Promising full backwards compatibility the plugin restores users’ ability to work with legacy scenes and render across networked farms. However, while the standalone version is free to download users will need to purchase commercial licenses in order to render out sequences on single or networked machines.
Following Autodesk’s decision to replace Mental Ray with Arnold as its bundled renderer legacy scenes were no longer compatible with out of the box 3ds Max. The new release delivers this functionality back into the hands of users. Purchasing a license of Mental Ray will also unlock the Iray mode, giving both plugins in one single product.
“It's always difficult moving to new workflows and new software,” comments Mark Cass, managing director of Escape Technology. “Sometimes the desire isn’t there because people are passionate about products they have used for so long. NVIDIA’s move allows some peace of mind for long term Max / Mental Ray artists.”
The release adds new features from Mental Ray 3.14 standalone edition, including GI Next - NVIDIA’s GPU-enabled global illumination system. Enabling full GPU rendering has unleashed a more powerful tool into the hands of creatives and includes full support of Mental Ray shaders, motion blur, depth of field, and particles.
Local licenses of Mental Ray for 3ds Max 2018 are £235/year or £800 for a pack of five licenses. Contact Escape Technology to find out more or to get your licenses.