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Thread: Mental Ray license types description improvement

  1. #1
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    Default Mental Ray license types description improvement

    Hello all, while I understand the needing to purchase a license for Mental Ray, I would like to point out an area that could use some help:

    When deciding on what license to choose on the "buy a license" page, I see:

    1. Local licenses

    2. Professional GPU licenses

    3. Network licenses

    I have searched around for a clarification on what the differences between the 3 are, (other than the obvious "network" being a network license) and I was unable to find a clear explanation. I, myself, am confused on the differences between the three, due to scarce or complete lack of information.

    Could there be a way for there to be a clearer description on what each 3 license types are for? This is not just for me, but for anyone who chooses to buy Mental Ray from Nvidia. (A description like this would be nice: "License Type", "short explanation", "what it's made for/what it can be used with/as".)

    Just a little bit of user-friendliness that I'm trying to help Nvidia with. (If documentation already exists that differentiates one license type from another, then please do let me know.)

  2. #2
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    A Local license is tied to the local machine, and does not require a qualifying professional GPU card.

    A Professional GPU license is a special local license that one can get if owning a Professional, ie, Quadro or Tesla, NVIDIA GPU card.

    There is documentation on this delivered with the plugins. Both with the licensing guides and in the main documentation. And note that mental ray can run freely within the plugin, not yet requiring a license. So you could install mental ray into Maya or 3ds Max, before getting the license, and look through that documentation.
    Barton Gawboy

  3. #3
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    Would either a standard license or a professional GPU license allow me to use the network rendering function?

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    Do you mean using satellites for your render from a main host running mental ray?

    Each satellite needs a license, doesn't matter which type.
    Barton Gawboy

  5. #5
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    Excuse me for my mindlessness on this topic, but it's when I use backburner with 3ds Max.

    Is that true? License type doesn't matter? (May I ask why there's 3 different kinds of licenses then? It's a bit confusing.)

  6. #6
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    Network licenses are typically used on a server providing multiple licenses for a production house.

    The Local license is the easiest to install for small numbers, and is tied to the machine.
    A Pro GPU license is local license that is less expensive, because there is a Pro GPU on the machine.

    Backburner specifics are not my forte. But you are not using Backburner for satellite, but rather for doling out frames to other machines? And those all running 3ds Max with mental ray installed?
    Barton Gawboy

  7. #7
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    Apologies for submitting on an old thread...but so far it is the closest to my questions I have....
    The questions are:
    1. Does the network license include Pro GPU capability?
    2. Autodesk used to enable 2 users of MR network license with each app purchase. Does the Nvidia network license allow 1 or 2 concurrent users?
    3. Is the MR plugin for Maya & 3DsMax different...or is it just the license file that differentiates?
    4. If the answer to 2 is 1....and From previous posts on this thread...I take it a render farm that renders Maya & 3DsMax would need both a Maya & 3DsMax license on each node even though it would typically only be working one or the other?

  8. #8
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    1. GPU capability is not dependent on the license. The Pro GPU license gives you a discount on a local license because you have a Pro GPU.
    2. For 3ds Max or Maya? The Autodesk licensing varied, and changed when licensing went to subscription based. Maya floating license used to enable extra mental ray rendering, but for the floating license cost, for example. Modern pricing actually accounts for all this. One mr license fulfills production rendering within app, and all external rendering on a given machine. Within app single frame rendering is free, and the plugin itself is free.
    3. The MR plugin for 3ds Max and Maya have only slight differences if any. If you look at the version of Mental Ray, eg, 3.14.x.x, you can compare exactly.
    4. For a render farm running MR standalone, you'd need to match version and shaders, whether those shaders are 3ds Max or Maya. If you are using batch of the application, then it depends on what is needed for that batch license according to Autodesk as well as a correct install including the plugin and the shaders. Ie, there are two ways to render on the farm, either exporting an mi file and rendering that on standalone, or using the native application format, and relying on that app's batch render abilities on a farm.
    Barton Gawboy

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bart View Post
    1. GPU capability is not dependent on the license. The Pro GPU license gives you a discount on a local license because you have a Pro GPU.
    2. For 3ds Max or Maya? The Autodesk licensing varied, and changed when licensing went to subscription based. Maya floating license used to enable extra mental ray rendering, but for the floating license cost, for example. Modern pricing actually accounts for all this. One mr license fulfills production rendering within app, and all external rendering on a given machine. Within app single frame rendering is free, and the plugin itself is free.
    3. The MR plugin for 3ds Max and Maya have only slight differences if any. If you look at the version of Mental Ray, eg, 3.14.x.x, you can compare exactly.
    4. For a render farm running MR standalone, you'd need to match version and shaders, whether those shaders are 3ds Max or Maya. If you are using batch of the application, then it depends on what is needed for that batch license according to Autodesk as well as a correct install including the plugin and the shaders. Ie, there are two ways to render on the farm, either exporting an mi file and rendering that on standalone, or using the native application format, and relying on that app's batch render abilities on a farm.
    Thanks Barton. Some follow up questions if you don't mind....

    A.How is the 1 year sub controlled. Must the machine have web access, or does it work on a literal start & stop date?
    B.If it needs web access and IT won't leave any ports open making web access not possible?

    C.Is there any benefit or discount available to our customer based on the perpetual MR licenses they currently have as they move into a subscription model?

    D.The ‘network’ license option is also available and more expensive than ‘local’.* Does this enable a certain number of ‘floating’ licenses, ie: total of 10 machines that can be any of 15 machines available?

    E.What does this statement mean: “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.” from *http://store.nvidia.com/store/nvidia...36.1482174449* Does this mean that you can use MR on Maya workstations free, or that you can use it for composing look and feel, but you can’t render on the workstation unless you buy a MR license?

    F.Any price benefit for MR on a render blade versus MR on a workstation?

    G.“For possible discounts, and all volume sales, please contact …. AdvancedRenderingStore@nvidia.com.”* Under what circumstances are discounts offered?* What kind of volume size is needed to get into volume sales?

    H.Considering Iray versus Mental Ray, for artists using Maya and 3DMax what benefit would Iray provide over MR?* Under what circumstances would it be the preferred product?

    G.Ray-trace rendering has traditionally been very slow on CPU-only systems.* The likes of V-Ray provide GPU-accelerated ray-trace renderering.* What about Mental Ray, does it provide GPU accelerated Ray-trace rendering?

    Many thanks for you time to help with the above...

  10. #10
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    A. The machine doesn't require web access, although it's easier if there is and you manage the NV PAC and updates yourself. Bigger houses with security issues for internet connection require a little more manual handholding in the setup.
    B. Assuming this is a Local/GPU license, the license can be acquired on a different machine and then put into the machine requiring the license using a USB or internal internet connection. For software updates, you'd have to do the same to move the installer to the correct machine.
    C. Not that I know of.
    D. yes, the license is only used during usage.
    E. Installing the plugin and rendering single frames is free.
    F. No, but volume discount through resellers likely in those situations.
    G. Well, the public one is the 5-pack. Ask the resellers for larger numbers.
    H. Design and Photorealism simplicity (Iray) vs M&E artistically directed photo realsim or not (MR). Generally, but not always.
    I. Mental Ray uses GPU acceleration for indirect illumination, typically the most work-intensive part of modern high-end production final frames. This benefit can be from 5-50x, depending on scene and machine resources.
    Barton Gawboy

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