MDL Specification Released


The Material Definition Language (MDL) Spec 1.1 has been released.

Currently used in iray, MDL is coming to mental ray 3.13 in less than a year’s time. Flexible layer-able components with cross compatibility between iray and mental ray will be a reality. Allowing you to render scenes based on your preference rather than a limitation in time to transfer materials and looks between them.

This also opens up many other doors to improved flexible rendering in mental ray using the workflow introduced by the Layering Library (MILA)

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 June 17, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. Awesome!! Got me a lil light reading to do. 🙂

  2. As exciting as this may be, I still find it quite limiting.
    Sure the whole setup within maya seems nice but what about shaders like mia’s ocean or something that would realistically represent water/ocean at least.

    As much I tried with mila, I couldn’t get as close as to how realistic I may get using mia.
    Even if I followed and read your very informative blog posts regarding mila shaders, I guess I am missing still something fundamental to recreate such.

    Until, Mila comes at least with some ready made presets to be used at least as a starting point, any chance of providing us with an example/ tut as to hoe to simulate such shader in mila ?

    • This system and MILA are actually much more flexible than the mia material. Just imagine if you were to break the mia material into parts and then rearrange them as necessary for whatever you want. As the dispersion post shows, you can even create effects nearly impossible with the mia material alone. You can mimic anything with the mia material including the presets. The base components in MILA replace many of the presets in the mia material. This is more about understanding why a material looks the way it does than relying on a preset.

  3. I really do get how powerful Mila are over mia and it is without doubt that it is like breaking mia’s sub features down to simplier staff so that one may reproduce the big “tree” out of it.
    Still, what does it really take to reproduce ocean with mila ?
    What is the trick that needs to be taken account of ?
    Any chance to guide as to this exciting “trip” ?

  4. I am talking about how to recreate a believable ocean shader with Mila.

    With mia, its a matter of creating two ocean shader.
    One that would be driven with wavePeaking/ColorMode/WaveHeight and would feed mia’s bump section.
    The other one would feed the color of the mia shader itself.
    Adjusting settings (transparency/ advanced refraction and so on) one may get a quite decent ocean shader out of it.

    Trying o reproduce such with Mila, was simply quite tricky to achieve. I only managed to get something that looks quite plastic instead of realistic.

    Any guidance that would help us get into Mila more and realize its attributes better, would be highly appreciated!!

    • I would have to see how it was constructed. For oceans we typically use custom shaders attached to a simulation to get things like foam and spray.

  5. To be accurate I mean two ocean textures that would feed mia.
    The one using WaveHeight in mias bump and the other using Foam on waves that would feed mia’s color so that foam may also be added to it according to foam threshold.

    How one may get a quite similar and/or realistic ocean result out of mila ?

  6. Please enlighten us if there is a mila way to get such a job done accurately !

  7. Yes, how may I send it to you to observe it ?

  8. Use the following
    I have included both a mia experiment and a tryout with mila that doesn’t even come close (color wize as well as the extra foam and spray)

    Try it out (actually apply your magic wand) and let us know

  9. Please try the following (converted to ma the mia scene)

  10. I have uploaded the mila experiment to the following

  11. Any feedback regarding how to replicate such shader in mila ?

  12. OK – Keep us posted

  13. The shadow was different though. It seems that mila calculates shadows differently for reflection on transparency. So I put the mia material into the shadow slot to make it look the same.

  14. @Paul,

    Would it have been possible to provide the mila scene/shader you’ve created and maybe some notes to review it thoroughly ?

  1. Pingback: More mental ray news from GTC | elemental ray

  2. Pingback: Using MDL in Maya 2016 | elemental ray

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