Malcolm Andrieshyn shows how you can render and work with vertex colors in Maya using Arnold.
If you are a long-time Maya user working with vertex color was only a partially formed workflow for you. You could paint colors, but there really wasn’t a way to make them more useful than organizing pieces in the viewport. Thankfully that’s all changed since Arnold.
Rendering Vertex Colors.
With Arnold, you can actually render these colors using a Standard Surface shader, a User Data Node, and a Multiply for good measure. Check out this latest tutorial from Malcolm Andrieshyn that shows how you can create the node-network setup.
Working With Vert Colors and Shaders.
Rendering vert-colors is one thing, but using them in a workflow is something different. Malcolm shows how you can create an Arnold shader that can employ the vert-colors as a mask to reveal parts in a layered shader.