The popular render engine has finally reached the growing CINEMA 4D user base and does so with style, stability and a blisteringly fast interactive preview.
Any company developing a plug-in have to strike the balance between providing the tools they are creating in a way that works best, while being intuitive to the host software’s users. Solid Angle has done a brilliant job with Arnold and it really is integrated very well, both under the hood and in the user facing elements.
Arnold uses a node-based approach for building materials, which makes for a particularly versatile and easy to use system, with much more in the way of visual feedback than a layered system, where you need to drill down to get where you need. Channels are all nodes, including textures, which can be loaded direct form an explorer/finder window into the node manager, which is actually a Xpresso window. Connecting nodes is simple and anybody who has used Xpresso will be happier immediately. Everyone else will need just a few minutes to learn how it all works.
Lighting is perhaps the most important part of working with any renderer and Arnold has built the lighting setup just right. You can add an Arnold light from the plug-in’s menu, choose it’s type from the usual, point, spot, and so on, then move on to the rest of the attributes for color and intensity and so on.
Arnold has a sky/physical sky system that is simple and works. You can add an HDRI to it or stick with a basic dome. Either way results are great.
The node-based material editor is simple, powerful and versatile
Part of the implementation in CINEMA 4D is how things feel normal to a CINEMA 4D user, so to give standard objects attributes for Arnold is a simple case of applying the Arnold tag to it. Second nature to most, and the tag adapts depending on what it is applied to, for instance if it’s a camera you get attributes for depth of field, exposure and shutter angle (including rolling shutter for matching pates). It’s this attention to detail that will make Arnold a long term favorite, but for sheer fun and wow factor you have to use the IPR.
Many renderers suggest they have a real-time feedback preview renderer, but none are as effective as this. Results, even on heavy scenes, are instant, progressively cleaning up, so you get to work as fast as you can think. Feedback is fast enough to move cameras, play animations and run simulations, so really a fantastic tool.
The IPR is fast, easy and looks fantastic
Render quality is excellent but to get the best out of it, time is needed to really appreciate how the materials work; but if you are considering a renderer like Arnold that probably isn’t an issue for you. Final renders are up there with the best and while not as fast as some of the competition it’s not a slouch either.
There isn’t space to cover everything offered by Arnold for CINEMA 4D here so check out some of the other features, such as volume rendering, support for X-Particles, Mesh lights and much more, as there is a fairly comprehensive feature set.
A big thumbs up to Solid Angle for a deeply integrated renderer for CINEMA 4D, which offers great quality and ease of use. Take the time to learn how the materials work and you will not regret investing the time and money.
Even the quickest test renders look good and the Arnold SSS is lovely
Score (out of 5): 4.5
Price: from £520
– Global Illumination renderer
– Physically based
– Excellent integration for C4D users
– Fast IPR for instant feedback
– Support for Team Render
– Compatible with Cinema 4D R15 and R16 (all products except Lite)
– Windows 7 and later
– Mac OS X 10.8 and later
– No GPU or graphics card requirements
The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: HEICO, Group 1 Automotive, Rent-A-Center, Repligen and Strategic Education
For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – June 4, 2019 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: HEICO Corp. HEI, Group 1 Automotive Inc. GPI, Rent-A-Center Inc. RCII, Repligen Corp. RGEN and Strategic Education Inc. STRA.
Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:
U.S. Heading for Largest Economic Expansion: 5 Top Stocks
Finally, May's market mayhem is over. June 2019 promises to bring along fortunes as the United States is on the verge of completing the longest economic expansion. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the ongoing expansion started back in June 2009. The previous record of longest economic expansion was from March 1991 to March 2001.
Fundamentals of the U.S. economy remain strong with no nearby sign of recession. Despite the stock market rout in May, a closer look at the U.S. economy has a different story to tell, with enough reasons for further rally on Wall Street.
Stock Market Meltdown Likely Temporary
President Donald Trump’s tariff wars against China and Mexico brought back volatility in Wall Street, which otherwise sailing through impressively in the first four months on 2019. In May, the three major stock indexes -- the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite -- plunged 6.7%, 6.6% and 7.9%.
However, year-to-date, these indexes are still in the positive territory with gains of 6.4%, 9.8% and 12.3%, respectively. Notably, per Ben Carlson, director of institutional asset management at Ritholtz Wealth Management, a pullback of 5% or more in a month on the S&P 500 Index happened in 65 of the last 70 years. So, a sudden shock last month may well be the much-needed correction in stock markets.
U.S. Economy Remains Strong
For May 2019, the Conference Board's measure of consumer confidence index stands at 134.1 compared with 129.2 in April. May’s reading is near the 18-year high recorded in November 2018. This indicates that U.S. consumers are highly confident about future growth despite trade concerns.
On May 3, the Department of Labor reported that the U.S. economy added 263,000 jobs in April. Year to date, job gains are impressive at 205,000 on an average per month. Unemployment fell to 3.6% compared with the consensus estimate of 3.8%. This marks the lowest level of unemployment since December 1969.
The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index came in at 16.6 in May, a massive gain from the reading of 8.5 in April. The index was the highest in four months in May. Notably, any reading above zero indicates improving conditions. The employment index grew to 18.2, the highest in five months. The prices index was at 17.5, the lowest in 17 months.
Fed Maintains Dovish Stance
The Federal Reserve has decided to keep the federal funds target rate unchanged in the range of 2.25-2.50% at least for the time being. The central bank also said that it will not downsize its $4 trillion balance sheet this year. Per the Fed, although U.S. economy is in solid footing, trade-related concerns may result in global economic slowdown which will reduce the growth rate of the U.S. economy.
Moreover, core PCE inflation index – Fed’s favorite inflation gauge – increased 1.6% in April, well below the central bank’s target rate of 2%. Muted inflation and the likelihood of a reduction of U.S. economic growth may compel Fed to reduce interest rate, much to the delight of President Trump. The Trump administration is constantly blaming the central bank for its aggressive monetary stance as the major hindrance of economic growth.
CTO at API Fortress, Simone Pezzano comments:
Our Top Picks
At this stage, it will be prudent to invest in stock with strong growth potential and a favorable Zacks Rank. We have narrowed down our search to five such stocks with a Growth Score of A and Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. Each of these stocks has moved higher in the last three months and still has upside left.
HEICO Corp. designs, manufactures, and sells aerospace, defense, and electronic related products and services in the United States and internationally. The company has expected earnings growth of 22.7% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 3.7% over the last 30 days. The stock has surged 30.6% in the past three months.
Group 1 Automotive Inc. is a leading operator in the automotive retailing industry. It has expanded to become the third largest dealership group in the United States. The company has expected earnings growth of 13.6% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 4.5% over the last 30 days. The stock has surged 15.7% in the past three months.
Rent-A-Center Inc. leases household durable goods to customers on a rent-to-own basis. It operates through four segments: Core U.S., Acceptance Now, Mexico and Franchising. The company has expected earnings growth of 100% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 11% over the last 30 days. The stock has surged 24.6% in the past three months.
Repligen Corp. develops, manufactures, and sells products used to enhance the interconnected phases of the biological drug manufacturing process in North America, Europe, APAC and internationally. The company has expected earnings growth of 28.8% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 10.6% over the last 30 days. The stock has surged 17.4% in the past three months.
Strategic Education Inc. provides a range of post-secondary education and non-degree programs in the United States. It operates through three segments: Strayer University, Capella University and Non-Degree Programs. The company has expected earnings growth of 36.2% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year has improved by 7.1% over the last 30 days. The stock has surged 23.8% in the past three months.
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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (GPI) : Free Stock Analysis Report Heico Corporation (HEI) : Free Stock Analysis Report Rent-A-Center, Inc. (RCII) : Free Stock Analysis Report Repligen Corporation (RGEN) : Free Stock Analysis Report Strategic Education Inc. (STRA) : Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research