Here's another render in Arnold. I never really addressed interior renders, so I will in this post. This is the area where Arnold starts to stumble. In my opinion, it's still a very viable renderer, even for interiors, but since there is no caching GI option, renders take a while and GI samples need to be quite high. This render wasn't too bad, at 20 minutes a frame, 720p, with atmospherics.
There's a specific static sampling pattern in the atmosphere that I haven't been able to get rid of yet, despite making sure that lock sampling pattern is OFF. I've seen this on a few renders where I've used atmosphere. I've asked around the Arnold community but haven't come up with an answer quite yet.
One thing I do like is a natural blooming of the light around the windows, again because of the atmospherics. Sadly, there is no AOV for the atmosphere, but it can be subtracted out of the beauty easily enough.
I really thought that Arnold was edging ahead, but I've been playing with the VRay 3.0 beta and think it's a solid answer to Arnold. Don't get me wrong, Arnold is a BRILLIANT tool, probably best new softwares available in a long time (at least new to non-beta users), but VRay is no push over and I'm really liking some of the new tools in it as well. I'll add a new post on VRay 3.0 soon.