mental ray Standalone Rendering

You can use the mental ray Standalone renderer from the command line to render MI2 files or to manually override options in exported MI2 files. mental ray Standalone lets you read and render an MI file and define extra shaders, create objects, swap textures, or perform other special effects.

When started from a command line, mental ray accepts a large number of options. When an option is given on the command line, it overrides the corresponding command or statement in the scene file, which in turn overrides the defaults. The defaults for certain options given in the option list below apply only if the corresponding command or statement is not present in the scene file.

Rendering with mental ray Standalone is a two-step process:

1. Export a scene to the MI2 file format, as described below.

2. Run ray.exe to render the scene from the MI2 files.

Exporting to MI2 Files

You can export a scene to an mi archive so that it can be rendered using the mental ray Standalone. When exporting a Softimage scene, you can specify several options, from the number of frames to how the scene’s polygons will be approximated. Once your scene is ready to render, do the following:

- Set your mental ray render options for exporting mi archives.

- Set your pass render options for exporting mi archives.

- Click the Export > Current Pass, Selected Passes, or All Passes from the Render toolbar.

For more information, see mi Archives and Stand-ins.

Rendering MI2 Format Files

Rendering out MI2 format files is done using the mental ray Standalone renderer.


ray C:\flick.mi2

This example renders the “flick” MI2 file. Files can be numbered as well, such as: flick.1.mi2, flick.2.mi2, etc.

Getting Information About mental ray Standalone Options

You can find detailed descriptions of all of the mental ray Standalone options in the mental ray documentation (available in the Doc\mental_ray subfolder of the directory where Softimage is installed).

You can also get brief quick-reference style descriptions of all of the mental ray Standalone options by typing ray -h at a command prompt.

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