August 10, 2021 Yen Lily

Powerful Houdini and Arnold Cloud Rendering service

Houdini is a 3D animation software application developed by SideFX. Houdini is most commonly used in FX departments for the creation of visual effects in film and game. It is used by major VFX companies such as Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, Double Negative, ILM, MPC, Framestore, and others. Houdini has been used in various feature animation productions, including Disney’s feature films Fantasia 2000, Frozen and Zootopia; the Blue Sky Studios film Rio, DNA Productions’ Ant Bully as well.

Arnold is an advanced Monte Carlo ray tracing renderer designed from the ground up to efficiently process the complex geometric datasets required for feature-length CGI animation and big-budget visual effects.

Arnold for Houdini (or HtoA) provides a tight bridge to the Arnold renderer from within the standard Houdini interface. It enables smooth lighting workflows between Houdini and other DCC applications since setups can be exported and shared.

In this articles today, let’s explore powerful Houdini and Arnold cloud rendering service with iRender!

1. Why choose Arnold for Houdini?

Arnold for Houdini holds many features which can help you to achieve a smooth workflow as well as its strength in realistic rendering results. Some features can be referred below:

        • All Arnold cameras (perspective, orthographic, spherical, fisheye) with depth of field and advanced shutter controls.
        • All Arnold lights (point, distant, spot, quad, disk, cylinder, skydome, mesh) with light filters and accurate viewport representation.
        • Custom Arnold shading network context with a comprehensive list of 106 shaders and utilities.
        • Atmospheric and background effects.
        • Volume rendering with support for OpenVDB and particles.
        • Polymeshes, curves, points with support for displacement and bump mapping and subdivision.
        • Procedurals, with sample Alembic and mandelbulb implementations.
        • Accurate motion blur (transform, deform, velocity, acceleration), overridable per object.
        • Geometry attributes translation as user data.
        • Optional Arnold properties for objects and cameras.
        • Render to AOVs, in single or separate files.
        • Support all Houdini rendering contexts (render region, mplay, render viewer, render COP, batch), with support for AOVs and clickable buckets.
        • Interactive rendering (IPR) allows parameter changes to be rapidly previewed without interrupting your work.
        • Instancing.
        • Multi-camera renders.
        • DeepEXR support.

2. System requirements for Houdini and Arnold


        • Operating system: from Windows 8 (64 bit); macOS 64-bit Intel-based Mac with macOS 10.13 and higher
        • Processor: minimum Intel or AMD x64 CPU with SSE 4.2
        • Graphics cards: there are some basic graphics cards recommended, which is NVIDIA GeForce GPUs: 440 or higher, NVIDIA Quadro GPUs: 440 or higher, AMD: 20.Q1 or higher or Intel or higher. VRAM 4GB or more is required. Less than this can result in display errors such as blank windows. High DPI displays (4K, 5K) or multiple monitors require a minimum of 4GB.
        • Memory: 4 GB is required. However, for fluid simulation, 12 GB or higher is strongly recommended.
        • Disk space: 3GB required for installation.


        • Operating system: Windows 10 or later; macOS 10.13 to 10.15. Note that macOS 11 Big Sur is not certified
        • Processor: CPUs need to support the SSE4.1 instruction set.
        • Graphics cards: requires an NVIDIA GPU of the Ampere, Turing, Volta, Pascal, or Maxwell architecture. It’s recommend using the 460.39 or higher drivers on Linux and 461.40 (Quadro), 461.40 (GeForce), or higher on Windows. GPU rendering is not supported on Mac.
        • There’s no indication of RAM or Disk space.
        • Compatibility: you can refer here to know which version of Arnold is compatible with your Houdini. Please note that Houdini Apprentice does not support third-party renderers and thus cannot run HtoA.

3. Our Solution for Houdini with Arnold users - Arnold Cloud Rendering Service

iRender provide to you high performance and configurable server system for 3D rendering, AI Training, VR & AR, simulation, etc. We believe that design and creative activities are private and personal that only you artists will know what you want with your animation. That’s the reason why we provide remote servers so that you can install any software you need, and do whatever you like with your project.

You will only need to install your software for the first time, and next time you connect to the computer everything is ready for use.

Because Arnold now can utilize the power of GPU rendering (from version 5.3 or HtoA 4.0.0), we have established some of the fastest server packages with RTX3090.

You can see that our configurations above are all more than enough to have a project in Houdini with Arnold renderer run smoothly. RAM is 128GB and Storage is NVMe SSD with 512GB, your project will run more stable when you open it with other software and programs.

Moreover, processor is Intel Xeon W-2235 3.9GHz (4.6GHz Turbo) 6 Core. We all know that the clock speed of a CPU will decide your scene to load faster or not. To ensure you have a better experience and minimize all CPU bottleneck, iRender has changed all CPU of those package above from CPU Intel Xeon E52673 V3 with just 2.4GHz to Intel Xeon W-2235 with 3.9GHz.

Come to a very important factor: Graphics card (GPU). Although Nvidia said that RTX3090 is gaming card, we all know that it’s the best choice for rendering at the moment. With 3:53 min, RTX3090 comes first in rendering speed. However, do not underestimate the power of RTX3080, as its performance is just only 15-20% slower than RTX3090. Because we do provide multi-GPUs package with RTX3090 and RTX3080, you can choose a server most suitable for your budget, with not much difference in rendering time.

Plus, on iRender, we provide you more support than just those config.

  • NVLink available for large and complex scene

If 24GB VRam is not enough for your scene, we always have NVLink to help you access more than that. You can access this article to know how NVLink benefits your 3D projects.

  • Free and convenient transferring tool

iRender offers a powerful and free file transfer tool: Gpuhub Sync. With fast file transfer speed, large data capacity, and completely free. You can transfer all the necessary data into our Gpuhub Sync tool at any time without connecting to the server. The data will be automatically synchronized in the Z drive inside the server, ready for you to use.

  • Flexible price

Beside hourly rental, you can always save from 10% to 20% with our Fixed Rental feature. For those who’s in need of server more than a day, or have extremely large project, we advise to choose daily/ weekly/monthly rental package. The discount is attractive (up to 10% for daily packages, 20% on weekly and monthly packages), and you don’t have to worry about over-charging if you forget to shutdown the server.

  • Real human 24/7 support service

Users can access to our web-based online platform and using multiple nodes to render at the same time. Hence, with us, it does not matter where you are present – as long as you are connected to the internet, you can access and enjoy the 24/7 rendering services that we provide, and if you meet any issue, our real human 24/7 support team is always ready to support you.

  • Rendering service supports powerful RTX3090

When you use iRender, you can free your computer during the hardest and most arduous part – rendering. That is also the reason that Render Farm service is becoming more and more popular and essential. However, as far as we know, iRender is proud to be one of the very few rendering service that support powerful RTX3090 for Arnold for Houdini with relatively reasonable price.


With the above advantages Houdini and Arnold Cloud Rendering and the machine configuration package that iRender has just released, we believe that Houdini and Arnold users will have the most comfortable, quickest, and most effective rendering time.

Register an account today to experience powerful Houdini & Arnold Cloud Rendering Service. Or contact us via WhatsApp: (+84) 916806116 for advice and support.


Thank you & Happy Rendering!


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Yen Lily

Hi everyone. Being a Customer Support from iRender, I always hope to share and learn new things with 3D artists, data scientists from all over the world.


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