This series of tutorials is meant as an introduction for first-time users to Arnold for Maya. Arnold is a highly optimized, unbiased, physically-based 'Monte Carlo' ray/path tracing engine. Therefore, you should find it quick and easy to achieve photo-realistic results with Arnold due to its simplified workflow and physically accurate nature. We will be using Arnold's multi-purpose Standard Surface shader to create various materials. 

The original Maya scene files for this series of tutorials can be downloaded from Autodesk's Hyperspace Madness production.