Monthly Archives: January 2013

Updated UI Version


I’ve updated the public mental ray UI for 2013.  One big change is native environment lighting mode integration.

If you have any feedback or bug reports, please post them on the issues page 🙂

Please note this does not currently work for SAP as Autodesk has altered a .mel file.

You can find the original post here.

You can find the initial release UI for Maya 2014 starting here.


2013 Toyota Avalon: Formula

Here’s another spot rendered with mental ray.

The environment and car were rendered and composited with live action ink and effects from Houdini.

Originally envisioned as a filmed piece, it was decided later that the car and environment would be replaced with a purely rendered version. The artists matched the shot car so closely it was impossible to tell the difference. This allowed the freedom to change how the commercial was shot while maintaining the original look and feel the director desired.

Take a look here: 2013 Toyota Avalon: Formula

Toyota Avalon: Formula

Toyota Avalon: Formula

The Layering Library (MILA shaders)

If you head over to the NVIDIA-ARC forum, you’ll see a beginning explanation developer thread to testing the Layering Library. This thread will continue to expand. (You must be a registered forum user. Also, the forum does not recognize users automatically for spam reasons, you need to participate by making a post at some point. This also prevents Bots from swarming the board. Once the shader package is linked you may be able to make a post and download it.)

You can participate there and come back to the blog time to time to see other examples and explanations on the shader library.

These shaders begin the transition to other modern techniques with a flexible selection of components. The features include (but not a complete list):

  • Built-in framebuffer outputs
  • Better importance sampling for faster renders
  • Components as separate building blocks for arbitrary layering. A single library can make shaders for many different things from car paint to skin and more.
  • Non-lightmapping scattering shaders (multi-threaded)
  • Light Path Expression options for specifying framebuffer passes
  • Layers maintain energy conservation without user interaction
  • and more. . .

You’ll also notice a re-branding continuing on the site. The main website address is now:

They are looking for images to use on the main banner, you can even try your hand at some images with the new shaders!

La Lettre

There are many more looks you can achieve using mental ray other than photoreal VFX.

Here’s a very good animation being produced by a couple artists, Rachel Amar and Fabien Christin.

This is produced through the mentalCore system in Maya.

Take a look at their production blog here: La Lettre

La Lettre – Charles