How to Drive Arnold Mesh Lights in Cloners

Shane Benson shows how to connect Arnold to Cloners to make a looping gradient color-change through Mesh Lights.

A new tutorial from Shane Benson poses an interesting and solvable problem with Cinema 4D and Arnold. Benson, while trying to animate an LED strip light, needed to have the lights cycle through the colors of a gradient. The light strip is comprised of a sweep and some cloners. You might think that an emissive material is an easy solution, but it might not be the best one.

The tutorial covers how to connect an Arnold shader to a mograph cloner and then connecting that to a mesh light tag.

Using Arnold Mesh Lights.

While a material seems simple, it doesn’t really have the same effect as a dedicated light source. For one, it’s always a little dark, so you will need super-high values just to get a result. An emissive material will also dump a lot of noise into the scene.

Instead, Benson chose to use Arnold Mesh Lights. The tutorial shows how you can get Mesh lights to work within a cloner object in Cinema 4D, using a shader effector or a material to drive the color cycle.

Learn More About Arnold in Cinema 4D.

If you’re looking to advance your skillset into Arnold for Cinema 4D, there is a great course covering everything. The Ultimate Introduction to Arnold C4D is a massive 700 minutes course, almost 12 hours, in 84 videos. “every single minute is planned and thought for, there is no rambling, you get the top-notch quality.” Visit the page to learn more.