Mental Ray - Shaders


Hi InoDetelic,

first of all, thanks for your quick reply.
Unfortunately I must say, I’m more the modeling/particles guy, so it’s very hard for me to follow your tips. Can you please upload a test file for me, so I can have a deeper look on your material and camera setup? It would be very very helpful for me!

If not, thank you anyway.


btw, the picture is made with a microscope for medical research


Hey guys,

Did up some still image renders in 3DS Max using Mental Ray. Gettin the hang of the renderer haha. Anyways, how do these look? I didn’t create these models. Its just rendering excercises :slight_smile:


Light Surface shader

I have tried editing the ini file.

Put # in front of hidden for the self illuminator entry.

Still does not show it.

??? :banghead:


may be you should be more specific about what you try to accomplish.
FWIK unhiding the shaders occurs in the .mi files. and there are plenty of the “hidden” tags.


I’m trying to find the physical_light shader for 3Ds Max (or an alternate).

After reading about it for Maya here:

I am very interested in the “threshold” setting.

It’s mentioned in the help documents. I’ve searched trough the .mi files in the include section but can’t find it. Does anyone know how I can unhide it or track down an alternate?

Thanks for your help


You can try the wom_archlight shader. It´s actually made for softimage but seems to work (partly?) with 3ds max.

   Also, Pavel Ledin aka Puppet has some Lightshaders within his "shaders_p" shader pack.
Unfortunatly his site seems to be offline.
Maybe you can recover the shaders elsewhere.


Thanks Guilo! I started playing with the Wom_Archlight and it looks really promising. Better, in fact than the physical_light I was looking for (and finally found under the physics.mi file).



Puppets site is online again :applause:

New link to my site:
Pavel Ledin aka Puppet


Written as a material blend standard 3ds max. But:
mi_fb_put in 3dsmax2013 in user framebuffers does not write anything at all, though without errors if you write in the result of the material, but they will not mi_eval on the parameters that attachment to each material, the color is written in the beaty (main framebuffer) and diffuse (the first user framebuffer) if you do mi_eval, then beaty written our result, and diffuse - the result of the attachment of the material

And why not properly blend material output in the diffuse pass?



nobody knows?


Thanks Guilo! I started playing with the Wom_Archlight and it looks really promising. Better, in fact than the physical_light I was looking for (and finally found under the physics.mi file).

Did you get this working inside 3ds max. If yes how…i tried removing # tag from the physics.mi file and it screwed my 3ds max…what exactly do i need to access this shader…!!!


I never got the WOM_Archlight fully working and I didn’t put much effort into the physical_light because it does not offer enough features. If your goal is to limit shadow rays (which was my goal) you can use the far attenuation control.


You can check this out…there’s a demoscene for you to disect and see if it works for you.

I’m trying to create a digital city and looking for a substitute for inbuilt arch n design self illumination property for my windows as it doesnt give me shadows and very expensive on my cpu (needs a lot of fg bounces).

Do you guys know of any other good cheat to achieve this? I’ve found this one and working on it…



Thorsten got the object shader working which is a different component of the WOM_Archlight and not the one I was interested in.


I would like to colorize hair strands within the p_hairTK shader. Therefor I plugged a noise map into the “Diffuse Root” and “Diffuse Tip” slots of the shader, but unfortunately it doesn´t seem to take the UV-coordinates of the 3ds max shader into account.
Then I tried to use a “texture lookup” shader with a “texture vector” to control the UV-coordinates. There are different effects with different settings in the “texture vector” shader, but I couldn`t get it to work properly, so that the hairs have the color of the noise map from root to tip. Can anybody give me a clue how or if it is possible to acheive this?

Edit: I´ve tried this with the ornatrix demo and it works. So, it seems to be an issue with the MR shader implementation of the Fur and Hair modifier in 3ds max.


Hi Freinds…
So this is where i’ve reached with my lighting a night city shot…i’m looking for opinions on how to make it more realistic…right now this looks very cg…
I’m working on road and building textures…vegetation but i need inputs on lighting…and how to save render times…
I’m using mentalray …most of the lighting is achieved with self illuminated cards which are not visible to camera…i’m avoiding physical lights to save on rendering times…
posting low res renders…Pls do share what do you guys feel…


Hi All…
Does max have physical light shader for lights as maya has? I thought it was hidden and looking for it in base_max.mi file but could not find it?


seems like everyone has shifted to vray…:surprised


Not me…I`m still using Mental Ray but those who are using it are very rare today… :frowning:


i was watching some new features in vray and started to figure out why and what’s happening…let’s see what 3ds max 2015 brings in for mental ray!!