I have recently been diving into mental ray head first trying to absorb as much information as I possibly can. (This is one of the reasons I haven’t been on the Cookie that much)
Instead of neglecting CG Cookie, I thought I would share the resources I have found.
Most of the resources are completely free, other then the book I purchased listed below. I am sure I could have gotten away without having to purchase any education, but I do still enjoy reading a sci-fi drama adventure about mental ray before I fall asleep.
I am sure there are plenty other resources out there, but these are my top 5 that I have been visiting frequently this past week. I also have spent some time on cgsociety.org forum that is specific to mental ray shaders. Very helpful.
You simply cannot put mental ray into Google without this guys name showing up. He is a real pioneer with the mental ray community and can be found on multiple communities. His website states that he started with CG back in the 80s and has really enjoyed giving back to the community. Give his site a gander and there are plenty of good links from there
My mental ray – Community site
A great community to download already created shaders to work from. This site also has some great video tutorials to help spread the knowledge.
Rendering with mental ray and 3ds Max – by Joep van der Steen
I have only gotten a few chapters into this book, but what a great starting point if you are new to mental ray, or looking to ensure the information is embedded into your brain. This book had some great reviews on Amazon.com also that pushed me over the edge to purchase.
From what I gather this is a site started by Jeff Patton and friends, but I could be wrong. Another great resource for stock mental ray materials. Great forum and challenges
Autodesk – Area
I am linking directly to a lume shader tutorial that I spent quite a bit of time on. Though I guess this isn’t direct mental ray knowledge, but was something I found extremely usefully. The author describes some of the water (lume) shaders in depth.
I hope you found this information useful as I have, and please post other resources you have found to be beneficial related to mental ray.