Autodesk has just released a new version of Maya, titled Maya 2017 (I know, we're only half way through 2016) - which now features an entirely new system for rendering your images.
The old ray trace renderer, Mental Ray, has been dropped, and Autodesk have chosen Arnold instead. For those of you have have never used Arnold before, and might have some catching up to do, Animation Apprentice student Lee Caller has helpfully put together a YouTube playlist of videos that will walk you through the basics of the Arnold renderer.
Arnold is a great renderer, and no doubt a significant improvement on Mental Ray. However, there is a catch, and it's a pretty big one.