This topic leads you through a simple example of how to render a scene in Houdini using Arnold. It assumes you have already read about how to install HtoA, and how to set up licensing (if you don't want watermarks in your renders).

The scene file can be found here.

Create a Render Output



This node contains all the render properties and is organized into tabs. These are all discussed further in the sub-topics of the Arnold Render Settings section. It is possible to have multiple Arnold ROPs with different settings in each for individual render situations.

Arnold ROP

Create the Floor

Add a Material to the Floor

More information about shaders can be found here.

Create a Sphere and Add a Shader

Create a Tube and Add a Shader

Create a Camera

Create a Light

The native Houdini lights will not be translated, you can only use Arnold Lights.


By default, the point light will be located at the origin of the scene, and if you render, you should see that some light is coming through. 

Move the Light

Change to Soft Shadows and Make the Sphere More Shiny

Make the Sphere More Reflective

Using Image-Based Lighting


Tutorial Complete

That is the end of this short introductory tutorial. Now that you know how to assign and edit Arnold shaders and create Arnold lights, it might be useful to play around with various settings for a few minutes before reading on. You may also want to try some more tutorials.