Nvidia has released mental ray for 3ds Max 2018 for free.
Mental ray is now seven times faster with a separately available Iray for 3ds Max plugin that provides the full range of Nvidia Iray functionality.
Existing owners of Iray for 3ds Max will find that their current licences will work for mental ray for 3ds Max automatically with no licensing change.
Features of the new release includes:
• Full backward compatibility for earlier 3ds Max scenes employing Mental Ray or the Mental Ray Iray mode.
• Latest mental ray 3.14 version with continuing updates and fixes
• Interactive progressive rendering so you quickly see final results as you edit
• GI Next makes high-quality global illumination easy – and 2-4 times faster than earlier methods, with GPU acceleration making it far faster yet
• MDL support with vMaterials browsing
• Mental Ray Standalone mode is now included for production pipeline efficiency and flexibility.
• When licenced, enables Mental Ray Standalone, Mental Ray Satellite, and the NVIDIA Iray for 3ds Max plugin.
Mental Ray for 3ds Max is free to use within an interactive 3ds Max session and just like the release of mental ray for Maya last November, a mental ray for 3ds Max licence is required for network rendering with local licences starting at $295, with floating/network licenses pricing increased by around a third.