Softimage/Mental ray integration

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  12 December 2012
Softimage/Mental ray integration

Hello everyone

Question for Softimage Mental ray users: how is the integration going over there?

I'm using Max and here things are just abysmal. There are plugins out there that good people write that expose some stuff to us, but without them we would still be stuck in 5 years ago. And even those good people can't do everything.
Not one single "new" mental feature is exposed. Unified sampling, importons, irradiance particles, native IBL (for which you have to dig through text files of A&D and change code to even get it to work), which has been superseded by IBL shaders... I could be forgeting something.
Now i'm reading about Mental 3.11 and it's new shaders, lighting options, GPU use. I know we at Max will probably never see those, one has to ask why did they even hired Zap.

At the same time often on forums people say that Softimage has the best Mental out of the box integration (compared to Max and Maya), and since i'm just a hobbyist i was thinking about making the switch.

Is that true, are all new features exposed by default in Softimage?

Thanks in advance!

- No, i don't want to use Vray or something else, so let's not even go there.
- Yes, i want to use Mental ray. If you know how to use it properly it is very fast with great renders.
  12 December 2012
No, that is not true. There is unified sampling exposed and that is it. There are even some stuff in Maya that are not exposed in SI. Furthermost things that you can expose in Maya or 3dsMax are not possible in SI. So it might be even worst than in other packages. Basically same as with other apps, if you need latest stuff you need to rely to 3rd party scripts to expose them.
  12 December 2012
I wouldn't exactly say that "all" features are exposed, but most of the stuff you mention is. And by integration, people usually don't just mean whether stuff is exposed or not, but how the two programs interact. The experience is completely integrated rendering, it's feels like a native part of Softimage. Mental Ray has been there from the very beginning, everything is built arount it, which is also why it took quite a while for other render engines become available. I believe this is why people say it's so well integrated, but you don't always get the latest MR version in the latest Soft version, and new things are not always exposed as soon as they're out.

Unified sampling and the physical shaders are all there, and it's pretty damn powerful, if you set it up correctly.
  12 December 2012
O yeah, I stand corrected, importons and irradiance particles are exposed too.
  12 December 2012
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