Download BtoA: the free Arnold plugin for Blender
Friday, July 15th, 2022 | Posted by Jim Thacker
An animation rendered by art director Alexey Adamitsky using BtoA, a new community-developed Blender plugin for Autodesk’s Arnold renderer. Version 0.4.5 of the plugin adds support for Blender 3.x.
The Arnold for Blender development team has released BtoA 0.4.5, the latest version of the community-developed plugin integrating Blender with Autodesk’s Arnold renderer.
The update – the first to support Blender 3.x, the latest version of the open-source 3D software – also improves performance of interactive preview renders, and adds support for holdout effects.
A community-developed plugin for rendering Blender visualisations and animations in Arnold
Like Corona integration BCorona, BtoA is a free, community-developed plugin connecting Blender to a key production renderer for which there is no official integration: in this case, Autodesk’s Arnold renderer.
Development is led by Aaron Powell, creative director of animation and VFX studio Luna Digital, which has used it in production on projects ranging from product renders to indie movies.
Now ‘well on the way’ to feature parity with other Arnold integrations
The plugin was originally released last year, but this week’s BtoA 0.4.5 update is the first version compatible with the current Blender 3 releases.
It supports both final-quality and interactive viewport rendering, GPU rendering, motion blur, Blender modifiers including adaptive subdivision and displacement, and instanced objects and lights.
In a post on the BlenderArtists forum announcing the release, Powell comments that while BtoA “doesn’t have 100% feature parity with other Arnold plugins … we’re well on our way”.
At the foot of this story, we’ve pasted in a list of BtoA’s major features provided by the development team, along with those currently missing, which include hair, volumes, custom AOVs and texture baking.
Little written documentation, though workflow should be familar-ish to Arnold users
Although there is current little written documentation for BtoA, the basic workflow will be familiar to users of other Arnold integrations like Maya plugin MtoA, and support is available via the project’s Discord server.
The team is currently looking for contributors to help with bug testing and documentation as well as coding.
Licensing and system requirements
BtoA 0.4.5 is compatible with Blender 2.83+ on Windows, Linux and macOS. The source code is available under an open-source GPL licence, or you can download compiled binaries.
Feature list: BtoA 0.4.5 – Provided to CG Channel by the development team
Big things we have:
Supported on Windows, macOS, and Linux
IPR (viewport) rendering
Support for Blender’s modifier stack
Render layers and render layer effects (indirect, holdout, material override)
HDR rendering and most Arnold light types
Supports 35+ of the most common shader nodes with more added with every release
Can be easily configured for cloud rendering with AWS Deadline
Big things we’re missing:
Some IPR bugs still to be ironed out (adding/removing objects, materials)
ASS file importing/exporting
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