prman 11 or mentel ray 1.5?


which one of this is best with maya 4.5…help me friends.


well MR 1.5 is free:) hehe


I like the new MR 1.5 because it’s much easier to work with and free ;).


Well MR is free, do you really have $15,000 for RAT? But PRMan is a much better renderer…I love renderman


I thought Rat 5.5 with Prman11 was only $8k?

In any case, if you can afford it, matred, it’s probably the best renderer on the market.

Ambient occlusion :love:



thank u so much for the reply…i got both…prman is bit difficult when comparing to MR…thanks somlor for the link…


Only $8K? AND Mental Ray as well, is that the free plugin or the standalone version?


PR MAN 11 by all mean looks like a better offering because of what you see in movies, but remember this, that’s mostly because those movie have tons of artist working at the same time to achieve those effects, renderfarms that can commit up to days per cpu to render 1 frame of animation (we’re talking a lot of CPUs) and a ton of compositing layers and effects. Secondly, it’s PR (public relations), Mental Ray is also widely used in movie production, maybe not as widely as Renderman, but to a respectable degree, you can check and see some of the movies mental ray has been used in. We’re talking about a lot of movies from Panic Room to Jurrassic park 3 and Fight Club.

Comparing renderman and MR 1.5 side by side, MR 1.5 offers better integration and 98% support for maya’s shading network (Some dynamic links don’t work, minimal) which renderman DOES NOT support (it uses a separate shader builder module call SLIM for material AND lights), the NEW raytraced effects are SLOW, and thought the radiosity and and caustics are nice, MR competes with more mature methods there too, though I need to see some further tests. Mental Ray has very fast raytracing with high quality results, it makes use of the new Ocean and RAMP shaders that are part of Maya 4.5, anf has very very fast raytraced and area shadows. The depth mapped shadows in MR for some odd reason are very slow, but you can ditch them in favour of the raytraced counterparts in a heartbeat.

PR MAN 11/RAT (Renderman Artisit Tools) 5.5 has some good points, one being that it’s very stable, supports distributed rendering (MR supports this too with on per frame basis, so even your test renders can be accelerated) and can yeild quick renders if you plan to fake raytracing, radiosity, and not use raytraced shadows. If you plan to use any of these, it is will fall behind MentalRay very very quickly in terms of speed and quality. On the down side, you need to really learn what the MR variables do because thay are not immediately intuitive, so you need to do you READING and experimenting cautiosly to get the best results, but it’s not hard if you take things in step.

Personally I chose MR, but I hope this helps you make your own decision.


thanks enforcer…i have already come to that decision(choosing MR)…thanks for the brief answer…


but… MR doesn’t support SubD’s =(

ah well… soon enough it will :slight_smile:


True true. Alias still needs to put some more work into subds and eliminate the performance issues. Most people work with smoothed polys I believe. However, it will be nice to have that it supported soon, along with glows and paint effects! ALIAS ARE YOU LISTENING???

lol :wip:


Originally posted by enforcer2k

lol :wip: [/B]

I am one of many people that go to the program testing gatherings Alias holds every now and then to make suggestions and try out beta stuff. It’s very rare they will see anything on a message board. Use that link if you want to message them.


thanks cherr for the link…it would be very useful for the people to post there expectations…

that’s a nice question “are u listening alias?”

it would be great that MR or anyother 3rd party render software support maya’s post rendering effects (ofcource there are doin a bit now…but still)


mentel ray 1.5 ONLY maya4.5:hmm::annoyed:


Just a couple of points here that may be valid.

Firstly, what is the choice? If you are considering $5,000 for PRMan 11 ($8,000 including RAT) you are really looking a very different working pipeline than MR. You are comparing apples to oranges.

If you have time to learn PRMan and the RI (Renderman Interface) together with SLIM (MTOR does in fact have minimal adoption of Maya Shaders) then you will find a level of sophistication that MR is simply not able to touch. Or, since you are spending so much, Animal Logic sell MAYAMAN that will translate the whole of your scene, including shaders, lights and all into a RIB to serve out to Alfred and on to PRMan.

Secondly, Ambient Occlusion (like Global Illumination) is still too slow in ANY package to be of serious production value, PRMan 11 simply steps into the arena with this release. Ray tracing is rarley if ever used because it is soooo expensive on cpu time. To the best of my knowledge in Bug’s Life only about 3 or 4 scenes used it (served via BMRT’s ray server). Mapping did the rest. Same in Both Toy Story’s, Buzz’s helmet was a reflection map with the center knocked out to avoid obscuring his face. You can waste a lot of time raytracing when a simple image map would have done the same job in a tenth the time.

MR is a great package, but PRMan it ain’t. If you have the cash, the time, the energy and the resources get PRMan. If you want to get Renderman savvy, get AIR for $400 or 3Delight for free. Most serious studios rely on some sort of renderman compliant renderer so it is good to get in the swing of things.

Just my 2cents (mmm, maybe with this length it is more like 10cents!)



Well like I said, not that Pixar’s renderman is not capable, but the good work it produces does require teams and teams of artists. And most users on this board simply don’t have those resources. And when it comes to reflections and raytraced shadows, maya’s default renderer does a way better job, even generates shadow maps faster. So in all practicality I can only seldom recommend it.


What??? Maya’s own render engine??? I thought we were looking at MR vs. PRMan, two production capable renderers. Maya’s own render engine is not production ready for anything but thier own promotional work.

Now that is Apples to Oranges.

Most studios use renderman in some flovor or another, so it is worth knowing how to manage RIB files and so on.

I agree that in this context MR is much better for shear usability! I did not mean to infer that MR was in any way ‘stupid’, just that asking us to compare the two was like trying to compare a cow to a horse.

Now, to address the claim that Shadow maps are faster in Maya. That is true only in the most basic of scenes. Once things get a little more complex the tables turn in a big way. PRMan has several functions and calls that make it substantially faster than any other render engine i have used. Irma is one of them, LOD is another and i could go on. Like you, i seldom recommend PRMan because it is a learning curve, but once over the initial stages it is a fast, powerful, beautiful engine that can handle scrutiny up to IMAX resolution.

Seriously, do you think ILM, DD, Image Works, DreamWorks, Disney and others would spend all that money on a render engine if it took hundreds of people to operate and hours longer to render for results that were no better than the renderer that came with Maya??? no, surely not. I use it everyday at work (though that is to be expected) and its stability, speed, predictability, extensability and quality are awesome and second to none

BUT, Mental Ray is the right choice for most posters. I do however believe that there is no such thing as ‘posters here’. We are all trying to be the best we can, to stretch to new heights and extend our abilities, no matter where we are in our careers. Learning ‘renderman’ is a valuable excersice and can be done for free (with 3Delight and so on) so what have you to loose???


lol. If you think so, great. Not every has a 1,000 object scene to benchmark your assumptions against. If anyone is really into raytracing, Renderman is SLOW. Now Renderman is highly programmable and an has a flexible pipeline, and interfaces with maya in a very stable way, but it can overburden an artist or small studio with the complexities if you don’t know how to approach the renderman shading language. U cannot do everything in the UI.

So understand this, I’m not saying Renderman artist tools won’t get you professional results, anyone who has seen the sentinel texturing in the Matrix can’t deny that, and the list goes one, *but the investment Renderman requires especially for a single user or small group at the cost of $5000+ a license is not worth it I believe. And can you get film quality results with Maya’s basic renderer, YES. And with MR, yes. If you look at softimage’s site, you will see MR has been used in a lot of film productions. Pixar has been around longer so it has more credits, but ILM recent made a commitment to using MR in production and acquired more licenses.

ILM and Mental Ray

If you want links to film quality Maya renders I can dig up a few for you, and you can look on yourself. Mental ray is nice in that is supports GI and has faster raytracing abilities, distributed and parallel rendering, and much more which makes it a capable production renderer like much like Renderman.



I think we are making a lot of the same points. Great discussion, i hope we get to pick it up again but for now, this poor guys post is getting lost!!! hehe

As for Maya, i would love to hear of any films that have used Maya’s out-of-box render engine. It would be fascinating, and i am always ready to stand corrected…

Hope we get to chat soon.



Nice discussion guys.:slight_smile:
What do you guys think of Gi Joe for Maya 4.5 unlimited? How does it compare overall to Mentalray or to 3Delight.
So paintFX does not work with Mental Ray yet? Thanks for helping me out on these questions if possible. :beer: