Increase your workflow speed with the IPR (Interactive Preview Region).
This is not something only Arnold can do, but it is a great advantage when using third-party rendering software. An interactive preview area is a window that shows you what your rendered scene looks like in real time. You no longer have to press Ctrl/Cmd-R and wait 10 minutes to see if your scene is fine with the new lighting configuration. If you update your scene, the IPR updates itself almost simultaneously and exponentially increases your workflow.
You can use Arnold anywhere.
Arnold is almost everywhere. If Cinema 4D isn’t the only 3D application you use, it’s likely that Solid Angle has released a plugin for everything else you use. Currently, Arnold has plugins for Cinema 4D, Maya, 3ds Max, Houdini, Kartana and Softimage. Solid Angle also doesn’t charge you for using additional plugins. You can easily switch between 3D applications without spending more money.
Arnold’s workflow translates Wells into other engines.
Learning Arnold is a great way to create a foundation that can be transferred to other render engines. Arnold’s shader and materials system uses a common technology and node-based workflow found in other render engines. If you’re on a team that uses Arnold and moves to another shop that uses Redshift, you’ll find many similarities. It’s like learning to drive in a Toyota and then driving in a Ford. There are differences, but it is basically all the same.
Arnold is CPU based.
Arnold is a third-party CPU render engine, which means it works on both Windows and Mac. You can now download it to any workstation. If you’re a hardcore Mac user, that’s a really big deal. We’ve read so many threads about Mac users switching to Windows that they can switch to using GPU-based render engines. They don’t necessarily have to upgrade their hardware to use Arnold. This is a big advantage of the CPU over the GPU.
There is a lot of support for the render farm.
Since Arnold has been available since the late 90s, it has a large fan base. This means that you can easily find a render farm that supports Arnold. If you have a really big job and your scene needs 15 minutes per image to produce it, send it to a service like PixelPlow and get it back the same day. There are a few render farms that support GPU render engines, but it’s not like CPU and Arnold support.
Why shouldn’t I consider using Arnold?
Cinema 4D and other 3D applications cost a lot of money. In addition, adding something else is not always feasible or desirable. Especially as a freelancer.
You’ll need some training. It is not a one-to-one correlation to the standard and physical materials in Cinema 4D. If you’re a beginner, or if you’re not used to what Cinema 4D is ready to go, you probably aren’t ready to move to a third-party engine.