While visiting graphicall an interesting build by RCRuizÂ might have caught your eye. It was simply titled "Blental v0.0.1 (Blender for MentalRay)." Those two sweet words "MentalRay" automatically had me downloading the build and checking it out. Do I hear final gathering?
From the thread:
I'm very Happy to present the first version of Blental. This build is for render to Mental ray that is a one of the best commercial render engines on the market.
- Lights :
Type lamp, spots, sun and area , this last one with 6 diferent types (Square,Rect,Disc,Sphere,Cylinder,Object) and with the option of a visible light.
Phyisical lights options.
Caustic Options for all lights.
GI Options for all ligths.
Sample limits for area lights
Supports for Cooktor, Phong, Binn, Dgs, Dialectric with photon flags and new options adjust just for Blental.
Suport for textures type imagen with uvm only.
Transparency, Reflectivity, Refractivity supported.
Bumps supported only for images.
A new panel (Alt+M) to edit especific properties for objects.
Control for Samples , jitter , contrast , and filters.
Control for Trace.
Control for GI.
Control for Caustic.
Control for Final Gathering.
Control for Motion Blur.
Control for Some Diagnostic.
Control for Render Progress.
Control for not export mesh.
You can find render tests that RCRuiz has done with Blental here. And here are the screenshots of the MR interface in Blender:
Lighting (shots of just the area and spot lights which cover the basic options of all the lights):
Object variables (using ALT-M when the object is selected):
I am certain there will be nay-sayers that aren't thrilled with this integration since MR must be purchased and isn't freely available. However, for Blender to have the ability to plugin to production renderers that are widely used can be nothing but a good thing. Well done RCRuiz!
*Note: If you have a standalone MentalRay license, you can get the Windows build on graphicall. The rar has only the blender.exe, and will require the pthreadGC2.dll in the Blender folder which I got here.