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Rendering with mental ray & 3ds Max Paperback – Mar 20 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (March 20 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240808932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240808932
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 18.9 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,247,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Put yourself on a path to productivity with Joep's deliberate approach to a logical workflow. Enjoy the exercises and the satisfaction you get from producing cost effective renderings and a foundation of knowledge that you can apply to your work.
Ted Boardman,
Author and Instructor

'A solid foundation. with thorough explanations, practical examples, and lots of pictures. Each chapter provides a clear set of objectives and insightful production tips.'
Steven D. Papke,President,

From the Back Cover

Realize your vision with stunning renders of your 3ds Max projects that can only be achieved with a powerful engine like mental ray. Beginning with a concise review of the essential concepts, you proceed to step-by-step tutorials that teach you how to render scenes with

. Indirect illumination options including Final Gather, Caustics, and Global Illumination
. Render options such as Contour Line rendering, Camera Effects, Displacement, Depth of Field, and Motion Blur effects
. Lighting options including those provided within 3ds Max, as well as the four mr lights-Area Omni and Area Spot inside the Standard Light group, and mr Sky and mr Sun inside the Photometric Light group
. Material options available inside 3ds Max including Arch and Design and Car Paint, DGS and Glass materials, and Sub Surface Scattering materials
. Shader options including mr material-related shaders, the tiny shaders that control small specific effects, and shaders that are used to create water, with all its effects

The companion CD includes tutorial files and sample files that demonstrate the possibilities.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9c716e94) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bc349fc) out of 5 stars Good Reference mr Book April 13 2007
By Juan Ponce Casasola - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book that can help you understand how mental ray works. The tutorials are easy to follow, some take sometime to render specially when rendering the final images, but that's obvious since mental ray it's very computer intensive. The author covers pretty much every shader of mr; there's an explanation of each one, a simple tutorial to follow and understand what the parameters alters the render, also covers indirect illumination using GI and FG, used alone and together.

The only part that I didn't like is the tutoria of caustics by reflection, after completing the render they didn't look realistic as i was hoping... but as in almost book out there, there are things to do by yourself and do trial and error renderings until you get the result that you like.

So if are new to mental ray, this book can help you out on understanding this powerful render engine, how it works, what it can do, what things need to be considered before applying shaders; the author made a book that's easy to read, lots of pictures of reference in full color so there's no way you can get lost while playing with the parameters within max.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bb10120) out of 5 stars The Book I Should Have Bought First Up Oct. 29 2007
By Nicholas T. Fox - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've purchased several books on using mental ray and 3ds and this is the one I should have bought at the start. The author guides you through the process of using mental ray with 3ds Max, explaining and illustrating in the book what you'll see on your own computer. While setting up a rendering using mental ray is not difficult, its settings can appear daunting to both the beginner and the more experienced user. Joep goes through all of mental rays major settings in order to set up a rendering. Further, he explains how to use Final Gather alone or together with Global Illumination to achieve optimal results. This is something that not many authors do in the same depth, if at all. He also explains what each important mental ray setting means and how small changes to them affect your scenes.
A variety of interesting and different models are used throught the book and come on the accompanying CD, which is a very nice touch and so much better than the normal practise of doing everything with one or two boring models - this book is aimed at stimulating your senses through its presentation.
The author goes much further than simply setting up mental ray by covering the shaders that are included with 3ds Max and there is something in this book for just about any 3ds Max user, no matter what their level of experience. Using it as a reference will enable you to produce the renderings you've always dreamed about; and it will do so by increasing your understanding of mental ray. In the end it's the authors knowledge and explanations of how mental ray does things that makes this such a worthwhile and valuable reference.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c247e7c) out of 5 stars Very Good to get you moving in the right direction Feb. 19 2008
By Michael Lofrano - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was extremely helpful to me as it relates to MR renders and what the various parameter do in the render dialog box. That part is worth more than 5 stars. The place it might be lacking by a small amount is the clarity in how the shaders and materials are explained. Very detailed in some places, but I found myself going back and forth from the book to the material editor to try to follow along and understand what was being explained. In the end, I learned a good deal but there were times too when I was confused by what seemed like contradictory facts, or at least I found them to be so. Like how the arch materials diffuse,reflection and transparency channels could not exceed a value of 1 when added together, yet I saw many materials constructed where those three channels added up to 3. The materials still worked as described, but I am the type that needs to understand the nitty-gritty before I feel comfortable with something. Oh well.

But all-in-all this book is WELL worth it. It will take a lot of the guess work and trail-and-error out of your MR renders. All I can say is, Good job, Mr. Van der Steen.

Yes, very good job.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c0aa864) out of 5 stars how to climb a mountain Feb. 22 2008
By M. heesterbeek - Published on
Format: Paperback
Whenever you need to learn a new program, it tends to present itself as a huge mountain to climb. Mental Ray is no different. The lack of documentation comming with this Autodesk program makes climbing this mountain a sheer impossible task. Not with this book. Joep van der Steen takes you by the hand and showes you the paths. He does this by starting of with standard scene's and presets. Then with every tutorial he goes more and more into the details. Step by step you feel more and more at home with the program. Allready half way the book you have a good idea how to work with Mental Ray. But it goes on with more and more easy explanation of complicated stuff. The mountain turns out to be a joy to climb
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9bc34c3c) out of 5 stars A great book for learning mental ray for 3ds max9 May 20 2007
By Bryan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well, when I first seen the advertisement for the this book. I was looking for something to better understand mental ray renderer and its materials and shaders. Joep The author does a good job of breaking things down to get a better understanding of mental ray rendering and its shaders and materials.

one thing I would caution is that this book and the files on the cd that come with it are for 3ds max 9 . I didn't see this anywhere in the book itself or on this page describing the book contents. but I was able to download the trial version of 3ds max 9 and use it (30 days). the book also talks about arch and design material which are great and render a lot faster than the mental ray material and shaders. and need little or no tweeking at all.

if you are looking for a book to help you write script for materials or shaders for mental ray this is not the book for you. with the new arch and design you do not need to.

If it wasn't for a file for a tutorial that was missing that I was able to get from the author himself through e-mail and a couple other areas that seen to be missing a step in a tutorial. I would probably give this a 5 star rating because I learn a great deal from this book and the author was very helpful in explaining somethings in the book that I didn't fully understand in certain section of the book (through e-mail). what the heck, I am going to give it 5 stars. HA!

though I do believe the second print will be even better.