Welcome to mental ray for Design Visualization
New! 3ds Max Design and mental ray Training
Written by Jennifer O'Connor   
Sunday, 04 July 2010 19:46
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I am pleased to announce that mental ray and 3ds Max Design training is now available from me for individuals and groups, as either live in-person training at your facility or via the excellent Go To Training online service.


In the standard training I will lead you on three days of intensive training on the use of 3ds Max Design and mental ray (mr) in a production environment, with a focus on understanding the essential mr settings, reducing render time and improving performance and quality of your rendered images.  


The classes are completely customizable to fit your needs for content and number of hours, and with the online Go To Training the training sessions can be performed in two-hour increments over many days.


Some of the key concepts I cover are:


* General 3ds Max Design and mental ray settings including the use of Gamma for what-you-see-is-what-you-get renderings, Antialiasing and filtering, and render quality settings.


* Understanding material settings, including the Arch and Design material, the new Autodesk Materials, and the new Slate Material Editor


* Addressing common material  quality issues and methods to improve material rendering performance


* Understanding light and shadow options and settings


* How to improve the quality of shadows and optimize light calculation time


* Understanding the use of light and exposure control settings


* An in-depth look at mental ray setting and how they affect memory, quality and speed


* Examine methods for optimizing render time with multiple computers including distributed and network rendering techniques.


* Cover Effective methods for rendering large images and animations and using analysis tools within mental ray to optimize your render.


* In the most extensive part of the training I take an In-depth look at indirect illumination using Final Gather, Global Illumination, Importons,  Irradiance Particles and more, and methods for getting the best quality lighting solution with the shortest render time.


* Last but not least I cover using 3ds Max Design and mental ray with Revit and Inventor models, including using the Exposure lighting analysis tools, creating product environments, and compositing images.


Attendees get exclusive access to a private class forum at www.mastering-mentalray.com and can have their own scenes analyzed and the results critiqued. Attendees also have access to bonus videos and exclusive demo and sample scenes.


This is a unique opportunity for you to work directly with me to take you through the intricacies of mental ray.  Kick-start your mental ray knowledge, get up-to-speed quickly and maximize your learning by training with me, Jennifer O'Connor,  with Mastering mental ray!


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Office:  224-327-7385



Last Updated ( Friday, 25 March 2011 12:25 )
3ds Max Design 2011 New Features Video
Written by Jennifer O'Connor   
Friday, 30 April 2010 08:29
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A 90-minute "3ds Max Design 2011 New Features" video is now available for download and for streaming.  


To stream, click HERE


Right-click this link and save to your local machine for playback (high-definition):




Last Updated ( Sunday, 16 May 2010 15:11 )
About the Mastering mental ray Book

This is the web site for the book "Mastering mental ray" by Jennifer O'Connor, published by Wiley/Sybex and released in mid-April of 2010.  The book is based on 3ds Max/Design 2010 and the newly announced 3ds Max/Design 2011, although mental ray is mental ray no matter what the application.


Learn. Discover. Teach. Repeat. 

Most of the examples will be useable and pertain to 3ds Max/Design 2010 and newer, and new features of 3ds Max/Design 2011 are featured in the book.  The content of the book, however, pertains to 3ds Max r9 and newer.



Getting Started 



  • If you would like to learn more about the content of the book, check out the Table of Contents.
  • If you have a question on something in the book, check out the User Forums.
  • If you want the latest news on Mastering mental ray and Jennifer O'Connor, check out the Blog.
  • If you would like book materials for educators including PowerPoint and additional exercises, check out the Bonus Material.
  • If you need the Ctrl.Ghost plugins for Max 2009 through 2011, click Here.
  • If a file is missing or not working correctly, check out the revised and additional DVD Content.


NOTE that the Ctrl.Ghost plugin for Max 2011 on the DVD needs to be replaced with the latest plugin for the final version of mental ray in Max 2011.  Click Here.


As a companion to the Mastering mental ray book is a searchable PersonalBrain - a 'Mind Map' of mental ray and 3ds Max/Design.   This will help you with learning and searching for information, and will cover the basics of the selected topics and point you towards expanded knowledge in the book.  Mastering a subject is not always about knowing everything, but about being aware of what is possible and knowing where to find the information you need.  This tool gives you instant access to my mental ray knowledge, and is updated frequently.

Read more Here or open the Web Brain Here.


Interior scene with Importons 

(Design by architect Howard Holtzman for a Bahamas residence at Cabbage Beach.  Daylight scene rendered with Importons and Irradiance Particles.)



Questions and Comments


If you have any questions or comments on mental ray training, please feel free to write me at jenni at mastering-mentalray.com.  You can see additional samples rendered by 4DA in mental ray at www.4da-inc.com.



Autodesk Authorized Author 


Learn. Discover. Teach. Repeat. 




All images rendered by Jennifer O'Connor and 4D Artists, Inc.  All rights reserved.