Plug-In Improves Maya/Mental Ray Workflow
January 26, 2012

Plug-In Improves Maya/Mental Ray Workflow

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND — Research and development company CoreCG ( has released MentalCore, a cross-platform plug-in that’s designed to help artists achieve maximum creativity and efficiency while using Nvidia Mental Ray with Autodesk Maya.
The plug-in was developed by supervising technical director Corey Frew at Oktobor Animation, an animation studio that works on several Nickelodeon series. The tool is suitable for any size studio, supports Maya 2011 and Maya 2012, and is compatible with the Mental Ray standalone renderer. The release follows two years of extensive use at Oktobor Animation, as well as a year of beta testing by film, television, and game companies.

"We saw an overwhelming response to our beta phase and are excited to introduce an off-the-shelf solution that answers such a huge community need,” says Jason Adams, creative director, CoreCG and Oktobor Animation. “Eliminating common CG pipeline bottlenecks can require dedicated R&D and often complicated workarounds.We built MentalCore to simplify workflows and expedite rendering, so artists spend less time troubleshooting and more time on the quality of their work. It's truly an efficient, reliable solution for artists made by artists."

The tool’s “render globals interface” provides quick access to all global settings and render passes; its “node based render pass system” eases linking to objects, materials and lights. The shader library allows users to achieve desired looks with new material, texture and utility shaders. Its color management system allows users to easily adopt a linear color workflow. Users can also preview render passes in the renderview without the memory overhead of rendering all other passes in one go. Python API allows for the easy integration of MentalCore into any pipeline.

MentalCore is available as a node-locked license at an introductory price of $189, or a floating license for $199. Modified pricing is available for educational institutions.