Arnold for 3ds Max 2017 SP2


Arnold for 3ds Max is provided by the MAXtoA plug-in. More information about Arnold for 3ds Max can be found in the Arnold for 3DS Max User Guide 5.


Release Date

28th September, 2016

This version uses the Arnold core


MAXtoA Features and Known Issues

This is the second release of the Arnold for 3ds Max (MAXtoA) plugin. It does not include support for all Arnold or 3ds Max features. See the online documentation for further details. 3ds Max 2017 Service Pack 2 is required, and provided in the MAXtoA installation.


Cloud Rendering Service

For a limited time and as a technology preview, the Arnold plug-in for 3ds Max can be used in combination with the 3ds Max cloud rendering pilot.  The configuration is quick and simple. Install MaxToA and then follow this link to access the service:  From there, you will be guided to install the 3ds Max Cloud rendering plug-in.  Once you have a model ready to submit, you can trigger the upload directly from 3ds Max.

Deformation Motion Blur

MAXtoA now support both Transform and Deformation motion blur options.
Ensure that Motion Blur is enabled in the Physical Camera, and adjust the settings in the Render Setup dialog box to modify the effect.

AOVs are visible in ActiveShade

You can now view any AOVs that you have defined in the ActiveShade window. There is a new drop-down selection which shows the AOV names defined in your Arnold AOV settings.

Preview (AA) setting

In the Sampling and Ray Depth settings is the new “Preview (AA)” setting and adjacent enable checkbox.
This setting, when enabled, creates a fast low-quality prepass rendering prior to the final-quality rendering specified in the “Camera (AA)” setting. Disable this setting whenever you are creating final renderings, and when sending to a network renderer, to save render time. For normal use, a prepass setting of -3 gives you a quick idea of lighting in your scene, and you can cancel the rendering if adjustments need to be made.

Additional Arnold Shaders

There are now two categories of Arnold shaders shipping with MAXtoA: “built-in” and “MAXtoA_Shaders”.
The new MAXtoA category contains numerous shaders needed for creating complex and interesting materials in MAXtoA. Both categories of shaders are documented here: 

Additional 3ds Max Shader

MAXtoA now supports the 3ds Max Blend material.

Additional Environment/Background Settings

The Physical environment mode now includes an Enable checkbox, along with a Samples setting and a button for opening 3ds Max’s Environment & Effects dialog box for assigning the environment map.

The Enable option enables the automatic Skydome that is added to your scene at translation time. This allows you to easily add high-quality image-based lighting to your scene with just an environment map. It is not recommended to use a Skydome for interior scenes; see the Solid Angle site for more information on preferred workflows.

In the Advanced mode you now have more control over the automatic Skydome. Depending on your environment map, you may need to increase the default “Custom Resolution” that Arnold uses to sample the environment to ensure accurate lighting. The default of 1000 works for many scenes, however a low setting may result in inconsistencies if there are small bright areas in the environment as found in the Physical Sky and sky HDR images.


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