|Mental Ray 3D Render|
Mental Ray used to come bundled free with Autodesk Maya and, until recently, have released a version of their software which is free for student use.
This was good news for animation students, because Mental Ray has a number of advantages over its successor Arnold. In particular, you can achieve some very quick and attractive lighting setups in Mental ray using Physical Sun & Sky, the closest thing Maya has to a "Make It Look Cool" button. This can be done in just a few quick steps - and gets a great result in a hurry.
However, now that Mental Ray has been discontinued, we're all going to have to get used to a future without it. To see a playlist of videos showing how to use Arnold, follow this link.
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