Cary L. Brown wrote:
I've never used any of the Mental Ray materials... that's at a depth I've never quite gotten down to. (Though I'm using Maya, and I'm not sure that there are the same "mental-ray-specific" materials in there, since the software is quite a bit different in terms of how it models materials)
Is this something built into Mental Ray's renderer, or are you using the stand-alone version?
Not sure I understand your question. Mental Ray is nothing but a renderer. It can run within a program like 3ds Max, which is what I use, or it can run as a standalone application for batch processing or on a separate computer for use as a render farm. I have Max installed on four computers at home, though only one is licensed for use as an actual workstation; the rest are rendering machines.
As of 3ds Max 2009, there are two main groups of materials designed for use specifically with Mental Ray: The Architecture and Design library, and the Pro Materials library. Both provide a variety of optimizations and unique features via Mental Ray, but they will not work at all with the regular scanline renderer.
As far as I know, the Mental Ray renderer for Maya is identical to the one for Max, though the interface and the way some of the features are implemented may be somewhat different.