Arnold Renderer

While the major VFX houses such as ILM, Weta, and Digital Domain, are often mentioned, as they tend to be the exception in their size, there are also many other VFX houses, while smaller, still do some great work. One such house is Vine located in London, known for their work on the television show, Merlin. Vine is a small company that started with 5 people and now have grown to 20. With a limited production team, Vine has to have software that works well but also fast. For that, they chose the Arnold Renderer. In season 5 of Merlin, there are two new CG characters that Vine had to work on, the white dragon and a humanoid creature who is the key to all knowledge. What Vine really liked about the Arnold Renderer is that it simplified a lot of the lighting for it calculated a lot of the bounce lights. They can put in a single light into an environment and get all the indirect lighting through calculations. Arnold doesn't need to precalculate secondary data such as shadow maps before actually going into renders thus reducing the render time and server load. As a lighter, I'm a bit skeptical on hearing about letting computers do the majority of calculations to achieve a certain result. It's like animating without breakdowns and hoping that the tweens that Maya creates between poses will work. The final rendered shots look good though and the process of the pipeline seems to be working well with their limited team.