This topic leads you through a simple example of how to render a scene in 3ds Max using Arnold.

It assumes you have already:

1. Start 3ds Max.

2. Arnold should appear as the current renderer in the Render Setup dialog (from the top menu bar, Rendering> Render Setup..., or by clicking ), set Arnold from the Renderer drop-down menu.

Note how the renderer options are organized in groups (this is discussed further in sub-topics of the Arnold Render Setup page). 

Standard Surface Shader

Standard Surface Base Color changed to blue

Green Standard Surface shader assigned to sphere

Arnold Light

Arnold Light Type: Point. Exposure increased to 14.

A directional light is added to the scene if no light is created (like in the viewport).


Increasing the Radius of the light creates softer shadows

A quick way to add lighting is by adding a color to the Environment. Press the "8" key to bring up the environment dialog, add color, and a skydome_light is placed into the scene (under the hood) with IBL from this background, disabling the default lights).

Increasing the specular_roughness blurs the specular reflection or the sphere

The result of all these changes is available instantly in the Active Shade window so that you can work interactively, changing materials, and lighting without having to re-render to see the effect of your changes. You simply need to wait slightly longer for a better quality render if you have things set up correctly).

That's the end of this short introductory tutorial. Now that you know how to assign and edit Arnold shaders, and alter Arnold settings of lights, it might be useful to play around with various settings for a few minutes before reading on.

Once you have finished this tutorial, there is also another introduction to MAXtoA tutorial here.