Physical Shaders in Arnold with Michael Davies

Even though Unreal Engine continues to expand its reach through games, animation and VFX, Arnold remains the primary renderer for our students at Escape Studios.  We’ve uploaded a series of tutorials at our Vimeo Channel, on the use of Physical Shaders in Arnold, taught by Head of Animation Michael Davies.

In these tutorials you will learn how to create materials for glass, metal, thin film & iridium, sub-surface scattering, and cloth.

Arnold Tutorials at Vimeo

UG programme leader and third year animation tutor Michael Davies has recorded an extensive series of Arnold tutorials, which you can find at our Vimeo Tutorial Channel here.  Michael’s Arnold tutorials walk you through all the steps needed to render in Arnold; you can find them here:
Vimeo Channel
Like all our tutorials at Vimeo, the videos are password protected; the password is available to all our current students and recent Escapees. Our Vimeo Tutorial Channel offers a central hub for our animation and VFX video tutorials, making it easier than ever for our students to find tutorials to support their classroom studies. Tutorials begin with the bouncing ball and progress through to complex character and creature animation. All the tutorials are free for our students and Escapees – to get the password, email me at

Rendering with Arnold – Playlist 
For our students who would like to get familiar with the process of rendering images in Arnold, animation tutor Lee Caller has helpfully put together a YouTube playlist of videos.


About Michael Davies
Michael is our head of Animation at Escape Studios, and a skilled digital artist with a long industry track record and strong 3D generalist skills. His main areas of expertise are rigging and modelling, but he has also worked as a 3D generalist and supervisor. Michael is an Accredited Trainer for Maya at Autodesk and also skilled in the Unreal Engine pipeline.

Michael has worked on many VFX blockbuster movies including Batman vs Superman, Doctor Strange and Thor Ragnarok.  He also rigged Smaug (The Hobbit) and The Minions for Illumination-McGuff.

You can find Physical Shaders in Arnold with Michael Davies at our Vimeo Channel here.


The Escape Studios VFX Blog offers a personal view on the art of visual effects.

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