Mental Ray - Shaders


You may need to narrow that down a bit as there’s many different types of fabrics like satin, denim, flannel, etc., and they all can be configured differently.


I want to set a basic fabric material for the seat on this scene. The original Vray scene render it so nicelly with a smooth falloff light .

Mine is done with a Arch&Design with a very low reflection glossiness value and a high diffuse roughness. But the light falloff is not strong enough to me.



I was wondering how do you guys deal with texture maps that needs to have a higher or lower value than the standard 16 bits zero to one range while still using 16 bits images. In some materials you need to use values that exceed from far this range. By example I want to map the back scatter depth shader of an sss fast material where I want my highest value to be 120 cm. Therefore my highest value on the texture map will need to be 120 too.

How do you deal with that? I can play with the output tab (i’m using 3ds max) to boost the whites to this value but doesn’t that messes the darker values? I’m kind of confused with this issue.

I’d be interested to know hoe to do that in Softimage too!


Hi, been using mental ray for about 3 weeks now, this new rendering ideology is just starting to sink in. So far so good.
I just have a problem with a matte/shadow workflow. My scene has an object using an Arch+Design material with displacement. How do I turn this material into a matte/shadow material whilst retaining the displacement? The Matte/Shadow/Reflection (mi) material doesn’t seem to have an option to add displacement maps into it. (In vray, I would just go the the object properties and set it to matte.)



You can use “material to shader” in “mentalray” material surface map slot.

I havn’t checked it myself though if matte/shadow works in “material to shader” map.


Thanks Jigu! that worked perfectly!
“Matte/Shadow/Reflection (mi)” inside a “Material to Shader” for the “Surface” of the mentalray material + a displacement map on the “Displacement” slot of the mr material (I also adjusted the Output Amount to match the strength from the Arch+Design displacement strength).
Now I wish that there was a more straight forward way of doing this, without creating multiple materials just to get a “Matte/Shadow” version. :smiley:



  Just wanted to post the SSS article I finished recently: [mental ray sss subsurface scattering tutorial](  We explore all of the parameters in the 3d Studio Max implementation of mental ray using gradient ramps and rainbow maps.  It's kinda neat.  :)
  Here's a quick outline...
  [[b][u]part 1[/u][/b]]( covers:

[li]What is Sub-Surface Scattering,[/li][li]The Fast SSS Material Type, and[/li][li]The Fast SSS Skin Material.[/li][/ul] part 2 covers:

[li] The SSS Physical Material & Shader, and[/li][li] The The Parti-Volume Shader.[/li][/ul]Enjoy! Let me know if you have any suggestions or notice typos.


Mr-BlueSummers, you is the men! This is the best guide that I already see about the Sub Surface Scatering.
:applause: :applause: :applause:


Hi Mr-BlueSummers,
I really like your sss guide. I’ve read the mental ray guide and I must say that your’s is very well explained. It resumes perfectly the book but yours have a lot more renders and useful tips!



I’m searching for a way to use a mr Physical Sky, or any HDRI as an environmental reflection in the A&D shader and not in Max’s env map slot. What I really need is to render the background as black for compositing reasons.

Obviously when I turn off the Env Map slot and render black, I can’t use the sky reflection in my car paint shaders and things like that.

In the A&D shaders I’m trying to tweak fade to end color with the sky map. Is there a better way to do it?

Thanks for any help I can get.



Environment/background switcher?


Thanks Jeff! Why didn’t I think of that!? Results:


hi guys, is it possible to use ambiant occlusion with the sub surface scatter shader of MR? i know vray can, A&D can, but SSS?


If I understand the question, yes you can use, just put the AO shader in the channel of “diffuse color” and “epidermal scatter color”. “Subdermal” and “back surface” does not show significant changes in the outcome.
But it will leave the render slower. It is best to separate “renders” and compose in post production.

In this video tutorial you can see what is the best way to compose the AO shader with SSS shader in post production:



FWIW Zap’s skin + material has ambient occlusion controls built-in.


Talk about over kill with AO.
Just use it in your overall diffuse color, its suffice for my renders :slight_smile:


Man that’s some really good model/render! :eek:


thank you guys,

i’m using mr zap skin + shader, it’s pretty cool.


ahau I think you’re overdoing it but that’s just my opinion.


overdoing what?