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Arnold renderer is a ray tracing 3D rendering software based on the Monte Carlo ray tracing method, the software is currently developed by Solid Angle. Arnold renderer was used in many movies like; Elysium, Pacific Rim, Thor, Captain America and many others.

Learning Arnold renderer is very helpful for digital artists working the visual effects (VFX) field especially those who are working in the movie industry, Arnold renderer is available on all platforms (Windows, Linux, and MacOS) as a stand-alone application as well as a plugin for major computer graphics design software like; Maya, Softimage, Houdini, Cinema 4D and Katana.

The aim of this post is to present and compare between free online sources that beginners can rely on to learn Arnold renderer, the sources stated here are full-structured courses that beginners can follow along.

If you just want the bottom line (the road map to learn Arnold renderer) and you don’t wish to read the entire article then go to the “Bottom Line” section at the end of the article.

Getting Started with Arnold Renderer Online from Scratch

Solid Angle Website

Solid Angle website is the first free online outlet where beginners can start learning Arnold renderer through  text and/or video tutorials, you don’t have to register to have access to the training.

Structure: the training is divided according to the version of Arnold renderer you’re using (standalone or plugin), each version is divided into a group of text and/or video tutorials, these tutorials in their entirety cover the various tools and techniques available in Arnold renderer.

Interface: The interface is very simple, just select the version of Arnold you’re using and then you’ll be directed to the page where the tutorials reside, select the tutorial and you’ll be directed to the page where it’s residing. You can navigate through the tutorial using the side menu on the web page.

1 - solid Angle Arnold Renderer Training

Now the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. The training covers both versions of the software (standalone and plugin).
  3. The training is well-structured and organized for beginners.

Cons

  1. Some tutorials are available as text only and some as a video which isn’t consistent, though that won’t be a big problem for complete beginners.

Verdict: This is the best free online outlet where beginners can start learning Arnold renderer through text and/or video tutorials.

Solid Angle Vimeo Channel

Solid Angle Vimeo Channel is the second free online outlet where beginners can start learning Arnold renderer through video tutorials.

Structure: The training is divided into 8 video lessons, each video lesson covers a certain tool and/or technique in Arnold renderer. Some of the videos are already available on the first outlet.

Interface: Standard Vimeo interface.

2 - solid Angle Vimeo Channel Arnold Renderer Training

Now the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.

Cons

  1. The training focuses only on Arnold for Maya.

Verdict: This is a good free online outlet where beginners can start learning Arnold renderer through video tutorials.

3D Tutorials

3D Tutorials is the third free online outlet where beginners can start learning Arnold renderer through video tutorials, you don’t have to register to have access to the training.

Structure: There’s no real structure in this outlet it’s just a huge collection of 168 video lesson that covers the various tools and techniques available in Arnold renderer. Some of the video tutorials available on this outlet are already available in the above two outlets, as 3D tutorials is just a collection of video tutorials available for Arnold renderer.

Interface: The interface is very simple, just click on the video lessons you’re interested in and you’ll be directed to the page where the video lesson resides.

 3 - 3d Tutorials Arnold Renderer Training

Now the pros and cons:

Pros

  1. Free.
  2. A huge collection of video tutorials.

Cons

  1. No real structure or organization.

Verdict: This outlet is a good asset for Arnold renderer users but it’s not suitable for complete beginners.

Bottom Line

The recipe for learning Arnold renderer:

  1. Solid Angle website is the best outlet for beginners to start learning Arnold renderer through text and/or video tutorials.

Remember that the first step is always the toughest step, and the aim of this post is to provide you with resources that will help you take your first step in learning Arnold renderer.