View Full Version : total newbie to mental ray, need LOTSA help

04 April 2003, 04:58 AM
I am a total newbie to mental ray, and a novice of maya. This is kinda embarrasing, but how do I turn on the mental ray renderer in maya?:banghead:


04 April 2003, 06:45 AM
Preferences>Plug-in Manager turn on MR to Maya, then Render > Render Using > Mental Ray.

There are some movie files on that show some basic demos of using some MR-only effects.


04 April 2003, 09:11 AM
This is what I have learned about mentalray for maya:

HDRI maps can be used (mapped), but will not produce any preview image in maya, you will probably get a warning too, but it should render anyway.

In MentalRayRenderGlobals: setting your Min sampling to -2 and Max sampling to +3 or +4 will give you very nice antialising with high contrast edges (I think), but you need to increase the MinSampling to produce nice overall sampling. Rendering with full min and mas sampling will take much, much, much longer to render.

For FinalGathering; you can use
-the incandescence attribute on a material to produce light.
-a mapped incandescence or maybe ambient attribute to light a scene with final gathering.

You have to make the default lights go away, if you plan to use final gathering (else your nice shadows will be flooded with light). This can be done by creating a light with "0" intensity (which only "cancels" out the default lights).

MentalRay for simple raytracing (not FinalGathering/GlobalIllumination or caustics) will probably be nicer than the Maya renderer. Haven't used this much though, although I "should have".

Rendering with FinalGathering can take some time. Use the RenderRegion in the renderview to render smaller areas of the picture. (if you press the spacebar and select render view (6 o'clock) you can use one of the menu items in renderview to put up a wireframe image, so you don't need to render the whole image just to use the RENDER REGION tool.

Mentalray don't do post processing, like glow effects.

When using FinalGathering, setting MIN RADIUS AND MAX RADIUS to "0", doesn't mean it is "nothing", it just uses an AUTOMATIC CALCULATED value. If you ever wonder what this value is, you can turn on VERBOSE --> DETAILED MESSAGES in mentalrayrenderglobals to get a report with "thousands" of lines, but you can spot the automatic min-/max values there if you look for it.

You can wite your own mental ray shader, or use existing ones (that is hidden) but witing and using these shaders are beyond me.

You can make mental ray do the rendering process in "smaller increments" if I remember correctly, if you get problems with rendering. Haven't tried this out though.

FinalGathering can be combined with GlobalIllumination, probably in a more "optimal" way, contra using only FinalGathering or GlobalIllumination. The FinalGathtering setting like FGrays, can probably be lowered due to the blobal illumination. I have to try this out sometime :D

04 April 2003, 11:39 AM
If you need more Mental Ray tutes:

I have 2 on my website so far, with many more to come:

And there are lots on this site too:

They were created in XSI, but are virtually the same.

Good luck! :thumbsup:

05 May 2003, 09:05 AM
Jozvex, i've seen your website, it's cool !
when will you release the tut on blurry reflections ?
or where can i find help to achieve this effect ?
and how can i achieve a fading of the reflection, distance based ?

05 May 2003, 10:03 AM
Jozvex, PLEASE update your site... I want every single tutorial you have listed as "coming soon"

hurry up dude, I want tutorials!!!

05 May 2003, 11:13 AM
blurred reflections

the real stuff -

an alternative -

05 May 2003, 03:01 PM
Good stuff you guys!


05 May 2003, 07:36 PM

have fun

05 May 2003, 10:58 PM
Originally posted by r2m
Jozvex, i've seen your website, it's cool !
when will you release the tut on blurry reflections ?
or where can i find help to achieve this effect ?
and how can i achieve a fading of the reflection, distance based ?

Hey thanks! And thanks Gremlin also!

I haven't been into this thread for ages and so I didn't see these posts! I'm almost finished the tut on Final Gathering, but it just seems to get longer and longer as I go. I'll do the blurry reflections one next in that case.

I'm just too good at putting things off hehe.

05 May 2003, 12:51 AM
I've posted 1 post more than jozvex!!
hehe, anywho...
can't wait for the final gathering and GI tutorials!
jozvex, can you email me when you complete them? (or instant message me: seuldieu)

05 May 2003, 03:49 AM
Haha ok I will,

Oh, and now we're even!

05 May 2003, 07:50 PM
check my site for some mental ray links ( The site is in Dutch, so just click on links and it wil direct u 2 the tuts... These are the tuts that i've used to learn MR...:)

05 May 2003, 11:40 PM
Hey sander0105, I just thought I'd let you know that it's actually "HDRI" not "HRDI" like you say on your site.

Just in case you care! :wavey:

05 May 2003, 04:41 AM
Im about to render my FIRST hdri scene...
(lol, simple ass spheres on a plane) but it r0x!!

05 May 2003, 06:05 AM
Pretty cool, I like this mental ray for maya; and the whole HDRI idea, this r0x!

ooh, I see a problem with the hdri.... *grin* it doesnt show up in reflections! :hmm:

05 May 2003, 03:58 PM
Originally posted by Jozvex
Hey sander0105, I just thought I'd let you know that it's actually "HDRI" not "HRDI" like you say on your site.

Just in case you care! :wavey:

WOEPSSSSSSSS I changed it ... feel so stupid:banghead:


*Gremlin* looks really fine... especially the right material... can you share this one... looks pretty cool!!

05 May 2003, 09:43 PM
Well, to create it (assuming your HDRI scene is already set up) you...
- create a blinn
- set color to black
- apply a granite map to the bump channel (0.4 bump intensity)
- set specularity to 0.25
- set reflectivity to 0.9

the material in the middle, is the same wtih a 0.2 bump intensity, and the one on the left is no bump.

if you really wantd to make it cool, apply a facing ratio sampler info node in the reflectivity (have yet to try it)

and in conjunction with the HDRI environment, you get the resulting material! :)

05 May 2003, 11:41 AM
Thnx to to good help of Gremlin, i created almost the same scene :)

Gremlin... i found what i was doin wrong.... i forgot to turn off the damn default lightening:banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

05 May 2003, 07:39 PM
looks good; yah, that default lighting sometimes ravages me too! It seems like my saved render preferences dont wanna save properly? Hmm :hmm:

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