mental ray 3.7+ Gives Autodesk 3ds Max 2010 Users Superior Shader Creation

SAN FRANCISCO & BERLIN—(BUSINESS WIRE)—March 26, 2009— mental images®, a global leader in rendering software and visualization tools for animators, visual effects artists and professionals who create high quality imagery, today announced that mental ray® 3.7+, the photorealistic rendering software that now utilizes MetaSL™ universal shader language to easily and efficiently create and deploy shaders across platforms, will be integrated into Autodesk 3ds Max 2010 software.

Utilizing the MetaSL universal shader language, mental ray 3.7+ rendering software allows artists to develop shaders that run on all popular software and hardware platforms. In addition, artists do not need to re-architect shaders every time there is an advancement in new generation software, GPU or CPU based rendering systems. MetaSL-based shaders adapt to fit current and future target platforms.

“mental ray has long been known as the industry standard in rendering. The native support of MetaSL in mental ray 3.7+ provides for a better workflow for shader creation and look development in tools such as Autodesk 3ds Max 2010,” said Rolf Herken, CEO and CTO, mental images. “Autodesk shares our commitment to providing revolutionary design tools for visual effects and design visualization artists and we look forward to further incorporating MetaSL in additional Autodesk products.”

mental ray rendering software is known for a number of enhanced features designed to make it the fastest, most customizable and extensible ray tracing engine yet. In addition to the robust, fully parallelized rendering core for high performance, mental ray comes with a built-in scene database and memory management to handle extremely large amounts of data. Artists can create beautiful, physically correct lighting simulations through a complete set of global illumination algorithms and the software offers optimized support of visual effects including motion blur and displacement. Artists also have virtually unlimited customization options through shaders and plug-ins. mental ray supports all common geometry types and it includes unique sampling techniques to achieve the desired quality of images in less time.

“The anticipated integration of mental ray 3.7+ and the MetaSL shader system into 3ds Max 2010 software will give us a unique advantage,” says Ken Pimentel, director of 3ds Max product management at Autodesk. “For the first time, customers will have a unified hardware/software shading workflow and render-quality viewports. The WYSIWYG viewport experience will enable users to spend more time on iterating creatively and less time waiting for rendering results.”

mental ray rendering software has an installed base of more than ten million worldwide and is used for a wide range of industry applications including the creation of state of the art visual effects for video games, movies, feature animations, visualization of automotive, aerospace virtual modeling needs, and architectural design.

The mental mill® Artist Edition software, made by mental images, will also be bundled with Autodesk 3ds Max 2010. It will provide direct workflow to users by allowing them to natively render MetaSL based shaders in 3ds Max 2010 using its library of existing nodes.

mental ray® 3.7+ Performance Features and Benefits

Native MetaSL Shader Support:

MetaSL language to be used for CPU and GPU rendering

Unifies shader languages to simplify and standardize the creation and deployment of shaders within and across various projects

Progressive Rendering:

Offers early visual results for immediate feedback, at any desired image quality

Provides a rendering mode suited for interactive ray tracing applications

Image-Based Lighting (IBL):

Lets artists light a scene efficiently based on acquired environment maps

The illumination from the IBL is automatically added to all material shaders, which perform regular light sampling.

Performance Optimizations for Large Scenes

Procedural Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) representations and rendering:

Provides the basis for faster importance-driven illumination algorithms

Hair Approximation:

The lower number of hair segments result in reduced memory consumption and increase rendering speed.

About mental images: mental images®, founded in 1986, is the recognized international leader in providing component and platform software for the creation, manipulation and visualization of 3D content. Its world leading rendering and other technologies are used by the entertainment, computer-aided design, architecture, scientific visualization, and other industries that require sophisticated images primarily as part of their software products and application services. mental images is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NVIDIA Corporation with headquarters in Berlin, Germany, a subsidiary in the United States, mental images, Inc., and a subsidiary in Melbourne, Australia, mental images Pty. mental images has a multinational staff of top qualified engineers exclusively dedicated to basic research and development in the area of 3D graphics and 3D Web Applications and Services technologies. For more information, visit

© 2009 mental images. All rights reserved. mental images, mental ray, <

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