Autodesk has long forgotten about the mental ray renderer, for greener pastures with Solid Angle’s Arnold. This was good news for most people. For others, it meant that generations of older project would become incompatible with newer versions of Maya. Revisiting a project that used mental ray in a newer version of Maya could spell problems.
The good news is that mr has gone back home, and will be again available for Maya as a plugin renderer, starting November 30. Mental ray for Maya will be available directly from NVIDIA – for free. You will only need a mental ray license for production (rendering sequences, network, or batch) rendering. If you are only rendering still frames, mental ray can be downloaded and used for free.
There are some changes in Mental Ray itself. The new release will be easier to use, and has GPU acceleration for what NVIDIA calls GI-Next. Testing has a one-hour render dwindled down to a 5 minutes by adding an NVIDIA Quadro P6000 graphics card on a 14-core CPU.
Visit NVIDIA for more information on mental Ray coming back home and to Maya.