Ctrl.Ghost and Mental Ray on Max 2011


Ok… I try to use IBL Shader, but maybe I lost some pass…

download “iblTools-win-ver8_6.zip”…
copy and paste sphericalLight.mi and sphericalLight.dll inside mental ray folder…
create LightMap…
Open Max, create skylight (or another kind of light), apply shader in “Mental Ray Light Shader”->sphericalLight
drag&drop it inside Material Editor and I try to connection image or file of lightMap…
render… is black! :shrug::banghead::banghead::banghead:

Where is my error?

Thankx to all


i think i started to hate max 2011 :cry: .


Why? Because it gaves you the opportunity to access some unsuported mental ray features and they are not working as the supported features? :slight_smile:

That’s what unssuported means.



So … was difficult and the results are as expected … I started with the idea of obtaining similar values as Particles emissions, but results as very difficult because all my calculations have vanished into thin air as trying to shift when the rays emitted were lower than that needed to be … There is a lot 'of difference between the Rays and the shader script …

Ctrl.Ghost Shader 1 Rays = 94864

Irradiance Particles from maxScript 1 Rays = 103648

I tried to have the same amount for each render to no avail, but cases came very close and the results are as follows.

Irradiance Particles from maxScript

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------JOB 0.5 progr: 100.0% computing ip final irradiance pass on XXXXX
RCGI 0.5 info : collecting values for the final irradiance pass…
RCGI 0.3 info : wallclock 0:02:07.82 for computing irradiance particles
RCGI 0.3 info : allocated 140 MB, max resident 164 MB

RC 0.3 info : rendering statistics
RC 0.3 info : type number per eye ray
RC 0.3 info : eye rays 752696 1.00
RC 0.3 info : shadow rays 636343 0.85
RC 0.3 info : probe rays 182761472 242.81
RC 0.3 info : irrad particles rays 71391200 94.85
PHEN 0.3 progr: calling output shaders
RC 0.3 progr: rendering finished
RC 0.3 info : wallclock 0:21:46.10 for rendering
RC 0.3 info : allocated 92 MB, max resident 164 MB

Ctrl.Ghost Shader

IBL = disable

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------JOB 0.6 progr: 100.0% computing ip final irradiance pass on XXXX
RCGI 0.6 info : collecting values for the final irradiance pass…
RCGI 0.3 info : wallclock 0:00:25.01 for computing irradiance particles
RCGI 0.3 info : allocated 133 MB, max resident 164 MB

RC 0.3 info : rendering statistics
RC 0.3 info : type number per eye ray
RC 0.3 info : eye rays 732989 1.00
RC 0.3 info : shadow rays 615760 0.84
RC 0.3 info : probe rays 177718784 242.46
RC 0.3 info : irrad particles rays 69421400 94.71
PHEN 0.3 progr: calling output shaders
RC 0.3 progr: rendering finished
RC 0.3 info : wallclock 0:14:28.24 for rendering
RC 0.3 info : allocated 86 MB, max resident 164 MB

IBL = Enable

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------RC 0.3 info : type number per eye ray
RC 0.3 info : eye rays 786182 1.00
RC 0.3 info : shadow rays 653180 0.83
RC 0.3 info : irrad particles rays 74734800 95.06
PHEN 0.3 progr: calling output shaders
RC 0.3 progr: rendering finished
RC 0.3 info : wallclock 0:04:28.08 for rendering
RC 0.3 info : allocated 85 MB, max resident 171 MB

Last test it looks like it confirms the idea that the IBL is not working correctly given the very clear and dark shadows, I did’t try Progressive Rendering, but I do not think it’s needed since the tests that I made earlier and having seen, without saving, tests I did in those days. I tried to render a little animation, but the estimated time was around 60 hours to 80 frames … I gave up because it was a simple test. Some say you should use a shader part, but I honestly do not get it to work … I followed a bit 'instructions and the result is that I get all black.

Personal conclusion

The Irradiance Particles are cool! :scream: :thumbsup: … From what I see in tests performed by Dagon on Maya (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=87&t=870682) seems to work much better and have not problems of interaction and integration with some features of mental ray on software (Maya), bypassing the problem of the AO + Colorbleeding (then I do not know if they came out other ). In Max instead creates strong contrasts and you can not understand why some features work perfectly and others not… Sometimes you are forced to not use them at all. Using IP-Script (what you call from maxScript) you don’t find all options respect Ctrl.Ghost Shader, you do not have the ability to use the Final Gather because the minimum number of values is 1 or 8 so you can’t use 0 (zero) never. The time for rendering are significantly higher than those of the shader and in some cases (as seen in the first render) there are always problems with shadows and creation of strange artifacts (or so it seems) … What is positive is that the progressive rendering, for what I saw, work seriously. The IP-Shader (from Ctrl.Ghost) is very good because you can use of multiple combinations, such settings are more flexible, but as mentioned parameters do not work for nothing (Image Based Lighting and Progressive Rendering). The render time are very low compared to the scripts. Maybe we can test the ability to work together IP-script + IP-shader [Progressive Rendering-script + (IP + FG)-shader] for see what comes off as quality/time, especially hope you do not go to contrast.

For now I stop here and start to gather all in one document that I should post them soon, I hope I did not mention the useless things, but have been of help to someone.

bye and thanks to all



MatteoM if you want to use the script with FG you just need to adjust the script so that it reads true for FG instead of False.

But really no need to use the script since the ghost shader has more options.



thanks Space, I never thought … Why use scripting? was to try and see if there were differences, the Ctrl.Ghost Shader works much better, if it has some “bug”, but nothing is perfect in this world :wink: :stuck_out_tongue: :)… I prefer the shader ;).



Seems the shader is indeed the better option, good to know!



I’m having some trouble with Max crashing when I try to use the shader.

I first tried with material override and used an A&D with the defaults, except reflection turned down to 0. This works fine, but then I tried to enable AO on it and it crashes.

I also tried without the override and tried to rip AO of my scene materials, but it still crashes. Is this related to AO at all?

You can see the settings I used in the screenshot (anything not shown is at their defaults), without AO, the 640x480 render took just a few minutes and if I enable it, Max will crash about half way of calculating importons.

Any thoughts?



i don’t find problem with AO, maybe your setting it’s very difficult for Max…

Importons Density = 1,0 it’s very more value, you can use 0,1-0,4… with 0,2 you have a good result…

I write a little review in PDF version, now I transate it, but I must find time…

And this is my final test with Ctrl.Ghost+FG

Render time about 14:00 minute to 1200x900 Pixel…




I try to do some more debugging later today. There’s also a ray switch node in the environment and some hdris plugged into it. I’ll try simplifying the scene, until I find what causes that crash.

Your pdf looks very interesting, I hope you can translate it soon :slight_smile:



Do you used Max 2011 or another version?

Thank you


Hi MatteoM,

can you explain, why you use Zero Importons and Zero Irradiance Particle. Second, when you not save the Irradiance as a Map, can FG not read the Irradiance-Particle Map and you have only FG-Rendering wiht out Importons and Irradiance Particle. At last and Sorry, i can not see the Qualitiy of Irradiance Particle at your Rendering.

the Importons Amount is normaly similar to the Rendering Resolution. for example…

Version A is exact and and can give the best Quality if you set Density of 1:
640x480 = 307200 Importons
Density 0.05 = 15360 Importons


Version B is independently of Render Resolution :
640x480 or 1280x960 = 15360 Importons
Density 1 = 15360 Importons

your Irradiance Particle is similar to FG-Rays. Use 300 - 600 Rays, and this is fast and give a very clean result.

you FG-Settings of FG-Rays, can you set very low 50 - 300, and the density much higher as befor: 0.5 -1. The Result is small Shadows, clean big Areas, without splotches.

Problems with Importon and Irradiance Particle:

  • don´t work in Scanline Mode, don´t Camera Clipping
  • don´t work with Transluzens and Bitmap in Transluceny or Cutout or Transparency Color Slot. Only the Transparency Color Slot, if you use no Bitmap Filtering.

hot chip


Yes, it’s with Max 2011 on Windows 7 x64

Thorsten, I think the “density” and “emitted” are alternative ways of specifying the amount of importons. So 0 in other would mean that you are using the other. I’m no expert though :slight_smile:


“Importon Emitted” which is exactly the same 's work “Importon Density”. These values allow to define how many are launched importons from camera to the scene as a result we understand immediately that is one “view dependent”.

Good values can be:

Importons Emitted = 30.000

Importon Density = 0.1 to 0.2

Hi Thorsten,

Importon Emitted = 0 because same work of Importon Density and the value, in that case, it’s 0.2…
Irradiance Particle Rays = 0 because same work of FG Rays (when FG it’s enable)…

Yes… it’s resolution-dipend, but you can change some value for a good result/low time, I think it’s not a truee way for used this system (again) and more way it’s open… every critical or comment it’s a good for understand irradiance particles.

I said my opinion, I tested a bit 'this system and tried (with the help of other forum) to understand how it works and I hope my tests be help to someone.

mh… i don’t test again it… or… I test and my file go to crash, maybe for that motivation you said…

Thank you


Hi MatteoM,

thank you for the answer. This very usful to use 0 as Value, but i have only a Importonen calculation, when is create a Irradiance Particle Map.

hot chip


I check/ask on treddi.com… this problem is old problem and you can fix with IP+FG…


irradiance particles do not work on the translucency. If I looked good previous thread on mental ray, you’d see my tests and you would have realized the problem. But is estimated using irr Particles and fg.
These things are old and well known by older users…

Alternative (and good/correct way) it’s used Irradiance Particles only without Final Gather… (IP+IBL or IP alone for example)…

Whene I find time i try this and another aspect (now I’m in University without 3DSMax)… :slight_smile:


P.S.: I check some different on Ctrl.Ghost on different version of 3D Studio Max…

2009-> Importons - Irradiance Particles and Ambient Occlusion
2010-> don’t check
2011-> Importons - Irradiance Particles -IBL - Progressive Rendering and Ambient Occlusion

So… have more feature on ctrl.ghost for Max 2011 and we can use scripts…this is good for now, I don’t test about render time but I think it’s more different… :slight_smile:


has someone made some tests with iray?
i made couple of tests inside 3d max in cpu mode (with ctrlghost and a special script Mr_Progressive) + mentalray sun & sky - everything looks nice when i make a render but i cannot use any texture - it render the material like it has no texture.
i read on mentalray site that mentalray shaders are not compatible with iray - need some special phisical shaders - but i see some renders on maya thead on same subject and they have textures on objects.


For Ctrl.Ghost you can use this from Maximilian Tarpini… with this you can use max samples > 1000 to progressive (samples per pixel) in same case it’s very good for Iray…


I can testing with Iray, but I see that testing and it’s no bad :slight_smile:



P.s.: why your link go to my profile?.. :slight_smile:


one nice thing is when you want to lower the color bleed for interiors you can use now the color override/ray type switcher parameters shader inside max 2011 with color corrected maps of the texture on environment & indirect illumination override slots (if you use let’s say a wood texture on the floor)
it works with ip & irr particles but only with fg pass - to lower the amount of color bleed on the walls


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