Nvidia kills off Mental Ray, will focus on tech. like iRay instead.

The former king of render engines has been sent to the grave.

Instead, Nvidia will place all rendering-related focus on their API’s and the iRay product (looks like Autodesk made a smart move then when they dumped the engine). Considering that Mental Ray’s development was encumbered by all of the legacy features and techniques created over the years (and it’s declining userbase), it may not be surprising that this is where things wound up.

The end of an era, but we still have a number of ongoing render engines from the turn of the 21st century and before (Vray, Arnold, and Renderman), so not all of rendering’s history is lost.

Sad to see it go, or was it time?

Wow, another thing to consider when using subscription software. It seems like you’re allowed ‘an extension’ to complete your project, but who knows how long that extension will last. So all those years invested in mental ray has come to what? I suppose they could use pre-subscription versions of mental ray…? It used to be that you could at least use the software for however long you want when a company killed it… :confused:

Reading the print this time, I can see why that would be a major downside.

The subscription runs out as part of the EOL and your ability to make any use of the app. (or even open it) it goes poof (it becomes nothing more than dead bits taking up space). Despite the fact it is outdated and that a lot of people have moved on, there will still be users who are not going to be happy when they can’t revisit their carefully crafted scenes designed for the engine.

Wow. On one hand I’m sad, on the other I’m relieved. And the rest of me is amazed it was still around. Autodesk sure did it’s best to kill it with the handling of Maya’s implementation.

SO MANY nights spend setting up mip_gamma_gain nodes and write_to_color_buffers :eek:. Although it got me to learn a lot more about scripting.

Cheers, Mental Ray.

How can they just kill it off? It was always a huge pain to use, but it’s been used on feature films and was the standard raytracer for Max and Maya users for years.

I thought much the same. It really is end of an era.

I remember when I was complaining on Mental Images forum, several years ago, and I knew back than this is going to happen. Devs of Mental ray were soo out of real word… spoiled by nice AD contract. When they started figuring out that future is not going to be so bright it was way too late…

Mental Ray. Wow. i remember being in high school and drooling over being able to use it one day. Cut to a few years later and I was using Softimage | 3D and that had just included the render engine into the package. It was bliss. Cut to another few years and XSI comes out built specifically around the render engine which if you think about it was a huge gamble by Softimage since they didn’t own Mental Images.

It’s kind of sad to see it go, but the engine had a lot of issues and was comparatively complicated to deal with in-terms of custom shaders etc. It doesn’t have the level of control that something like Renderman has nor was it as fast and simple to use as VRay.

Mental Ray is where I learned all about 3D, I wrote some shaders for it (one was l_glass), and learned to model and render.

Back then, rendering was done by the CPU.
And when you wrote shaders (in C) for Mental Ray, you had a lot of control. Fun stuff.

I left the 3D-scene for several years, when I came back all I had was free software (Blender), and it was all about GPU-pathtracing. A bit confusing for me at first. No more clear-as-crips-caustics, no more light-loops and “true uber-shaders”, FG etc.

But I guess GPU-pathtraching is the future for a good reason, this time I’ll focus on art not coding.

Having said all that, I use iray with Painter, and it’s really nice and simple. I know a lot of that is how the interface is coded, but it’s a breeze to use.