Mental Ray Render Elements are too dark


Hi All,

I’m hoping someone can help me out as I’ve been pulling my hair out on this one. (and I need all the hair i’ve got )

I’m trying to render out multiple passes in 3ds max 2013 so I can composite the image in photoshop.

Using the render elements I have selected all the of mr A&D Output elements, I’ve read that I should use the output format as HDR or EXR.

When my scene renders out all of the element files are created but it is not possible to create the completed image from them. They all appear way too dark to create the final image.

However if I render out the scene just as a BMP or JPG the rull rendered beauty image looks fine.

I suspected that it may be my Gamma/LUT settings. But that is set to 2.2 so it should be fine.

Am I missing a step in this workflow? can anyone outline their workflow for rendering multiple passes?




Are you using photometric lights and mr exposure control? If so, they don’t work with mr / mr elements. Or they sort of work… It’s just a huge mess. I don’t know if links to other forums are allowed, so if this one gets deleted PM me. It’s a thread on nvidias mr forum i started because i couldn’t get those damn elements to work either. You have to guess the physical scale value in exposure control and hope for the best. Long story short - nothing was solved, they don’t work. At least not the way you (and anyone else) would expect them to.


Thanks for reply, i’m not using any photo-metric lights in my scene, but as you say i’m also getting the feeling it just doesn’t work the way you would expect. The Gamma/LUT seems to be completely different for the rendered elements. I think I might be stuck with the base render for this scene.

Cheers for your input.


If you just save as a jpg/bmp, you need to save with a 2.2 gamma for it to look right in photoshop. When you render .exr or hdr, you need to save them with a gamma of 1.0 not 2.2.

Open a 1.0 exr in photoshop and it should be exactly right.


Thanks olivierth!

Your post was helpful and it made me research the whole process a little closer.

I also found ProEXR for photoshop which brings in all the layers in a single file.

Thanks for your help!


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