3DS Max Waves Goodbye to Mental Ray – Says Hello to Arnold
3ds Max 2018 has followed suit with the direction of Maya 2017 and removed the Mental Ray renderer from the software bundle.
Arnold is now the bundled renderer in 3ds Max 2018 but you only get a single machine license for rendering from within the GUI. Command line rendering and farm setups will require purchasing additional commercial licenses which cost $1220 with discounts available for large volumes. Rental licenses are also available at $7.50 a day.
It is a great renderer – I think superior to Mental Ray. (It did win a SciTech Oscar) Not a bad thing until you factor in the cost of running a render farm. Rental will be the way to go for smaller studios with varying projects.
You will be able to use Mental Ray as Nvidia will provide a free license for Maya with the caveat that you are limited to SINGLE FRAME GUI renders. From Nvidia:
“The mental ray for Maya plug-in is free for creative use when working within Maya, while production sequence rendering requires a mental ray license. Production rendering includes sequence rendering within Maya, the use of Maya headless, Maya Batch, mental ray Satellite mode, or mental ray Standalone mode.”
See the Autodesk FAQ for more info.
Third party renderers will still be supported, for now. I suppose soon you’ll be buying a “unlock node” from autodesk to allow you to also use those the way things are going these days….