I have spent a little time learning how to get reasonable results with Maya's regular renderer, as far as dmap shadows, AA, sampling and motion blur go. I was excited to try out MR but it seems slow. I have tried very small dmap buffers, turned them off etc. just to compare render times; but all up MR just seems slow. This is on a P4 1.7 Ghz. The motion blur in MR at default settings is very "stochastic" (speckly) looking...now I haven't spent time tweaking the motion blur yet so I can't criticize it, but any advice would be appreciated. It seems faster than Maya's 3D motion blur.
As a comparison I have some experience using Electric Image Universe and on a G4 400 Mhz, Camera (EIU's renderer) KILLS MR speedwise and looks gorgeous. That is at 640 X 480 with motion vector blur, two shadow casting lights, dmap shadow buffer set to 1280 pixels, poly object with 8000 faces. The same thing in Maya rendered with MR (on a 1.7 Ghz P4 as mentioned earlier) but with one light and a 256 pixel shadow buffer + motion blur takes at least twice as long. I know that MR can look great and I heard it was faster than the regular Maya renderer for straightforward tasks so any tips would be much appreciated.
I get the feeling from what I have read that the performance with PRMan is optimised for this kind of thing, ie. dmap shadows and motionblur, nothing fancy, just great looking images, great AA, sampling etc.