Maya 2014 – mental ray changes
With the release of Maya 2014 comes changes to the integration of mental ray. Foremost is that mental ray is now a truly separate plug-in installation. This means Autodesk can support multiple versions with bug fixes in a release for Maya.
(You can find some of the changes to Maya 2015 here: Maya 2015 – mental ray changes)
Behind the scenes, Autodesk now shares the translator with nVidia. This move received quite a few votes on the Maya Feedback postings and we’re glad to see they have heard the users. This arrangement also happened very near the release of Maya 2014 so more needs accomplished, but for now we are excited to see nVidia ARC working to improve integration under Autodesk’s direction.
For users they will notice a new rendering UI. For those of you that have tried the community UI it will seem familiar. This is because Autodesk adopted a lot of the design from the community UI into 2014! Many thanks to those of you using the UI and testing it as well as Brenton, Corey, and Bart.
We hope this inspires the users to participate in other projects and Betas. Also notice the option for Progressive Rendering combined with IPR. For now, Maya does not use the correct API for Progressive so this is a first step. Future changes will undoubtedly bring its performance in-line with Progressive found in Standalone.
You will also notice the UI allows you to combine Final Gather and Irradiance Particles. This is useful for complex scenes. You can also combine these with a new importance scheme for Final Gather that we will touch on in future posts.
Many defaults through Maya have also been updated as well as the presets for rendering. A short list below:
- Unified Sampling Default Rendering Method
- Raytrace Primary Rays (from 2013)
- Gaussian 2.0 2.0 default filter and width (You should rarely find need for anything else)
- Render View defaults to 32-bit precision previews
- Default Framebuffer is now RGBA 16-half (float) (caveat: Still need to select OpenEXR instead of IFF or use the OpenEXR Production Preset. This is because Maya has no concept of OpenEXR if mental ray is not installed)
- Increased Raytrace Depths
- Raytrace Shadows ON by default in lights with depth 3
- EXR zips compression exposed
- . . .more
You will also see the beginning of some cleanup in other places like moving older materials to a Legacy area in the Hypershade.
In the next few weeks we’ll go over new features and how to expose them for use in Maya 2014. Such features include object area lights (mesh lights), Ambient Occlusion on the GPU, Final Gather Importance, and lots more as updates make their way to Maya.
It’s been some time since mental ray got a face lift in Maya and we’re more hopeful than ever at the changes that will come to rendering and all other facets of Maya.