mental mill 1.1 Standard Edition public beta 2

Notice: There is a new public beta of mental mill 1.1 Standard Edition

One particular neat feature with this beta is an exporter I built for it that exports MetaSL shaders to 3ds Max 2011 directly from inside the mill.

The workflow is basically this:

  • Build your shader tree in mental mill
  • Select the root node
  • Go to File->Export
  • Choose the "Autodesk 3ds Max 2011 (Slate Extension)" exporter
  • (First time only: Select your 3ds max installation directory)
  • Hit "Export" button.
  • Start Max

Now you will see the shader in the Slate material editor "MetaSL" category.
These shaders now...

  • ...work in the 3ds Max viewport
  • ...render in mental ray
  • ...render in Quicksilver
  • ...and any other MetaSL compatible renderer!
And the coolest part is that it works even with your own custom made MetaSL shaders, in all above renderers! This is different than the MetaSL support in Max 2010 that was locked to the shader set shipping with it. Not so in Max 2011, you can build your own shaders. They compile automatically in the back and "just work". Even raytracing calls in the shaders get converted to the automatically generate cube reflection maps for Quicksliver, which is quite neat :)

Expect lots and lots of posts on this topic coming soon - for those that are curious about this workflow and want to see it up close, and see me debug some shaders live, pop up in Utrecht, Netherlands, next week (June 3-4, 2010) at www.EndUserEvent.com (see previous post)

Known Issues:

  • There are some known issues with the Lookup_Texture_2d node not showing in the viewport with gamma correction enabled, but I hear this should be fixed in a 3ds Max service pack (hopefully). It still works in mental ray / Quicksilver.
  • If Texture2d inputs exist inside a phenomena in your mill graph but are not exposed to the interface of the Phoneomenon, they will not get properly filled in when loaded into 3ds Max. To fix this, simply expose the "Texture2d" to the interface of the Phenomenon.
Find the download for mental mill 1.1 Standard Edition here

Have fun!