very basic mental ray tutorial

A very simple tutorial on getting started with mental ray renderer in maya

1 – Create a ground plane and a poly sphere, lets call it a ball and ground! move the ball up so its on the ground, give the ground and the ball each a different coloured standard maya lambert shader, your choice colours.
2 – Make another sphere, lets call it global sphere! scale it much larger, so it envelopes the ball and the ground plane, this sphere will be the light source for the scene. give the global sphere a standard lambert shader, the colour will be like the tint from the light source… IE if the global sphere is red the scene will get a warmish red tint, if its blue the scene will get a coolish blue tint.
3 – Go to render settings and turn on mental ray, in the common tab under render options disable the default light, now the scene should render black! go to the mental ray tab under final gathering, turn on final gathering, keep the accuracy at 100, your scene will probably still render black!
4 – Because the global sphere is going to be the light source for the scene, we need to make the texture brighter so it throws more intense photons, so go to the attributes of the global spheres lambert shader and increase the Ambient color and the Incandescence, if you increase them both to 100% the texture will be bright white which is way too much in my opinion!
5 – Your scene should now render, (you need your camera to be inside the global sphere!)at the default settings 640×480 my render took 20 seconds, the shadowing that you now see between the ball and the ground plane is Occlusion.
6 – Last…. you probably don’t want to render the global sphere, so go to the globalsphereshape node, thats if you named it globalsphere! but if you didnt…. it will be probably be called pSphereShape2, and under render stats turn off Primary Visibility. now it wont render but you still get the photons.

this is a pretty good starting point for ambient light, i would now go on and light the scene as per needed.

thanks for reading, i hope it makes sense, cya

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very basic mental ray tutorial by 


Ive been asked a few times about mental ray, this is very basic tute, a starting point if were finding it hard to cope with MR

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