search Paths



Bucket Scanning


Specifies the spatial order in which the image buckets (i.e. threads) will be processed. By default, buckets start in the center of the image and proceed outwards in a spiral pattern. 

Bucket Size

The size of the image buckets. The default size is 64x64 pixels, which is a good compromise; bigger buckets use more memory, while smaller buckets may perform redundant computations and filtering and thus render slower but give initial faster feedback.

Show Bucket Corners

Enables/disables bucket corners. The default is "on" for production and "off" for ActiveShade.

Abort on Error

Rendering will abort as soon as an error is detected. This is the recommended setting. In general, you should not ignore important error messages, or you'll risk crashes, rendering artifacts, and undefined behavior.

Abort On License Fail 

If set, rendering will stop if the license is not detected when the render begins.

Render with Watermarks (Skip License Check)

Switch this on to avoid taking an Arnold license from the license server. This will always render your image with a watermark.

Legacy 3ds Max Map Support

This enables the support of legacy maps (shaders) in MAXtoA. Previously, an environment variable was required to enable this feature. It allows 3ds Max to process the legacy maps for Arnold. One of the limitations is that you cannot feed an Arnold shader into a 3ds Max shader. You can, however, feed a 3ds Max shader into an Arnold shader with this option. Another limitation is that this will not work if you are sending your scene to an Arnold Scene Source file for use as a procedural, or to Kick the file for rendering.

Re-translate Scene on a Frame Change

If enabled, the scene is re-translated from scratch on a frame change, when rendering a sequence. By default, from frame to frame, MAXtoA re-translates only the elements that changed, but there could be cases where these elements are not detected correctly. This new option simply re-exports all to Arnold, of course at the cost of the full scene translation time.

Arnold RenderView 

Use For This Scene

Uses the Arnold RenderView when you click the Render button (NOT using the top Arnold menu). When disabled (default), the legacy 3ds Max frame buffer is used.

Use For All New Scenes

Uses the Arnold RenderView by default for all new scenes.



If autodetect is disabled, this will let you manually set the number of rendering threads. Negative numbers are also allowed. If specifying 0 threads means use all cores on a machine, then negative numbers can mean use all but that many cores. For example, threads=-2 means use all but 2 cores, while threads=2 means only use 2 cores. This is useful when you want to leave one or two cores for other tasks. One example of this is so that 3ds Max can be more responsive while Arnold is rendering in the Render View.

Search Paths 


Defines a location to search for procedural nodes that load ass files (or obj or ply files).

It is possible to change the path name of a procedural outside of the main project. MAXtoA will search for the .ass file in both the file path of the procedural as well as in the path set by the 'Procedural Search Path'. For example, if an ass file is saved in a folder in C:/temp/ass it will also search the sub folders for the .ass file.


Defines a location to search for plugins such as shaders, procedural plugins that create new node types, and volume plugins. 

For example, if you load ass files from a different plugin, you may need to set the plugin_searchpath to load plugin-specific shaders


Defines a location to search for textures.



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