[Sidefx-houdini-list] Mantra/Renderman/Mentalray

Dan Seddon Dan.Seddon at framestore-cfc.com
Sun Mar 30 09:05:24 EDT 2008

All the renderers you mention are very good. I'd like it if there was more mental ray support in Houdini as there are some really good out of the box shaders in mentral ray that I see the maya guys using pretty much push button (I realise Xsi is probably a lot better here too) - I've yet to see renderman/mantra prove themselves compared to mental ray on heavly raytraced scenes, especially multiple levels of refraction/reflection. However - out of the box shaders, raytracing and ease of use are the main advantages I can see in mentral ray, I think either renderman or mantra are probably better at most other things (openness and ease for developing new shaders, rendering heavy geometry, filtering and motion blur...).

Mantra does a lot of the things renderman does and has very similar architecture - many of the things renderman excels at mantra also excels at. Our company is heavily renderman and we use renderman as opposed to mantra - though I think it's probably easier to move over to houdini using mantra both from an integration point of view and finanically. Pixars renderman is a *very* powerful renderer however with more people developing for it than mantra - the last time I used mantra (an early version of mantra 9) it didn't have many things finished to the same extent as renderman, it was more difficult to get HDR lighting working well for example. This may have changed, but as I say, prman is very well established industry leading product and pretty hard to beat.


----- Original Message -----
From: "pingo van der brinkloev" <houdinilist at comxnet.dk>
To: sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com
Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2008 1:26:05 PM GMT +00:00 GMT Britain, Ireland, Portugal
Subject: Re: [Sidefx-houdini-list] Mantra/Renderman/Mentalray

The short version: I wanna blow up some stuff.

The longer one: I've been using XSI for about 4 years now and I've  
become pretty familiar with the material editor. I do mostly  
photorealistic stuff now, but I'm getting more interested in high end  
fx. I'm quite happy with XSI, I just want to do some more, and I feel  
that I'm hitting a wall with XSI when it comes to dynamics and  
especially particles.

I feel there's a shift in the demand from clients towards... how do I  
put it... "A lot of things doing a lot of things"...? They want their  
cars to be made of flowers, their clothes to move on their own, and 3  
billion people making their logo with colored pieces of paper. On top  
of that it has to look better than real - or like it's all made with  
crayons controlled by sound. (and in the end it all blows up;-).

I'm pretty sure the application to do this, is Houdini. correct me if  
I'm wrong.

So I went to bootcamp and got myself all the books and DVD's and  
started Learning. But the other day I found myself having made  
something in Houdini i wanted to render out and show someone, and I  
was totally disappointed that I just couldn't put an MI architectural  
shader on it all, whack an HDR environment around the scene, turn on  
final gather and render. I realized that of course I can do this in  
Mantra, and it's actually quite easy, but it was all brand new and it  
took me most of the night to figure it out. So at 4 in the morning was  
left with 3 options: 1: Learn Manta. 2: Get Mentalray, which I know,   
working, so i can concentrate on learning all the other features of  
Houdini. Or 3: take the plunge and pick up Renderman, which seems to  
be industry leader.

So I'm quite interested in what people prefer, without getting into  
some application/render war.



On 30/03/2008, at 13.21, Simon Kapeniak wrote:

> Can I ask why you make a switch from XSI? As to your question there  
> gonna be
> lots of answer here soon so I'll wait ;)
> 2008/3/30, pingo van der brinkloev <houdinilist at comxnet.dk>:
>> Hi. I'm new here in the world of houdini and making the switch from  
>> XSI
>> Is anyone using Mental Ray with Houdini? How does it work, compared  
>> to
>> XSI (very tightly integrated and node based).
>> Should I dive onto Renderman instead? it seems to be very integrated.
>> Is it node based as well?
>> Or should I just stick to Mantra?
>> Like to hear your thoughts on this.
>> cheers
>> pingo
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