Getting Started With Arnold Renderer For Cinema 4D

September 9, 2016

Want to see Nick and Chris look at Arnold for the first time? I did too.

This video needs a bit of a back story. About a week ago Nick and Chris reached out to me and wanted a quick run-through of what Solid Angle’s Arnold renderer was all about. I was going to do a quick vid chat and run them through the basics, then we thought, LETS RECORD AND SHARE IT! 

So this video is literally us recording Nick and Chris getting their very first introduction to the Arnold renderer. Let me preface this with the obligatory , “I do not work for Solid Angle, nor am I an expert by any means” statement. I simply enjoy the product as I also enjoy Octane, Physical, etc etc.

As always, if I make any misstatements or you have an easier method for anything covered, please let me know in the comments below.  I LOVE getting helpful comments!

Also, before any conclusions get jumped to, know that we here at GSG believe in exploring and learning many different renderers. We believe it is our JOB to bring you the most relevant tools and training. We hope you enjoy this candid introduction to Arnold.

Get a free trial of Arnold here.

We’ve also included the scene file that was used in the video (minus the Buddah model).

Click Here to Download The Free Arnold Scene File


Tutorial Focus:  
Software:  , ,

  • Laddie Ervin (We Make VFX) September 9, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Great video, gents. I’ve been using Arnold for C4D since its initial release and have never looked back. Please spend more time with this fantastic renderer.

    Not only is the renderer top-drawer, but any time I’ve encountered a bug, the Solid Angle support team have gotten back to me within a few hours and every bug I’ve found has been fixed in the new update (which drops 1-2 times a month). They even sent me a custom build once two weeks before official release which fixed a problem I was having on time-sensitive project for my biggest client (and I’m nobody special).

  • Nice introduction! My question would be is there any hard differences between using the Skydome light and the Arnold sky for image based lighting?


  • Chad, it would be awesome to have more Arnold basics on texture and shaders.
    One thing I’m trying to figure out is how to do displacements as presented here (52minutes in):

    A quick tutorial on this would be awesome.


  • Awesome I was looking for something like this. Can’t wait to see more on Arnold. Thank you Chad.

  • Do Octane later guys!!

  • At 54:32 you Chad says “…of course it works with Team Render, too.” However what Chad doesn’t mention is that, (unless Solid Angle has changed their policy) you must purchase a license for EACH machine that will be part of the team render – so this is really only good news for professionals who can afford to purchase multiple licenses of the renderer.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong.

    • You are not wrong. Solid Angle gives you 0 extra render nodes and you have to buy a full license for each render box. Arnold is awesome and I enjoy using it but often I’ll switch to Octane when I need to render an animation. Arnold is great for still shots for a freelancer but unless you have time to let your machine render for a long time it’s not the fastest engine on the market. It’s probably the easiest to use and super powerful though so it’s a give and take. I am still getting my feet wet with Arnold though so I may just need to work on finding that sweet spot for my ray count to get the fastest result…

      • If you have own render farm, then it’s different story, but I use Rebus or Garage farm for rendering animations. They are fast and not that expensive. With few euro and minutes you will have rendered images automatically downloaded into your disk. I think it is cheeper option than maintaining multiple machines and having multiple render licenses at least for freelancers.

        I’m really enjoying Arnold render because of it’s user friendliness.

        Thanks GSG team for this video and please make some more of Arnold stuffs!

    • You are not wrong. You are correct. For every machine running Arnold whether it’s a render node or a workstation, it must have a full Arnold license…and no, they are not cheap. 😉

  • Hello! How can I render refractive element in the scene with view background in refractive? I tried to do this with skydome light, but the refractive body is black! Which way is sophisticated when you try to embed 3d model in photo or video?

  • This was great! thanks you! I’d love to see a similar walk-through of octane. Very helpful!

  • Thank you Chad for the intro into Arnold, it was wonderful.

    I have been using Thea Renderer for a bit now and I really like that I can use both my GPUs and my CPU power to do the render. The other difference with Thea is with the C4D native materials. The renderer works with most of them really nicely.

    So it goes without saying, I would like you guys to review this renderer and see how it compares to the heavy hitters like Arnold and Octane.

  • hi GSG
    plz keep teaching this course….it’s amazing tutorial thay i need to learn it.

    Nick…Upload more lessens


  • Thk you guys for sharing this quickstart for Arnold for C4D. I’m really curious about this render engine. It looks kind of insanely efficient ant friendly even in node editing mode.
    It would be great and helpful with diving deeper tutorials.

  • Thank you so much for this quick intro. It is really hard to find good video tutorials for C4DtoA that are easy to understand and just to the point. Keep up with the series guys!!!

  • Hi, I can download the scene file, the mail list keeps popping up and no file!

  • Thank you very much. starting with arnold myself
    for some reason arnold materials does not detect C1, C2, R2 as selection tags and i cant apply them on a motext do anyone know how to do that ?

  • Hi, Chad
    I would love soooo much to learn the technicality of setting up team render using Arnold renderer.

    Help please

  • Hi Guys!

    Just a quick question a bit off-topic! i just happen to see that you have cycles and as well as red shift.
    A fellow Maya user and i have been making some tests in red shift which i have to be honest are amazing and i was wondering if you would like to take position regarding arnold vs red shift well i guess in terms of speed!

    and as a side note how does cycles doing ? well since i know a bit of cycles from blender i would mind using for a project!

  • Just throwing this into the ring – how about Maxwell renderer?

  • Thanks for this Chad! Definitely looking forward to a Part II of this. IBL, Team Render, bump/displacement textures and general scene optimization tips would be great subjects.

  • If I do not have octane, can I do similar things? How do I do it?

  • Love this step-by-step ‘first-timer’ approach to the tutorial. Really makes following along a breeze, and doesn’t assume the audience knows what you’re talking about straight off the bat!

    Quick query that I can’t find talk of in any search engine results just yet; I experience a viewport lag when Arnold IPR window is running. Viewport runs fine without the IPR window open, and my scene is very basic!

    Does anyone else experience the same? Is this normal?
    Can anyone offer an explanation?


    (Specs as follows if of any use:
    Arnold core
    Cinema 4D R18
    Windows 10
    AMD Ryzen 7 1800X 3.6GHz )

  • The scene file won’t download after filling in the subscription.

  • Hi Chad,

    Thanks for the tutorial I’m using physical render!

    After i see the video i try Arnold it’s amazing.

    Thank you greyscalegorilla!

  • Can’t get the scen file. Nothing happens after filling up the form. Thank you page and that’s all.

  • forget the previous comment. I got the link by email. It just took a few minutes.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.