[Sidefx-houdini-list] Houdini Mental Ray

Jean-Claude Nouchy jclaude at mimgfx.com
Wed Aug 1 11:05:30 EDT 2007

I'm not a Mantra guru nor a MR eighter, I'm not a shader writer afterall
but I can share my personal experience about this point.

I start by saying that I personaly think there is a point to have MR and
PRman support in Houdini even if we all know Mantra now kickass pretty
much and even more on many sides, render and shading talking, and most
important money talking...

.. but..

until last December and for ealier one year and half I spent my time (and
some money even) trying to get the company i was working for including
Houdini inthe pipeline, mostly trying to build a VFX team from scratch, I
trained (based on my little knowledge) 3 guys and built the whole pipeline
for the XSI<->Houdini<->Maya workflow..

after a certain moment, rendering was the ultimate task to solve..
the point was that the whole pipeline was XSI based with just a couple of
Maya boxes as well.. and a whole MentalRay based Renderfarm.
I tried to convince that Mantra was more than enought for the purpose we
needed but obviously I wasnt able to care about advanced Shaders writing
and such.. and the Shaders writers there simply wonted consider moving to

that's a scenario i'm sure is not so uncommon in small-mediumsmall
companies where Houdini is not the main platform or where it gets
introduced later than XSI or Maya (therefore Mental Ray or PrMan)...

PrMan is greatfully supported by Houdini.. while MentalRay is not.
This should change.. just cause that's a big "obstacle" companies could
might wont to deal with when choosing Houdini .. and therefore ending by
choosing Maya (or XSI in my case.. after a 1,5 wasted year of work, but
reasons were also other more than rendering with Mantra).

that said... when I moved to Houdini from XSI .. and when I discovered VOP
network over Xsi's Rendertree.. man .. i was amazed! and that's the first
thing I show people when I want to make their jaws drop.

my 0.02 (maybe too long story for 0.02, sorry)

> Having worked exclusively with Mantra for such a long time
> I've definitely seen some major developments and improvements
> over the years.
> But it's most interesting to see what appears to be a significant
> shift in attitude ( toward Mantra) over the last 5 years or
> so from those who have traditionally used other renderers
> such as PRman or MR.
> I'm assuming VOPs has played a big role in this attitude shift.
> But ( if anyone cares to share their opinions) it would be great
> to hear about other points of comparison that have really helped
> to sell people on Mantra over recent years ................ simply
> to help get a better perspective on the issue.
> Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
> Larry
>>  Personally, I don't see the point in MR since Mantra
>> kicks so much ass now, and is so much cheaper (i.e. free) than MR or
>> PRman.
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.:: jean-claude ::.
.:: mimgfx.com  ::.

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