Mental Ray - Shaders


No, thank you, sir, for the great resource. as well. I’ve been keeping an eye on both of your sites lately. :slight_smile:


Cool, thanks for the positive feedback on both sites. I have been neglecting them a bit of late as I just finished up a new project! LOL People contact me about work and about contacts for outsourcing or freelance work and so I just figured why not create a networking site sort of like FaceBook but with an ads section, directory, gallery, etc. so that hopefully there is a centralized location for people to go to, we will see how it goes, but it took a lot of my time to put together. Look for cool stuff to happen now at 3DA and MrM!

Thanks again for sharing your material, that is what it takes to help make a useful resource for the community :wink:

P.S. Jeff Patton should get a lot of the credit for MrM as well.


I have a question about the Arch & Design material. I was under the impression that it was energy conserving.

However, the values on diffuse and reflection can both be put to 1.0. I was under the impression that for it to be physically accurate, that diffuse and reflection had to “trade off”
with each other.

For example, if the reflection is at 0.2, shouldn’t the diffuse automatically drop to 0.8 to be physically correct? Or am I mistaken?


It is done automatically under the hood. The value fields just don’t change to show you exactly what’s going on.

As stated in the manual:

Transparency takes energy from diffuse; that is, at 100% transparency, there is no diffuse at all.

Reflectivity takes energy from both diffuse and transparency; that is, at 100% reflectivity there is neither diffuse nor transparency.

Translucency is a type of transparency, and the Translucency Weight parameter defines the percentage of transparency vs. translucency.

In other words, the levels of priority are as such:
Transluceny Weight

So if both reflectivity and defuse have a value of 1.0, reflectivity is considered first, and defuse gets what is left over after transparency is considered.


Ha, I’m an idiot. It was the fresnel effect that wasn’t allowing me to see the change. It’s working fine. Heh.



I am trying to render a lamp like the image attached (its from the tutorial from lume site) but i have not been able to achieve the same. Can anybody help me with this. I am also attaching the max file with textures (there are 3 textures facing texture, inside texture and translucency mask texture). Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks n Regards,



Hello !

I have had a look into your scene and changed some parameters.
But first of all i never succeeded in finding the illumination and glare lume texture (I use Max2009)
However i used glare(lume) for the materials of the lampshade.
I also leaved out the light in the translucency (lume) material and used the MRay photographic exposure control too.
I got this picture. (I add a zip of your scene with the new parameters)


For what it’s worth, I like to use the fast SSS material for things like lampshades.


Thanks a Ton Dominique :slight_smile:

Thanks a ZILLION JEFF :). Its an honor that you are replying to my query. I have always been a fan of your Mental Ray work and respect you greatly for the way you have been supporting people and Mental Ray Community. Would love to interact with you more on Mental Ray :slight_smile:

Coming back to my problem, i still feel that we are away from the image which i posted, i am not being greedy but curious that if the same lume tools used can produce the results then why not in 3ds Max???

Thanks and Regards,



Are you just being nostalgic for 2003 by following that old lume tools tutorial? :eek:

To get similar results today you can create/apply a translucent A&D material to your lamp shade, put a light behind it, enable the glare camera shader and then adjust the brightness/intensity of the glare effect to taste.

Or to fake it you could just use a self-illuminated material with the glare camera shader.


Fine and perfect reponse Jeff (as usual :slight_smile: )

Yesterday evening i was also trying something with volumetric light and also some white ceramic A&D material on the lamp but i had problems with the translucency and this effect.

Now i use the Jeff’s parameters of the SSS material for lampshade and it goes rather well.

I get something like this with the skyportal (good idea Jeff) very low and walls (planes) to see the volumetric light effects.

The lampshade is not very bright but it’s weekend, and at home i’ve not the 12 octoprocessor computers of my workplace to test most fine renderings that spend a lot of time :rolleyes:


Hey guys,

I have been searching around for a realistic “starting point” for a MR shader for snow. I have found some old threads you guys had going on, but I think the ones I found were from 2004, and one had a dead link.

Either way I am working on an antarctic scene and am looking to nail down at MR shader similar to this baby here:

I am starting to try and recreate it right now and am working to composite a noise and cellular to get me started. But any direction, or advice is appreciated. :slight_smile:




In the promaterials library (generic) there is a snow material. It needs a little tweeking, but can look pretty nice.




Do you have any problems with the sss flickering on your lamp shade in animation ? Just wondering.



I never made one myself, but my modest experience tells me this:

I believe SSS is important in this case. The scatter radius would be large, like 15cm (6 inches).
If the snow is on the ground, you could have a top layer of freshly laid snow, and the layer under would be more ice-y. (sss does this fine)

And for the sharp reflections, one could do it in a A&D material with noise maps, and combine it with the SSS using BLEND or COMPOSITE mateials, Maybe this is too much, I don’t know how you guys work, if you’re after rendering speed or other goals.


No, I haven’t seen any.


What shader do you use when you want to instance just a color across several materials?

I used RGB multiply and checker with the same color in both swatches… is there a better/faster/simpler way? (compatible with mr of course)


Here is where I am at with this shader:

Still not too happy with it, but it is getting there. I am really missing the depth and “crystallization” specularity I think. I dropped an SSS Physical Shader in the diffuse, but for the life of me I could not get it to affect the surface.

Render is with a direct light and skylight, with FG on draft. 0 bounces.

Still no where close to this imo

Thank you for the tips guys and will see how close I am able to get to realism.


I used RGB multiply and checker with the same color in both swatches… is there a better/faster/simpler way? (compatible with mr of course)

I use the color correction map.



check the nice Jeff snow material