In computer graphics, the term rendering is used to describe the process of visualizing a three-dimensional virtual world. It typically comprises all the computations to turn an abstract scene description into a final image.

mental ray offers all the features traditionally expected of photorealistic rendering, together with functionality not found in other rendering software. The following sections describe all the features in more detail. This includes explanations of the fundamental software architecture like parallelism and geometry cache, as well as comprehensive view on all entities supported by the scene database used to build and illuminate a virtual world, like geometry, materials, textures, light sources, and global illumination features such as caustics or final gathering.

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