- RAY TRACING: SPEEDING UP THINGS (OBJECTS)
- RAY TRACING: SPEEDING UP THINGS (GLOBALS)
- RAYTRACING: INDEX OF REFRACTION (IOR)
- RENDERING: FILTERS FOR STILL IMAGES VERSUS VIDEO
- RENDERING VIDEO: RENDER FRAMES, NOT FIELDS
- RENDERING VIDEO: MAKE SURE VIDEO COLOR CHECK IS ON
- RENDERING VIDEO: CHECK YOUR GAMMA!
- RENDERING GREAT BIG, GIANT, HONKING, ENORMOUS IMAGES SUCCESSFULLY
- DON'T RENDER MOVIES—RENDER FRAMES!
- SPEAKING OF THE RAM PLAYER...
- RERENDERING FROM THE ENVIRONMENT BACKGROUND
- OKAY, SO YOU REALLY WANT TO RERENDER YOUR ANIMATION...
- IFL = IMAGE FILE LIST
- YOU CAN'T CREATE .IFL FILES ON READ-ONLY MEDIA!
- MANIPULATING IMAGE SEQUENCES USING .IFLS
- CREATE NESTED .IFL FILES
- A CHICKEN AND EGG PROBLEM: HOW DO YOU SET UP AN ANIMATED BACKGROUND FOR A SCENE IF YOU HAVEN'T RENDERED THE BACKGROUND YET?
- COULD YOU MAKE THINGS MORE COMPLICATED, PLEASE? (WHAT ABOUT USING A COMPOSITING PROGRAM?)
- COMPOSITING USING VIDEO POST
- RENDERING WITH SCANLINE MOTION BLUR: MULTI-PASS AND IMAGE
- RENDERING WITH SCANLINE: MIX IMAGE AND MULTI-PASS MOTION BLUR
- RENDERING IMAGES FOR PRINT: TEACH THOSE PRINT FOLKS A LESSON (OR TWO...)
- RENDERING IMAGES FOR PRINT: OH YEAH, ANOTHER THING...
- "THOSE PRINT PEOPLE"—MAKE IT EASIER ON THEM WITH 3DS MAX 6
- THE PRINT SIZE WIZARD (ENOUGH WITH THE PRINTING STUFF ALREADY!)
- MENTAL RAY IS IN THE BUILDING!
- MENTAL RAY IS ON THE COUCH!
- USE MENTAL RAY'S IMAGE SAMPLING WISELY
- IN MENTAL RAY, CONTRAST CAN SAVE YOUR DAY!
- HIDDEN LINE RENDERING: RENDER TO VECTORS IN MENTAL RAY
- TRIM YOUR (BSP) TREE IN MENTAL RAY
- MENTAL RAY PREFERENCES: PLEASE LEAVE ME A MESSAGE
- RENDERING AESTHETICS: OUTER SPACE SCENES
- RENDERING AESTHETICS: UNDERWATER SCENES
- RENDERING AESTHETICS: DISTANT LANDSCAPES
- RENDERING AESTHETICS: STILL LIFE AND MACROPHOTOGRAPHY
- "HELLO... YOU'VE GOT RENDER!"
TRIM YOUR (BSP) TREE IN MENTAL RAY
In mental ray's Rendering > Render > Renderer tab, look at the Rendering Algorithms section. Under Raytrace Acceleration: Method, there's a drop-down menu where the default is set to BSP. A BSP (binary space partition) "tree" basically is a method of categorizing your whole scene with the help of an imaginary sub-divided bounding box encompassing your scene. This is necessary because it helps mental ray cast rays much faster in this structure than without.
The subdivision cells of this bounding box are called voxels, and the creation of those is what you control with the two settings Size and Depth. Size is the number of cells along one side, so the default would divide your whole scene into a maximum of 10 x 10 x 10 cells. Depth is the parameter that tells mental ray how many subdivisions of one cell should be allowed. The default of 40 allows a maximum of 40 subdivisions in voxels, with a lot of faces.
That's the theory. In practice, you're looking for a good balance between the creation of your BSP tree (the "idle" time before the actual render starts, when the grid is built and subdivided) and the render time of your image. Increased BSP values can cause a long scene render preparation time but result in a lightning-fast render; conversely, decreased settings result in the preparation/render time equation being reversed. The time difference might not be seconds; it might be much longer.
Depending on the complexity of your scene, pay attention to your BSP settings and experiment with different Size and Depth subdivision values. Due to the nature of the default "bounding box" effect, you might be better off tweaking these settings from scene to scene until you get the results you want (or at least, the results that you can live with).