Maya 2015 SP2 and mayatomr


(More information can be found on the official mental ray blog here.)

It’s been mentioned that the Application Manager has been making the mental ray update available before the corresponding Service Pack and this may have caused mental ray to break until the Service Pack is installed. In this case the mental ray plug update relies on the corresponding Service Pack. The Application Manager doesn’t know this. This may not always be the case that there is a corresponding Maya update. I am not sure how Autodesk will make this work in the future.

For those of you upgrading to Maya 2015 Service Pack 2 and updating mental ray there are some things to know:

  • Maya 2015 was released with a flaw in the node ids for mental ray materials that was fixed in SP2. This may break some of your scenes. I suggest waiting to upgrade until your projects are complete in SP1 or begin new ones in SP2.
  • There is a possible problem with the .mod file when you update causing mental ray to fail to load. Look here for a solution from Autodesk.

You may also find performance improvements in MILA rendering.

Note that this is an important release for a few reasons:

  • You see an update of mental ray inside Maya which was previously very rare
  • The MOD file bug is an important part of working out the kinks in making mental ray reliably update as a separate Maya plug-in
  • Autodesk’s commitment to more frequent updates to mental ray will mean more changes and fixes available to users earlier, making Maya a more valuable package for rendering

Thanks to the users that pushed for this change, Autodesk and NVIDIA can now react to requests and complaints with more agility than before with mental ray.

More to come….


About David

I am a VFX artist that specializes in Lighting and Rendering. I spend a fair amount of my time supplying clients with artistic solutions as well as technology solutions. With a background in fine art and technical animation training, I strive to bridge the divide between the artist and technologist.

Posted on May 30, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. I can confirm the complete and utter bugginess of my scene that was created in SP1 now that I have SP2. It’s terrible. Thanks for making me aware of the reasons behind this. At least now I know why things magically started sucking so bad once I upgraded to SP2. Found out too late unfortunately, or I would’ve held off.

    • It was supposed to happen with SP1 but they shoved out SP1 early to fix the Heartbleed Security flaw. So I didn’t know when it would happen until now. I would have warned earlier. The thought process is that most people don’t upgrade until after one or two service packs anyway, which is typically true.

      • Didn’t upgrade at work, but I definitely did at home. Have some personal stuff I’m gonna recreate now from scratch. It’s more of a gad fly than a nuke. Learned long ago to be hesitant on new versions for anything important.

  2. I shouldn’t upgrade to SP2 ?

  3. Is there a workaround when mental ray failed to load on startup or manually after updating?
    “The renderer “mentalRay” used by this scene, is not currently available”

    The link you gave on Mayastation seems to be for people who uninstalled the SP2.


    • The problem between versions is similar if you install/uninstall. Although one user I know of was ok after a simple restart. Make sure the mod file points to the right place.

      • My mod file is pointing to explicit path C:\Program Files\Autodesk\mentalrayForMaya2015\
        which seems correct.

      • Make sure the folder exists and that mayatomr is set to load (sometimes it will say the plug in isn’t available but it just didn’t load automatically, this is an old bug with Maya startup) Click the load button in the plug in manager again to load it.

  4. I have this problem also. I can see mayatomr in my plug-in list but when I press the load button it doesn’t stay checked it just instantly unchecks itself. I tried the pruposed solution of changing/checking the directory-destination in the mod-file, but that didn’t help.
    I’ve also reinstalled Maya 2015 several times, but the problem remains.

  5. Not sure where to ask this, but I’ve just done the SP2 upgrade. When using the mila and making glass, the shadows are opaque when there’s a reflection used. Is this intentional? I know I could plug another shader into the shadow slot to get around this.

  6. We cannot seem to get GPU-AO to work on 2015sp2, as it constantly errors out throwing this warning “GPU-AO not available, will use software fallback. (Invalid gpu_ao interface version.)”. Tried a GTX770 and Quadro 2000, same error. Anyone else experiencing this?

    • I’ve not seen that. Possibly a configuration problem. You might ask Autodesk if there’s a report for this.

    • I have applied Service Pack 2, my version of Maya lists Service Pack 1 has been installed. I checked the plug-in manager and switched on mental ray to load when Maya starts, but mental ray doesn’t start ? Prior to installing any service pack things were running fairly smooth.

  7. how do we repair scenes/assets that were created using sp1 so they will work with sp2?

    • You may have to reconnect shading groups. The node ID changes if saved as .mb will probably misidentify materials.

      • just tried that, worked once but any time after i get ‘call to undeclared function’ or something. even if i reapply a lambert, save and reopen, i get fatal accessing unknown tag and have to kill maya. turning in to a problem

      • ok. opened an sp1 scene, applied lambert to everything, restarted maya, then reassigned mila materials. if i do that without any other messing around it seems to work. may be an easier way but only 12 materials in this scene so that’s fine. thanks:)

  8. I’ve discovered a couple of bugs in this update. First of all hitting Escape while rendering in Mental Ray for Maya under OSX Mavericks (Mac Pro Cylinder) takes minutes to respond, if at all.
    Another super-annoying bug is when you have more than one area light you get strange light streaks from what I’d call the “edges” of the lights, see here:

    Are you aware of any fix for either of these issues? Can’t remember for the moment if it’s been like this since before service packs, as I’ve been deep into Arnold for a while. Anyway, definitely enough to break Mental Ray for me. I’m also getting very slow interior renders with what used to be super fast setups…

    • Hitting escape isn’t a promise it will end the render immediately in Maya. It’s been like this for a long time, and isn’t new. This has something to do with Maya. In the future we’re hopeful that it will run on a background thread, keeping Maya alive while you work. If it’s worse in Mavericks it can be reported but I don’t think Mavericks is “supported” for Maya or mental ray yet. OSX has changed how some things operate and I’ve already seen some bug reports on it.

      The lights I haven’t seen like that before. What light shader are you using? Can you share that scene or similar?

      Slower interiors can be anything, depends on what you were relying on previously (2014 software?) versus what is available now.

      • Thanks for the quick response! Yeah, definitely know what you mean, the same goes for 2014 so it’s probably the lack of Mavericks support in general—i.e. hitting escape does nothing, basically (sometimes you’re lucky enough that it works after a few hundred frantic punches on the key)… It’s not the case in Mountain Lion, where it’s instantaneous for the most part.

        Regarding the lights I’m using mia_portal_light(s) with mib_cie_d(s) for color temperature. Renders the same without mib_cie_d connected, but not using mia_portal_light(s) removes the problem, so there’s something with the portal light shader…

        Here’s a link to the scene:

      • I tend to use physical light. Or now just an object light.

      • Cool. Gonna look into it! Strange bug!

        On another note, I just tried Maya 2015 on OS X 10.10 Yosemite and Escape works, instantly. Not too comfortable running beta OS, but it’s a quick fix… Hope it stays working for the final release!

    • Sidenote, I can reproduce this error in a different scene and reported it to be sure it’s caught.

  9. hi Anders, you might try setting light importance sampling to off

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