Custom Shaders Tutorial

Welcome to this tutorial on using Arnold custom shaders with Zync. When rendering a scene with custom shaders, our goal is to have Zync render them as if they were the default ai shaders.

A few key points to remember before getting started:

  • If you're on Mac or Windows, you will have to download a version of the shaders built for Linux and point to them instead the version for your platform. You can place the Linux shader versions in the same directory as your Mac/Windows versions if you like; Zync will ignore the non-Linux versions.

  • If you are using Windows, please note that you have to replace backslashes (i.e. "\") with forward slashes ("/") in the path.

  • Do not add a trailing slash to the path you enter into the text boxes.

  • Multiple paths may be added if they are separated by semicolons.

  • Special characters anywhere in the path are not supported (e.g. +, &, @, ^ etc).

  • Paths that are very short are not supported (e.g. / or C:), there must be at least two named components to the path to avoid collision on the cloud storage (e.g. C:/shaders/alShaders or /home/guest/shaders/alShaders).

Like with any other render job, the first thing you want to do is to make sure you have the Zync Client App running.

Once that is up and running, we're going to open the Zync web console. Navigate to "My Account".

The first window will show Site Configuration. Click the "Edit" button.

Now we're going to take our custom shader path from our Maya.env file where your local custom shaders path is set. In order for the files to path correctly, it should contain similar paths to the ones in your local settings.

All you have to do is copy your custom shader path from your Maya.env file into the CUSTOM_SHADER_PATH setting, substitute any unrecognized characters (see the above guidelines for more information), and hit save.

Now we will go ahead and run our job. This is the result we're looking for, same as the render on our local machine. We'll launch the job, and wait.

Now that we have the completed frame downloaded, we'll check to make sure its correct. Here is the result:

Remember, if you have any questions, see our FAQ or contact Zync support by emailing for troubleshooting.