In addition, object properties, lights, and the Material Editor have additional controls to support mental ray rendering. Last but not least, 3ds Max Design offers a special mr Proxy object for speeding up rendering of large, complex scenes.
The is a feature of the mental ray renderer. Instead of a point source, it emits light from a broader area around the source. There are two basic types of mental ray area light: and . An additional, special-purpose mental area light is the . Area lights create soft-edged shadows. This can help improve the realism of your rendering.
In 3ds Max Design, area lights are created and supported by the MAXScript scripts, light-mentalray_areaomni.ms and light-mentalray_areaspot.ms. Both scripts are found in the \stdplugs\stdscripts\ folder within 3ds Max Design install directory. Because of this, when you create an area light, you actually create a target spot or omni light for which the mental ray renderer uses the parameters on the Area Light Parameters rollout. If you render with the default scanline renderer, the light behaves like any other target spot or omni light. (You can change a light from one type to another using the Type drop-down list on the light’s General Parameters rollout.)
For area lights rendered with the mental ray renderer, you can still set and use other lighting parameters, such as color, the Multiplier value, the spotlight cone, and so on. Shadow maps are an exception. The mental ray renderer ignores the light's local shadow map settings. Area lights always use ray-traced shadows.
On the , a “Depth Of Field (mental ray)” choice appears on the Multi-Pass Effect drop-down list to support the mental ray renderer's depth-of-field effects. To use this, turn on both Enable in the camera's Multi-Pass Effect group (default=off), and Depth Of Field on the Render Setup dialog Renderer panel .
You can also assign mental ray lens, output, and volume shaders to cameras. These controls are also on the Render Setup dialog Camera Effects rollout. (This rollout also contains some contour-shading controls.)
By default, the Material Editor sample slots use the currently active renderer: typically this is either the default scanline renderer or the mental ray renderer. You assign the renderer for sample slots with the Render Setup dialog Common panel .
Shaders are provided in . Some shaders are customized for 3ds Max Design, some are provided by the lume library, and most are provided by mental images libraries. Settings for the custom 3ds Max Design shaders are provided in this reference. Settings for the third-party lume and mental images shaders are provided in their own help files. This reference links to those descriptions; see and .