View Full Version : MentalCore Beta 2

04 April 2011, 10:49 PM
MentalCore Beta 2 is out! This is a massive redesign of MentalCore and brings it more in line with our idea of the final polished product. Lots of ideas and experience from beta 1 have been incorporated into this version and we hope to get a lot of great feedback.

About MentalCore:

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 and signup!

04 April 2011, 07:51 AM
great work!! hope I can test that soon enough..keep up the great work so we finally have decent mental ray inside maya.
cheers :applause:

04 April 2011, 11:07 AM
Congratulations. It looks very impressive Corey. :thumbsup: I'll have to try and find some time to try it out!

04 April 2011, 07:23 PM
Sorry if I'm missing the point but what about rendering fluids, particles and pfx?



04 April 2011, 08:31 PM
Yep!... how about fluids and particles?


05 May 2011, 09:40 PM
FX hasn't been the focus so far. However anything that you can apply a material shader to, will will work fine, anything else will just render the beauty as usual. If you have some specific suggestions about what you have in mind that you would like to see, feel free to flick me a email.

05 May 2011, 10:10 AM
Really interesting, it looks like the MR that I always wanted! Thanks!

05 May 2011, 12:03 PM
Great news

06 June 2011, 01:30 PM
Hello there, is the site down? Can't access the web page.

06 June 2011, 07:58 AM
I'd like to try this too but the DL is down :sad:

06 June 2011, 02:56 AM
Still waiting to receive the license file form them and don't know whether I'll get it or not.

06 June 2011, 03:57 AM
The site was down for a little bit due to a change of hosting and domain name transfer. Its all back up and running now. I just sent out a bunch of licenses, but if you still haven't received yours flick me an email - support at

06 June 2011, 02:52 AM
:bowdown: great work

and i have a problem using vector displacement

how to connect the core_vdisplace

i tryed many ways and it not work no effect and no error message too

is it about i dont have the lisense

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06 June 2011, 02:52 AM
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