Hello mental ray for Maya users.
(Note: updated for latest Maya and mental ray versions.)
The editions of Autodesk Maya 2011, 2012, and 2013 come with the latest version of mental ray integrated, like 3.8, 3.9, and 3.10 respectively. Those versions of mental ray provide the capabilities to use the iray rendering mode. This is our most recent technology to render photo-realistic images at interactive frame rates with the help of modern GPUs supporting CUDA.
Please refer to our website for rmore details. But let me summarize the iray rendering mode here as well :
The iray rendering approach computes all dominant and subtle lighting effects in a scene without the need for tuning and tweaking parameters of the algorithm. It is able to leverage modern GPUs for computations, and the resulting rendering performance scales almost perfectly with the number of CUDA devices in a multi-GPU setup. This delivers extreme speed improvement for compute-intensive effects like indirect illumination or image-based lighting. For the first time, the physically correct behavior of light and shadow can be studied interactively in all aspects, without compromising quality.
Unfortunately, a true interactive integration of iray is not yet available in any Maya edition. On the other hand, the mental ray Standalone does provide the iray rendering components. This offers the possibility to start experimenting with the iray rendering mode in the typical iterative standalone rendering workflow: create Maya scene >> export to .mi file >> render with Standalone.
For those of you who like to get hands on iray with mental ray for Maya I'm collecting helpful information and tips in this thread. More general topics may be discussed in the separate iray forum.
Product Manager mental ray