Cutter version 8.0.5 incorporates, for the first time, features specifically designed to help artists expore the writing of Arnold shaders using the C programming language. This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on the downloading and installation of the Arnold SDK from SolidAngle, a C/C++ compiler and the configuration of Maya and Cutter.
Step 1: Which Version of the Arnold SDK?
Launch Maya and from the Arnold menu select the "About" item. Note the version number of the "Arnold Core". In figure 1 it shows, on my computer, "188.8.131.52". However, the readers version will probably be different.
Step 2: Download the Arnold SDK
Step 3: Unzipping the Arnold SDK
Once the .zip or .tgz file that is appropriate for your operating system has been "unpacked" move the folder to a location
that suits you. It does not have to be located in a specific directory. For example I have my SDK in this path.
Step 4: Setting Up Maya
On my computer I have created the following directories. However, for the present purposes the
maya/2019/Maya.env maya/projects/ |_ Arnold_osl/ | |_ src/ | |_ Arnold_shaders/ <-- compiled shaders and .mtd files will go here |_ src_c++/ <-- c++ source code files will go here
Step 5: Installing a C/C++ Compiler - Windows & OSX Users Only
Follow these instructions C/C++ Compiler Installation.
Step 6: Setting Up Cutter
Make sure you are using Cutter version 8.0.5 or higher. From the Edit menu open the Preferences Tool and go
Step 7: Using Cutter to Compile a Shader
From the Templates menu choose Arnold Shader->mkSampleShader.cpp.
7.1 Save the file as
If compilation has been successful the
Step 8: Using Cutter to "Render" the Shader
Right mouse button click anywhere in the mkU2Color document. A popup menu will appear. Choose "Render Shader". Cutter will create and open a document named "mkU2Color.ass".
After a short pause a "kick" window will open showing the effect of the shader displayed on a sphere.
Edit line 36 of the mkU2Color.ass file so that the RGB values of the "
A good deal of shader developement can accomplished by modifying the shader C++ code, re-compiling and re-rendering without using Maya.
Step 9: Using the Shader with Maya
Each time Cutter is used to compile a shader it automatically generates/updates an Arnold metadata file. Look
into the your Arnold_shader folder and you will find a file named "mkU2Color.mtd". It is this document that Arnold's
mtoa plugin will expect to find when it attempts to load the users custom shaders. The .mtd files are maintained by
Cutter so there is no need to open or edit their contents.
If the node does not appear it will because of one of the following reasons:
© 2002- Malcolm Kesson. All rights reserved.