Friday, 16 June 2017

Mental Ray is Back! - Free For Student Use

Mental Ray is back! 3D Render by Amaru Zeas
Mental Ray is Back! NVIDIA, makers of this classic ray tracer that used to come bundled free with Autodesk Maya, have released a version of their software which is free for student use. According to NVIDIA, "this program is designed for institutions of higher education who use Mental Ray as part of their curriculum." It's certainly good news for our students, because Mental Ray has a number of advtantages over its successor Arnold.  In particular, you can achieve some very quick and attractive lighting setups in Mental ray using Physical Sun & Sky, the closest thing Maya has to a "Make It Look Cool button".  So, how can our students get a free copy of Mental Ray?

For Educators or School Administrators
Educators must use their school-issued email address when reapplying through the REAPPLY link so that NVIDIA can review the application. Educators should use the institution’s email account, as faculty status and curriculum availability will be reviewed as part of the approval process.

For Students
Students can download Mental Ray for Maya absolutely free.  Although, obviously, you can't use it for commercial purposes without a commercial license.

To find out more about Mental Ray, see this post on how to match a batch render of your frames.  Also watch this free video below on how to use Mental Ray's Physical Sun and Sky in Maya. It's a great way to light your shots simply and quickly.

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To find out more about our new BA/MArt, now recruiting for September 2017, follow this link.   To apply, visit the offical page here.

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