NVIDIA has released Mental Ray for Maya since bringing it home. If you didn’t opt for the beta cycle, here is your chance to get metal ray back in Maya.
The plugin is offered free for commercial or non-commercial work. Batch render licenses however is on a subscription basis. If you want to use batch, it will cost $295 for a year’s subscription.
This marks the first pricing structure since mental ray’s “unbundling” with Autodesk Maya. Earlier versions of Maya had MR as part of product releases and service pack updates. More recently, Autodesk decoupled mental ray with Maya offering it as a separate install. Finally, Autodesk chose Solid Angle Arnold for a bundled renderer, and mental ray went back to NVDIA.
If you used mental ray in the past, as I did, to ensure that contractors always had the same rendering tools — Then, the new free version of MR will be great to make older projects compatible with newer versions of Maya again. Certainly the price (free) is right for backwards compatibility.
NVIDIA states “You will only need a license for production rendering – which is defined as running mental ray outside of Maya, with a headless Maya, or using the Maya 2017 Render Sequence option”.
The subscription plan is one that hopefully will let NVIDIA update and evolve mental ray more quickly. It certainly has been neglected in the past.
Mental Ray is now available from nvidia.com and through select resellers. http://www.nvidia.com/object/nvidia-mental-ray-products.html