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Mental Ray 1.5 for Maya Set for Public Beta

First Mac version coming after summer By Dave Nagel
Alias|Wavefront announced today that it will release a public beta of Mental Ray 1.5 for Maya 4.5 late this summer. Mental Ray for Maya is an integrated rendering plugin co-developed by Alias and Mental Images. Tucked away in today's announcement was the surprise news that version 1.5 will, in fact, be available for Mac OS X following the summer beta release for Linux, Irix and Windows. This is the first time Mental Ray with the Mental Ray GUI will ship for the Mac.

Few details about Mental Ray 1.5 were available at press time. The software is often cited by 3D artists as their favorite 3D rendering tool. Version 1.5 for Maya will include the features of the standalone Mental Ray Renderer 3.1, though it's not clear yet whether every single feature will make it into the Maya plugin version.


As for the Mac version, Alias has hinted in the past that such a release was within the realm of possibility, though unlikely. This is the first time the company has committed to Mental Ray for the Mac.

Mental Ray for Maya is an optional plugin that's fully integrated with the Maya environment. It first appeared for Maya in December 2001. The next release will support new functionality in the forthcoming Maya 4.5, including volume lighting and rendering, particle instancing and the Maya Fluid Effects Ocean Shader feature.

The public beta of Mental Ray 1.5 for Maya 4.5 will be available for free late this summer for Irix, Linux and Window, According to Alias, the Mac OS X version will be available shortly thereafter. Pricing for the final release has not yet been set. For more information, visit http://www.aliaswavefront.com.


Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at dnagel@digitalmedianet.com.

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