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

Meng-Yang Lu ntmonkey at gmail.com
Mon Mar 31 19:57:51 EDT 2008


Here's the summary straight from the MR docs...  It is in essence a swiss
army knife shader packaged in a Mental Ray phenomenon.  We were able to
almost able to use mia_material exclusively on our projects with the
exception of a custom one used for outputting framebuffers.  Now, that
feature is built-in as well.



======================

The *mental ray* *mia_material* is a monolithic material shader that is
designed to support most materials used by architectural and product design
renderings. It supports most hard-surface materials such as metal, wood and
glass. It is especially tuned for fast glossy reflections and refractions
(replacing the DGS material) and high-quality glass (replacing the
dielectric material).

The major features are:

   - Easy to use - yet flexible. Controls arranged logically in a "most
   used first" fashion.
   - Templates - for getting faster to reality.
   - Physically accurate - the material is energy conserving, making
   shaders that breaks the laws of physics impossible.
   - Glossy performance - advanced performance boosts including
   interpolation, emulated glossiness, and importance sampling.
   - Tweakable BRDF1<file:///usr/aw/maya9.0/docs/Maya2008/en_US/ArchGuide/arch_mtl.html#Foot1>-
user can define how reflectivity depends on angle.
   - Transparency - "Solid" or "thin" materials - transparent objects
   such as glass can be treated as either "solid" (refracting, built out of
   multiple faces) or "thin" (non-refracting, can use single faces).
   - Round corners - shader can simulate "fillets" to allow sharp edges
   to still catch the light in a realistic fashion.
   - Indirect Illumination control - set the final gather accuracy or
   indirect illumination level on a per-material basis.
   - Oren-Nayar diffuse - allows "powdery" surfaces such as clay.
   - Built in Ambient Occlusion - for contact shadows and enhancing small
   details.
   - All-in-one shader - photon and shadow shader built in.
   - Waxed floors, frosted glass and brushed metals... - ...all fast and
   easy to set up.
   - Multiple outputs - when using *mia_material_x*

===================================

Hope it helps,

-Lu

On Mon, Mar 31, 2008 at 4:46 PM, Peter Bowmar <pbowmar at gmail.com> wrote:

> Can you describe or give a link to what the mia_material does exactly?
> Sounds like an uber-material/VOPnet type thing?
>
> Cheers,
>
> Peter B
>
> On 31/03/2008, Meng-Yang Lu <ntmonkey at gmail.com> wrote:
> > After cranking out a few projects in MR, I was lucky enough to take a
> >  Shaders/Vex course at SESI .  That was really helpful in understanding
> >  building shaders and rendering using Mantra and VEX.  Like almost
> everything
> >  in Houdini, you can take apart what's already there to learn, or roll
> your
> >  own flavor.  I must admit, Mantra is really impressive.  It would
> appear you
> >  have almost the best of both worlds at your hand, with the small
> sacrifice
> >  of not having something like mia_material in Mental Ray for simplicity.
> >
> >  I know what app I'm going to be busy with for the remaining of 2008.
>  Really
> >  great work by the boys and girls at SideFX.
> >
> >  -Lu
> >
> >
> >  On Mon, Mar 31, 2008 at 11:19 AM, pingo van der brinkloev <
> >  houdinilist at comxnet.dk> wrote:
> >
> >  > This is excellent feedback You guys rock.
> >  >
> >  > First of all I'm glad to read I'm not the only one who thinks
> >  > Mentalray is an ok render, and would like it implemented more. It's
> >  > exactly the OOTB shaders that makes it so easy to work with- then I
> >  > can always build on them.
> >  > Second. It looks like I'm gonna have to learn Mantra. Also sounds
> like
> >  > it resembles Renderman.
> >  > Now unfortunately it's very true that Mantra lacks learning material
> >  > (please SESI?). But you say get some material on Renderman?
> >  >
> >  > Any suggestions? Books? DVD's?
> >  >
> >  > - a very good point to sticking to Mantra was also the price of
> >  > standalone Mentalray and Renderman licenses. (With all those 8 core
> >  > machines popping up they must be having a field day).
> >  >
> >  > Thanks for all the replies. It was very interesting to get your
> >  > thoughts on this.
> >  >
> >  > cheers
> >  >
> >  > pingo
> >  >
> >  > It looks like there's a lot of reasons to at least start with Mantra.
> >  > On 31/03/2008, at 15.51, François Duchesneau wrote:
> >  >
> >  > > Interesting. Let us know when you have that ready.
> >  > >
> >  > > François
> >  > >
> >  > > Andras Ikladi wrote:
> >  > >> I'm in the process of launching (actually it was long due) a
> >  > >> website dealing with these Houdini pipeline design and
> implementation
> >  > >> issues and have couple of articles already written up, just need
> >  > >> another couple of days to get over this current deadline and
> finish
> >  > >> up
> >  > >> before the next one hits :)
> >  > >>
> >  > >> cheers,
> >  > >> Andras
> >  > >>
> >  > >> On Sun, Mar 30, 2008 at 4:24 PM, robert east
> >  > >> <east.robert at gmail.com> wrote:
> >  > >>
> >  > >>>> We are in the process of preparing a pipeline for a new company
> >  > >>>> that
> >  > >>>> will use Maya and Houdini. All the lighting and FX will be in
> >  > >>>> Houdini
> >  > >>>> and one of the main reasons we chose Houdini for all lighting
> >  > >>>> workstation is because of Mantra. I've used it on an other
> >  > >>>> project and
> >  > >>>> it's a production proven renderer including point cloud, i3d
> >  > >>>> (brickmaps), ray tracing, micro-polygons etc.
> >  > >>>> François
> >  > >>>
> >  > >> _______________________________________________
> >  > >> Sidefx-houdini-list mailing list
> >  > >> Sidefx-houdini-list at sidefx.com
> >  > >> https://lists.sidefx.com:443/mailman/listinfo/sidefx-houdini-list
> >  > >>
> >  > >>
> >  > > _______________________________________________
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> >  >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> >  Meng Yang Lu
> >  3D Operator
> >  The Mill LA
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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-- 
Meng Yang Lu
3D Operator
The Mill LA



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