3D Artist

Mental ray returns to Maya and is now ‘free’

News & Features
Carrie Mok

Mental ray gets new global illumination feature and improved GPU rendering


After being removed from version 2017 in favour of Arnold, mental ray has returned to Maya with a variety of new features.

NVIDIA says that the new global illumination feature GI-Next “can slash a one-hour render to a 5-minute coffee break by adding an NVIDIA Quadro P6000 graphics card alongside a 14-core CPU.”

Mental ray will also now have backwards compatibility, interactive viewport rendering and huge improvements on GPU rendering.

The plugin will be free for single-frame production rendering from 30 November but for sequence rendering though, mental ray will cost $295 a year per machine. For those rendering with an NVIDIA Professional GPU (Quadro or Tesla though, mental ray will cost $95 a year.