Anyway, if I choose to do a test render with Maya's internal render engine, a frame was processed in about 30 secounds. If I try to do the same in Mental Ray, with the lowest settings possible, no Final Gather, no nothing, the rendering gets stuck at "translating frame".
I left it for about 10 minutes before giving up. I then hid all my objects except a couple, and tried again. This time it went smoothly, and as expected.
What I'm wondering is if there are any known workarounds or optimalizations for this issue? Unfortunately, trimming down the object-count is not an option for my scenario, but I'm willing to try almost anything else.
Also, will this "translation" only occur for the first frame, sort of a one-time only process, or will it be required for all consecutive frames too? The whole animation will contain roughly 2000 frames, and be sent off to our renderfarm for the final output. As of now, I've only tested single frames (both batch, and normal previews from Maya).
Any help on this subject will be greatly appreciated! And (as always) time is of the essence :-)