View Full Version : new mental ray features

04 April 2008, 02:42 AM
I'm a maya user, but have been playing around in XSI more and more and really like just everything about it. But the one thing that keeps me still hesitating about jumping on it completely is it's integration of the new mental ray features. Mia_material and it's pass splitting, importons and being able to use assemblies, or proxy features native to mental ray. I've read some about some of this, but the most I could find is some people hacking the old mia_material functionality into it, and still couldn't get the MR physical sky to work? Has more been done than that?

I'm just wondering, where exactly is XSI standing on these mental ray features, and does anyone know if XSI will have it all thoroughly integrated in the next version?

04 April 2008, 02:27 PM
XSI have MR physical sky you just have to go to Render>Pass>Edit>Initialize Skyshader(if you click 3 it is just Edit>Initialize Skyshader) then pick a light you already have or just let it make its own.

XSI currently have MRay 3.5 so it is not MR3.6 yet but several people were able to do make 3.6 work in it. Search in

"Mia_material" - car paint and architectural material are in XSI, but many other shaders based in MIA were made by users.

"and it's pass splitting, importons and being able to use assemblies, or proxy features native to mental ray."

I dont know much about what is this so i cant comment. XSI has several pass capabilities (more expensive versions even has a compositor called FXtree inside it)but i cant go much further than that.

Btw rumor says that V7.0 will be announced shortly.

04 April 2008, 11:08 PM
hi, ex-maya user here too

Mia is available in XSI as Architectural Material.. get it from nodes in the rendertree.

XSI has passes (which in maya would be equivalent to renderlayers but XSI has another level inside passes called partitions for objects/lights). Maya has partitions too but it's different :)
Passes/partitions/channels/custom framebuffers/overrides will be a must in your workflow as soon as you learn it.

I don't know about proxys but I think this is new in mentalray. Next version of XSI should have an up to date version of Mentalray as well as Syflex.

This video show custom channels

This shows the physical sky and physical sun

Notice that Softimage usually don't advertise "mentalray updates" as huge jumps in XSI,
so sometimes these updates make it way through XSI and nobody get to know about it. (like the architectural material)

Mentalray is quite deep integrated into XSI (or should I say that XSI is deep integrated into Mentalray?). They share the same memory architecture so you'll not have that geommetry caching thing that usually maya/max need to have, because in XSI everything is already shared with mentalray.

PS: I see you are from Portland, I live here too! :)
I work here: ( send me a PM if ou wanna come by

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04 April 2008, 11:08 PM
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