3ds Max Materials in mental ray Renderings


For the most part, the mental ray renderer treats 3ds Max maps and materials the same way the default scanline renderer does. The exceptions are listed below. In general, if the mental ray renderer does not recognize a map or material, it renders it as opaque black.

WarningThe mental ray renderer does not necessarily support maps or materials provided as plug-ins from third-party vendors. It supports third-party maps and materials only if the vendor has explicitly used the mental ray SDK to add support for the mental ray format. Unless the third-party vendor clearly specifies mental ray support, you should assume the map or material is unsupported, and will render as black.

Issues for Reflections and Refractions

The maps used to create reflections or refractions, Flat Mirror, Raytrace, Reflect/Refract, and Thin Wall Refraction, are supported by the mental ray renderer. However, the mental ray renderer simply uses these maps as indications to use its own ray-tracing method, leading to some restrictions on which parameters are supported, as described in the sections “Materials” and “Maps,” below.

Map Blurring

When reflections and refractions are ray traced, applying Blur (or Distortion, in Flat Mirror) does not apply to reflections or refractions of environment maps. In general, Blur and Distortion render differently than they do with the default scanline renderer, and you might have to experiment with parameter values to get a comparable rendering result.

TipIf Blur effects are not rendering well with the mental ray renderer, try increasing the Maximum number of samples in the Renderer panel Sampling Quality Rollout.


The mental ray renderer does not support these materials:

Raytrace Material

The mental ray renderer supports all Raytrace material settings except for the antialiasing parameters and the settings found under Rendering Raytracer Settings and Rendering Raytrace Global Include/Exclude. All these options are specific to the default scanline renderer.

TipWhile the mental ray renderer ignores the global inclusion or exclusion settings for the ray tracer, you can enable or disable ray-tracing at the local level of a Raytrace material or map.