A video showing some of the RenderView features can be found here.
The Arnold RenderView window is an interactive rendering (IPR) utility designed to give real-time feedback on any changes made to the scene while solving several limitations of the DCC's native render view. A long list of artist-friendly features has been added to help with the shading, lighting, and look-dev process, improving interactivity and reducing translation/scene refresh time. For example:
The Arnold RenderView window can be found on the Arnold shelf and under the Maya Arnold menu.
The Material Viewer cannot render at the same time that the RenderView is running. Only one render session can be active in Arnold at the moment. If you stop the RenderView, then the Material Viewer will be updated.
By default, the RenderView acts like an IPR session, progressively rendering the scene by starting with negative AA samples and increasing them in a number of steps. Each change in the scene will automatically trigger a render update. This behavior can be modified by changing the following RenderView options:
Disabling both of these options provides the same behavior as Maya's 'Render' command.
By default, the image displayed in the RenderView window can be manipulated in 2D (panned and zoomed) using the Alt key:
If the option 3D Manipulation is enabled, then the Alt key allows you to move the Render Camera in 3D space:
You can use the Crop Region tool to render it to a specific region only. This can be enabled via the menu Render > Crop Region, by pressing the icon, or by keeping the SHIFT key pressed while dragging a region.
Once the region has been selected, the "crop" option is disabled, so that mouse clicks over the image are seen as "picking" (see the section below).
It is possible to 'pick' objects in the RenderView, which selects the visible geometry in the viewport. When doing so, the selected geometry appears temporarily highlighted in the RenderView while the mouse button is pressed.
Just below the render buffer, a Status Bar provides information about the render in progress. When a previously stored snapshot is displayed, information about this previous render is displayed.
When Show Pixel Information is enabled, these additional fields are displayed, relative to the mouse cursor:
Saves the currently displayed image to disk. The image is color managed depending on the format. For example, JPEG is sRGB, and EXR is linear.
Save Multi-Layer EXR
Saves the currently displayed image to disk with all of the AOVs in a multi-layer EXR.
Save Image Options
Choose to save images using color management and view transform settings.
Load Snapshot Image
Already existing images can be loaded in the Snapshots Library for comparison.
Save Final Images
When enabled, the output images (including AOVs) are automatically dumped to file at every final step of a progressive render. These images are saved in the appropriate folders, as defined in the Render Settings.
Export Arnold Scene
Exports a .ass file of the current scene.
Shows the color correction settings in the Display Settings panel on the right of the RenderView window.
Displays information about the pixel below the mouse cursor. The XY pixel coordinate will be displayed, as well as the RGBA output value as returned by the renderer (before Color Management is applied).
Status Bar > Show Status Bar
Displays the status bar at the bottom of the RenderView. This status bar shows some useful values such as for render time, resolution, sampling values, and memory usage.
Status Bar > Display Pixel Information
Displays information about the pixel below the mouse cursor in the status bar.
By default, the RenderView can be manipulated in 2D by pressing the Alt key (LMB pans the 2D image, RMB or mouse wheel zooms in/out). In this mode, Frame All adjusts the displayed buffer to fit the Viewer size. If 3D Manipulation is enabled, the manipulation no longer affects the 2D image but moves the camera in 3D space. In this mode, Frame All moves the camera to frame the whole scene geometry as if it was performed in the viewport.
By default, the RenderView can be manipulated in 2D by pressing the Alt key (LMB pans the 2D image, RMB or mouse wheel zooms in/out). In this mode, Frame Selection adjusts the eventual Crop Region to fit the viewer size. If no crop region is active, this behaves exactly as Frame All. If '3D Manipulation' is enabled, the manipulation no longer affects the 2D image but moves the camera in 3D space. In this mode, Frame Selection moves the camera to frame the selected geometry as if it was performed in the viewport.
If '3D Manipulation' is disabled (default behavior), Real Size adjusts the displayed buffer with its original size, independently of the Viewer size. A 1:1 icon is also available in the toolbar.
By default, the RenderView can be manipulated in 2D by pressing the Alt key (LMB pans the 2D image, RMB, or mouse wheel zooms in/out). If 3D Manipulation is enabled, the mouse manipulation no longer affects the 2D image and instead moves the camera in 3D space. Alt-LMB rotates the camera, Alt-MMB translates the camera and Alt-RMB zooms in and out (similar to the viewport).
Allows you to choose which icons are displayed in the toolbar.
Darkens the area outside of the rendered region.
Show Render Tiles
Displays the visible edge of the render tiles while rendering.
Choose whether or not zoom is centered on the mouse cursor (enabled by default).
Choose whether or not shapes are selected when clicking on the viewer (enabled by default).
Renders any AOVs defined in the render settings. These can be displayed during rendering (see below). It is not possible to pick geometry in the RenderView window when this option is disabled.
A list of AOVs as defined in the Render Settings. This list is also shown in the toolbar as a drop-down menu. You can change the displayed AOV even during rendering.
All Channels, Red, Green, Blue, Alpha, Luma
Displays the selected color channel in the RenderView. The toolbar icon allows you to switch between them. A right-click menu is also available.
Fit Window Size dynamically adjusts the render resolution to the size of the window, to always have a 1:1 display ratio.
Stores the displayed image in memory. When one or more snapshots have been stored, a slider will appear in the toolbar to help navigate between snapshots.
Navigates between previously-stored snapshots. 'Previous' refers to an older snapshot.
Navigates between previously-stored snapshots. 'Next' refers to a more recent snapshot.
Delete Snapshot (Del)
Deletes the current snapshot.
The snapshot folder where the snapshots are saved to disk.
Opens the Arnold Render Logs window where you can view a simple to read version of the Arnold log.
Allows you to control the verbosity of the log during IPR sessions. Last Progressive Step restores the scene verbosity just for the final step by default.
Changing these settings do not change the Diagnostic log settings. It is there as a way to view errors above a certain level.
Information on how to read log files can be found here.
Post-processing nodes called imagers operate on pixels before the output driver. Imagers can be chained together.
Opens the color correction panel on the right side of the RenderView window, offering various options for adjusting the displayed pixel colors.
The RenderView updates the View Transform according to Maya's Color Management settings (including Syncolor native view transforms which are used by default). It is however still possible to override the view transform in ARV only, as with other Maya viewers.
It is recommended that you use the ACES Color Management.
It is sometimes useful to change the color of background pixels in the displayed render.
Applies a foreground image in the RenderView window.
Shows detailed values for the pixel below the mouse cursor, on all AOVs.
Allows you to choose between two snapshots to be compared using a wipe tool. Choosing a single snapshot will compare it with the current render.
Stops/starts the render.
If enabled, any change in the scene will automatically refresh the render in real-time. If disabled, changes in the scene won’t interrupt the render, which can still be refreshed manually by pressing “Render”.
Restarts the render.
Stops the render in progress.
When enabled, the scene will be sampled progressively, starting with negative AA samples for fast feedback. If disabled, only the final AA pass will be rendered.
This option allows you to perform a region render by dragging an area in the RenderView. Geometry selection in the RenderView will not work when this option is enabled. Clicking in the RenderView window clears the crop region.
Allows you to clear and regenerate the whole Arnold scene. This avoids having to close and re-open the RenderView.
Clear the whole Arnold session when the IPR is stopped. When the IPR is restarted, the whole scene is converted from scratch (as with Update Full Scene).
Shows the list of cameras in the scene, allowing the choice of which one will be used for rendering. This list also appears in the Toolbar as a drop-down menu.
Allows you to save one or several threads to avoid slowing down the UI, which improves interactivity.
Temporarily replace the shading applied to all objects with a variety of debugging shading modes. This is used for interactive rendering purposes only and won’t change anything in the scene.
The RenderView options can be set by MEL script in Maya. For example arnoldRenderView -opt "3D Manipulation" "1". It is also possible to open the viewer without triggering a render by scripting arnoldRenderView -mode open.
For On-Off options, the values "True", "False", "0", "1", "On", "Off" are accepted.
Examples in MEL:
For the Display Settings, to edit a parameter found in the group "Color Management" one must add the
Note that these functions can be called before opening the RenderView and will be automatically applied later.