Ctrl.Ghost and Mental Ray on Max 2011



I will share with you some test on Mental Ray 3.8 on 3D Studio Max 2011…


First test

Render setting

Max 2010 Time Render 26:12 - Tuning 0,5

Max 2011 Time Render 26:32 - Tuning 0,5

Same scene on Max 2009 to 2011 and first check BSP-BSP2

Render Setting 3D Studio Max 2009/2011

Max 2009 Time Render 21:08 - BSP

Max 2011 Time Render 21:54 - BSP

Max 2009 Time Render 22:19 - BSP2

Max 2011 Time Render 23:12 - BSP2

Ok… the comparative is not possible on the time, the result of Max 2011 it’s good because you can see more different (contrast, occluded, etc…)



You can download shader here -http://www.mastering-mentalray.com/blog/?p=168

IP+FG+Daylight System


IP+FG+Daylight System

Change render setting…

Change render setting (diffuse bounce and trace depth)…

No daylight System only Physical Sky inside Enviroment, change value of Exposure control and apply Gamma 2.2.


IP+FG+Daylight System+Skyportal

Screen shoot for setting

I check this bug, but is not present in Max 2011 (maybe :slight_smile: )…



The render it’s the same with or without save FG no problems


second test


Test on IBL Params

Setting with “Enabled”

Quality = 0.2

Quality = 1.0

Same result…


Setting with “Approximate”

Quality = 0.2
Approximate Samples = 1
Approximate Visible Rays = 2

Quality = 0.2
Approximate Samples = 16
Approximate Visible Rays = 2

Quality = 0.2
Approximate Samples = 4
Approximate Visible Rays = 10

Last 3 image it’s same, if you change parameter no effect on image…


IP+IBL my final test

The big problem for me is the noise… how to do? I try to take up more rays in IP…

ctrl.ghost setting

AO+Colorbleeding (32 samples - 30 cm Max.distance)



Another test… Use Emitted or Density?

[left]Fon now it’s all… I hope to help you and understand my english…

Thank you


very informative post


yup :applause: . i’ve been waitin 4 a post like this in for a very ong time ! it was always 4 Maya no Max ! so thanx , waitin 4 more


Kelvin Shader + Ctrl.Ghost | First test

Importons Emitted = 10000
Task Size = 64
Trace depth = 4

IP Rays = 250
Passes = 2
Interpolate = Secondary
Interpolate Points = 50

Importons Emitted = 10000
Task Size = 64
Trace depth = 4

IP Rays = 250
Passes = 2
Interpolate = Secondary
Interpolate Points = 50

IBL = Enable

Importons Emitted = 10000
Task Size = 64
Trace depth = 4

FG Density = 0.1
FG Rays = 250
Interpolate = 50



test with Progressive Rendering and “Depth of Field/Bokeh” lens shader (= mia_lens_bokeh)

I don’t see big difference, only for time…last with IP+IBL is very difference… maybe I don’t understand the progressive rendering ??? :shrug:




For Maya you can see here- http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=87&t=870682



oh i think i was misunderstood ! ( i hate my poor english:cry: ) i ment that every time i found a detaild forum for mental ray on cgsociety it happens to be for maya… but thanx to you :bowdown: We now have a great , very informative post for 3ds max… so thanx man
but i have a question what exactly is this progressive rendering ? i mean it’s not amethod for calculating GI right ?
and again , great effort :slight_smile: …Thanx


Hi Whitedemon,

This is another test IP+FG and DOF…

[left]So… last night I did this try and I understand this … Whene use Progressive Rendering you must give 1 to all samples (material, light, etc…) for light you can give, for example in Skyportal, minimun samples (2)… There is Ctrl.Ghost active with only the IBL with the quality set to 2 …

Progressive Rendering

Whene finish the first step of IBL Mental Ray start with 100 passes of progressive… like this…

RC 0.3 progr: progressive: finished (sub)frame 1 in 16.98587 seconds
RC 0.3 info : progressive: 7.04 rays per pixel, 7.04 rays per eye ray

Plus Max Samples plus rays inside scene… I don’t understand the Min Samples :shrug:… on Max… O_o???..

RC 0.3 info : progressive: 0.98 rays per pixel, 10.34 rays per eye ray
RC 0.3 info : progressive: total rendering time was 495.53 seconds
RC 0.3 info : progressive: average frame time was 4.96 seconds
RC 0.3 info : progressive: sending finished rectangles to disp.
PHEN 0.3 progr: calling output shaders
RC 0.3 progr: rendering finished
RC 0.3 info : wallclock 0:08:15.94 for rendering
RC 0.3 info : allocated 104 MB, max resident 207 MB
GAPM 0.3 info : triangle count (including retessellation) : 1207729
PHEN 0.3 info : Reflection rays skipped by threshold: 149838
PHEN 0.3 info : Refraction rays skipped by threshold: 38902
MEM 0.0 info : heap size limit set to 2768 MB
MSG 0.0 info : Total non-render time: 176.0938 s.
MSG 0.0 info : Total geometry translation time: 1.6406 s.
MSG 0.0 info : Total object data translation time: 0.0313 s.
MSG 0.0 info : Total number of entities translated: 0.-------------------------------

This is my render with relative setup

[left]Without “Depth of Field/Bokeh” lens shader

[left]Try “Depth of Field/Bokeh” lens shader


[left]Render without Progressive Rendering with SkyPortal Samples = 2

[left]Render without Progressive Rendering with SkyPortal Samples = 32

[left]For good dof I think it…

DOF e PR (=progressive rendering) I have more noise with samples=1 inside Lens… for delete noise I give more samples= 32 or 64 inside mia_Bokeh_Lens but the time go up… more up…



[left]Here i try to change kelvin and vignette value inside Exposure Control…

I don’t like the IBL shadows… it’s more dark… :banghead::banghead::banghead:


Today I read on italian forum this:


nel tab del progressive AA 4-100 e staccare il render quando vedi che la qualità ti soddisfa (generalmente dai 16 samples in poi)


in progressive AA 4-100 tab and remove the render when you see that the quality meets (usually 16 samples and up)

Don't worry... I don't understand your first post ;).... so... 
from Italian forum

[i]il progressive render funziona così:

min sample è il valore minimo di sample che vuoi raggiungere prima che vengano presi in considerazione i criteri per fermare automaticamente il render (escludendo che tu lo fermi manualmente)

 i parametri che permettono a mental ray di fermare da solo il render sono 3
 max time (semplice da capire)
 max samples (pure)
 error threshold (errore stimato prima che mental ray fermi il render)

nel tuo caso tu hai impostato il max a 100, ma al livello 95 lui ha stimato di aver raggiunto l’error threshold che desideravi e l’ha fermato
usarlo a 0.01/0.02 ti permette di raggiungere una qualità maggiore, ovviamente questo vale per il progressive, l’adaptive sampling è tutta un’altra cosa[/i]


[i]progressive rendering works like this:

min sample is the minimum value of samples you want to reach before they are considered the criteria to stop automatically render (excluding you stop it manually)

parameters that allow mental ray to stop alone render are 3
Max time (easy to understand)
Max samples (as well)
Error Threshold (estimated error mental ray stops before rendering)

in your case you've set the max at 100, but at 95 he has estimated to have reached the error threshold and that you had stopped

0.01/0.02 allows you to use to achieve the highest standards, this course is for progressive, adaptive sampling is quite another thing[/i]

So... I undurtand this on Ctr.Ghost Shader

Importons Emitted and Density make the same work... use one of it or Emitted or Density...


You can use Final Gather with Importons Enable (Emitted or Density, better the second in this case :wink: ) and Irradiance Particle (=IP) but

[b]IP Rays = FG Rays -[/b] disable IP Rays (give 0 -zero- )
[b]IP Interpolate = Secondary[/b] - it's better and in default is 8 samples
  [b]IP Interpolate Points = FG Over Interpolare[/b] - disable IP Interpolate Points (give 0 -zero- )

For lighting you can use [b]DayLight system (mrSky+mrSun) and MrSkyPortal[/b], but you must disable [b]IP Enviroment Evaluation[/b] (don't check) and [b]Enviroment Rays[/b] (give 0 -zero- ) because MrSkyPortal give the same effects of the IP Enviroment, with enable you calculate two time the same effect ;-)...


You can use another way with [b]Irradiance Particle[/b] and [b]Image Based Lighing[/b] (=IBL)... but I find more difficult setting it and delete the noise and you can see my test on class-room scene I heve a bit time, because I try to delete noise with IP Rays

 Emitted = 0
 Density = 0.2
 Task Size = 64
 Trace Depth = 4
 [b]Irradiance Particles[/b]
 rays = 2000
 Passes = 2 (o 4)
 Interpolate = Secondary
 Interppoints = 50 (o 128)
 [b]Image Based Lighing[/b]
 Enable = Enable
 Quality = 0.2 (o 0.4)
 Approximate Samples = 8
 Approximate Visible Rays = 4

You can use [b]IP+IBL+DayLight system (mrSky+mrSun)[/b] but don't use MrSkyPortal, because the work in same mode with IBL...(you do 2 time the same work...again... )... 

[b]IBL or +Progressive rendering or +Light[/b]

You can use IBL alone or with Progressive Rendering or with DayLight System (mrSky+mrSun) or MrSkyPortal, but for this last you must (advised) to change in version similar AreaLight (use a costum shader, for example “Kelvin temperature color shader” or “mia_blackbody” -in max2011 it’s the same of kelvin shader - or “mia_cie_d” - more information here )…

In [b]Progressive Rendering[/b] is important that setting

Enable = enable
Min Samples
Max Samples
Max Time
Error Threshold

If you do this way you have shadows black because you don’t have the indirect illumination so onlya good way use IBL+FG or IBL+IP

The rest work with I-Ray or RTT in Maya (if I understand ...)...

IBL work so well with DOF/Bokeh_Lens...help it for calculate this effect.... in theory... (for this I try it)....

Ok… my english is not perfect and I’m very tired today (31 houre without sleep again… and tomorrow lesson of Processing Scripts :surprised :argh: )…

I hope you can understand my post....
have a nice day



Any difference between using the ctrl.ghost shader and the actual Maxscript which comes with 2011 in the help file to access these features?


:curious: I don’t see file… where is it?Can you give me a name or can you post a script?.. I don’t check the help file in this last version… really i don’t check it for more year ago :slight_smile:




Go to Help > MaxScript Help and do a search for “mental ray string options”

In here are scripts for enabling Progressive Rendering, Importons, and Irradiance Particles. I believe these were added by Bobo in order to expose these options for us to play around with, so my thinking is that perhaps you don’t need the ctrl.ghost shader now? My knowledge is still minimal for these features, so I could be wrong. :wink:


Thank you so much!!!.. I try and I comparative… :wink: