This .pdf teaches you in detail about how anti-aliasing, motion blur, BSP tree and final gathering work so you can understand and use the information to tune your renders.
This .pdf was originally posted in October 2003 but I did a search and couldn’t find a link to it in this forum. Written by Softimage for XSI it is applicable to mental ray in Maya as most of the attributes seem to be in the Render Globals as described. Good information for tuning your renders for quality and or speed.
[li]Anti-aliasing and Adaptive Sampling[/li][li]Motion Blur[/li][li]BSP tree[/li][li]Final Gathering Demystified[/li]
[li]and a couple of other things that may or may not be applicable[/li][/ul]