View Full Version : other rendering options for XSI?

09 September 2006, 03:29 AM
can someone tell me what some of the other rendering options are for XSI?

Surely there are some plugin renderers or something. Yes I know that there is XSIman for Renderman. but is there anything else?
Mental Ray is an amazing renderer man man it is freaking slow.

I mean is there a Vray or something that does a good job but is faster?

09 September 2006, 03:52 AM
actually MR isn't that slow. You should investigate a bit more.

Have a look to this thread :

some tips to speed up you render are exposed. And if you compare with other render the best time are get by MR

and answer to your question nop there is no alternative yet.

09 September 2006, 03:54 AM
Mental Ray is an amazing renderer man man it is freaking slow.

From my experiences Metal Ray can be quite fast if you learn the correct way to set it up. If you are just hitting render, you doing it wrong. :wise:

Also, if you are using things like blurred reflections check out the tek2shoot website and download the MR shader pack. It includes some MR shaders that were not included with XSI and they can do some things much faster than the default XSI shaders.

Try looking up some mental ray tutorials to get a better understanding of how MR can be configured.

09 September 2006, 04:59 AM
most of my experience with mental ray was in maya. I'm fairly new to XSI. but we had Maya and renderman where I was working and renderman was just sooooooo much faster. but yeah a lot of setup was involved. I used mental ray some in maya and it was slow but Iw as not really optimizing it. But where I work now is all XSI and mental ray. I was just dreading those rendertimes I saw when I was using it before.

But seeing what you guys are getting I guess it something I need to just dig into

09 September 2006, 10:19 AM
There certainly are areas that Renderman excels over MR... motion blur being the major bullet point. There is a commercial XSI-->Renderman solution that you can consider. I have no direct experience with it, but you can find info on it here (

Mental Ray is a very good renderer though, and it is only slow overall for people who are missing the knowledge on how to utilize it effectively. It wouldn't be regularly used by anyone if it was truly sub-par... and it is used in a lot of houses.

09 September 2006, 10:28 PM
Do you guys have some links to tutorials or books we can get in order to learn Mental Ray the right way? This would be highly appretiated, I am learning just intuitively, it is fine, it just takes longer... and still canīt find where to learn optimization.


09 September 2006, 12:17 AM
Digital tutors hs this one that looks good

i didnt see it yet but i tried some other titles from DT and they really works.

09 September 2006, 06:01 AM
The mental ray dvd I have was from softimage, but I don't think they sell it any more. I have been thinking about geting the one from digital tutors, but haven't got around to ordering it yet.

09 September 2006, 10:02 PM
I hate to say it, but I'd buy the DVDs sold at several places and have a look at that one thread listed above. MR is so flexable there is no one way to do each scene- so people claiming that there is a "correct" setup for 90% of scenes are pulling it out of their patooties.

I went wrong at first by only looking at example scenes and sticking with those settings- instead of trying to get my head around what was going on. I'm still a noob with MR, but even just understanding what the min and max FG setting are REALLY doing for me was an eye opener.

It also seems that many try a brute force aproach with mr and give up on it, which is a shame since that is where it is weakest or = many other engines IMH(I)O.

Make sure to check out Saturn's examples on that thread!

09 September 2006, 12:54 AM
MR is so flexable there is no one way to do each scene- so people claiming that there is a "correct" setup for 90% of scenes are pulling it out of their patooties.

I completely agree here. I've seen people recommending things like specific AA settings to be used when rendering. I've found that the needed settings for AA will vary greatly depending on the scene. Sometimes instead of cranking up the AA settings all you need to do is change the filtering type to get the desired results.

Also, BSP size and depth play a critical role in render times. I was rendering out a long animation and while it didn't take much time to render a single frame it did take a long time overall. I was using some BSP settings that worked great on a very large scene and saved me tons of render time, but after playing with the settings I found out that they were actually doubling the amount of time needed to render this very small scene. 15 seconds doesn't seem like much, but if you knock 15 seconds per frame off of a 1000 frame animation it saves a lot of time. :)

These things may seem really foreign if you come from a program like lightwave that has very limited adjustability for it's render engine, but if you take some time to learn the basics of the BSP tree and the different AA settings you can save yourself tons of time. I am by no means an expert on the MR engine, but I do have enough of an understanding that I at least know what settings to play with to get better render times or better render quality.

09 September 2006, 09:16 PM
Looks like your prayers have been answered:;action=display;threadid=26886;start=0

09 September 2006, 01:40 AM
Looks like your prayers have been answered:;action=display;threadid=26886;start=0

I wouldn't say answered, but they are at least thinking about it.

09 September 2006, 03:15 AM
very cool bout time.

09 September 2006, 05:16 AM they've been heard...if you had prayers for it they've been heard...

I wish that in some way this would help us connect to the other rm complaint renderers...

09 September 2006, 03:21 AM
Well to be honest having used both RMFM and Renderman Pro Tools w/ RAT
RMFM is the way to go. and selling it until it is fully functional as a replacment for RATis very smart.

RAT is very old it has been around more or less since Alias Power Animator on the IRIX platform.
RMFM has a much nicer workflow.

For Renderman Pro server you still gotta have XSI man. and it is a 32bit only solution.
Hopefully they will make the RMFXSI plugin version that would be very nice.

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