Advanced Rendering

Mental Ray
Rendering Imagination Visible
Image courtesy of Amaru Zeas
Render Your Imagination.

mental ray is the standard for photorealistic rendering across the film, visual effects, animation, and design industries.


Visual Effects (VFX)

mental ray is used for the creation of the most demanding visual effects in the movie industry. With its visual quality, scalability, and the ability to customize all aspects of shading and visual elements, it offers all the functionality required for the creation of any imaginable visual effect. Hundreds of thousands of realistic virtual characters can be included in a single final frame using mental ray's procedural and on-demand scene creation features. Plus, mental ray fully supports and integrates with all established and developing industry standards, like OpenEXR, Ptex, and Alembic.

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON, ©Paramount Pictures Corporation

Feature Animation

mental ray excels at the creation of full-length feature animations. Any particular look can be achieved by using custom shader plug-ins. Special geometric primitives and rendering modes for hair and fur—as well as advanced rendering effects like subsurface scattering for simulation of skin—allow artists to create and render visually compelling characters efficiently. The rendering of fine displacement supports typical workflows of artists modeling detail using painted textures.

"Gnomeo and Juliet" ©2010 Touchstone Pictures

Game Creation

mental ray is a powerful tool for creating realistic lighting and shading setups for games. Using the light mapping features of mental ray, very complex and physically correct shading and lighting calculations can be performed, and the resulting information is output to texture maps or per-vertex color data used in the game engine ("texture baking").

Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn, ©Microsoft 2012

Architectural Design

The optimized environment lighting mode, IBL, and global illumination rendering features in mental ray provide physically correct lighting simulations. Plus, they enable the measurement of the actual lighting intensities inside a building in a given lighting environment. Visualizations of architectural designs are effectively indistinguishable from photographs due to the correct simulation of direct and indirect illumination.


Product prototyping and design

The progressive rendering mode in mental ray, coupled with environmental lighting, delivers interactive ray-tracing behavior and immediate feedback for the design process. The ray-tracing capabilities of mental ray support photo-realistic views of the model in arbitrary surroundings; for example, using car paint shaders and high-dynamic range imagery (HDRI) to visualize the appearance of a car body in a real-world environment.

Image courtesy Joel Andersson

CAD visualization

mental ray provides photorealistic design visualization of product data in CAD and styling systems. The comprehensive support for trimmed NURBS surfaces, surface connectivity, and subdivision surfaces matches the required geometry handling capabilities of CAD systems.