MentalCore is a plugin for Maya and MentalRay that provides an alternative to the standard rendering workflow in Maya. Itís a complete shading/lighting/rendering pipeline designed from lessons learned in production that aims to provide solid integration with Maya that is easy to use and suitable for small to large productions.
Render Globals Interface: A well thought out interface for tweaking any render setting related to MentalCore, integrated into the Render Globals window.
Render Pass System: A completely new node based render pass system built from lessons learned in real world production. There is a large selection of available passes to choose. Individual render passes can also be linked to objects/materials/lights to control what is rendered in a particular pass.
Preview Render Passes: With Maya render passes, all render passes are created everything you press render - this can slow down a render and cause you to run out of memory. MentalCore provides a way of previewing render passes in the viewport without the overhead of rendering all the other passes. During batch render, it will automatically switch out of preview mode.
Render Pass Compositing: MentalCore provides a workflow for compositing render passes with nodes inside the hypershade.
Colour Management: A complete colour management system for sRGB <-> Linear with consistent results. Alternatively Mayaís colour management may also be used instead.
AO Transparency: Ambient occlusion transparency is fully supported. AO can be properly traced through multiple levels of transparent objects. This can be turned on per shader to improve performance.
Light Bloom: A method for generating light bloom from over bright specular and reflection.
Environment Lighting: Use the environment as a ambient light. This provides a very fast way of emitting light from the environment, with no flickering. Combined with ambient occlusion, it can provide a nice simple base for lighting a scene.
Exposes MentalRay Features: MentalCore makes many features of MentalRay available in the render globals, that have not yet been integrated into Maya. Such as Image Based Lighting, Progressive Rendering, Unified Sampling and more.
Camera Features: Build in camera features such as lens type (standard/fisheye/spherical), colour grading, tonemapping, and overlay and background images.
Python API: A simple python api for using MentalCore in any pipeline.
And many more...
Core Material: A universal shader thatís somewhere between the built-in Maya materials and the Mental Images Architectural shader. It provides a selection of specular types and advanced reflection and refraction controls as well as being energy conserving.
Core Mia Material: A wrapped version of Mental Images Architectural shader, combined with many MentalCore features.
Core Hair: A hair and fur shader, supporting render passes. Designed to work well with Shave and a Haircut. Also supports Maya Fur.
Core Blend Materials: A optimized layered material shader for blending between multiple materials and retaining support for render passes. Perfect for effects such as peeling paint on wood, and reduces the need to create multiple maps for various shader attributes. Supports up to 8 coat materials.
Core Environment: A environment shader with the ability to specify different textures for ray types (Reflection/Refraction, Environment Light etc).
Core Geo Light: Convert geometry into a area light source.
Utility Shaders: MentalCore also provides many material shaders for blending textures, randomizing textures, vector displacement, colour grading, etc.
And many more...
If you want to be part of the beta testing proceess, head over to www.core-cg.com and signup!