Autodesk Acquire Solid Angle — Creator of Arnold Renderer


In slightly head scratching news, immediately following the release of 3ds Max 2017 which among other things included a new renderer, Autodesk have acquired Solid Angle and their Arnold rendering technology.  So what exactly is Arnold?

Arnold is an advanced Monte Carlo ray tracing renderer built for the demands of feature-length animation and visual effects. Originally co-developed withSony Pictures Imageworks and now their main renderer, Arnold is used at over 300 studios worldwide including ILM, Framestore, MPC, The Mill and Digic Pictures. Arnold was the primary renderer on dozens of films from Monster House and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs to Pacific Rim and Gravity. It is available as a standalone renderer on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, with plug-ins for Maya, Softimage, Houdini, Cinema 4D and Katana.

Now the announcement:

Big news today! We are proud and excited to let you know that our team at Solid Angle has made a move that expands in a big way our capacity to keep pushing rendering forward. We’ve joined Autodesk! We are now part of the passionate Media & Entertainment team that includes Maya, Shotgun and RV, working to help artists create beautiful animation and VFX faster and easier across platforms and pipelines.

The full story is here but we want to call out the most important things directly.

First, what you love about Arnold isn’t going to change. The Solid Angle team is still leading and driving Arnold’s technology direction, development and support. We have not handed Arnold over – we have joined Autodesk to keep moving it forward at the speed you know and expect, working closely with you as always. We are still here to help you with licensing, sales and support.

Second, development of Arnold plug-ins for Katana, Cinema4D, Houdini and Softimage – and other software will absolutely continue. Openness is everyone’s goal.


So… how long does everyone figure Arnold will continue to be made available for Cinema4D and Houdini?  Unless of course Autodesk buys them too.

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