Mental Ray Free Downloads

For all users and lovers of mentalray and Mental Ray (as we used to call it lately),

in case you did not notice, I have sad news: we stopped selling NVIDIA Mental Ray and the related Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max plugins end of last year. For details see Mental Ray and Iray product updates.

Fortunately, those of you who purchased licenses from us, don’t worry, you can continue to use your Mental Ray product for as long as you wish. You are eligible to convert your licenses to perpetual, just contact us by email as mentioned in the FAQ above. The same is true for schools and institutions who have registered in our Mental Ray EDU program. It’s worth to note, that the perpetual licenses are free-of-charge, and therefore do not include any support.

Even if you happen to have no license, you can still freely use the Mental Ray plugins for interactive rendering in Maya and 3ds Max, like with Maya IPR and 3ds Max ActiveShade, as well as for rendering final quality still frames in Maya’s Render View and in the Rendered Frame Window of 3ds Max.

The plugins are essential if you want to load legacy mentalray scenes in recent Maya 2017/2018 or 3ds Max 2018, to render them, or to convert them to an alternative engine, at least. But more generally, you may use Mental Ray to learn all the fundamental rendering and lighting techniques like ray tracing, global illumination, image-based lighting and much more, from the software that was/is the defining standard for a lot of these features. The plugins offer the full functionality of Mental Ray no matter if you have a license or not.

To unlock rendering of animations with Maya Batch or Backburner or Mental Ray Standalone, you need a license. We are open to giving out licenses to cover your critical and ongoing Mental Ray projects. Just let us know.

You can find the download links of the latest versions in our forum at
NVIDIA ARC Forum – Mental Ray for Maya and
NVIDIA ARC Forum – Mental Ray for 3ds Max.

Happy rendering!

34 thoughts on “Mental Ray Free Downloads

  1. zh says:

    I downloaded mentalray-for-Maya-2018-1.2-nt-x86-64-vc14-mr3.14.5.1.exe, clicked it and a logo of nVidia flashed up and nothing else took place. What is the matter? I am on Windows 10 version 1803 and everything needed is installed.

      1. Steffen says:

        Hmm, sounds strange, and we cannot reproduce. Do you have Maya installed prior to installing the plugin?

  2. zh says:

    Yes, I have Maya 2018.3 installed before trying to install mentalray. If it does not violate nVidia’s policy, you can connect to my machine using Remote Desktop or TightVNC. I can tell you how to connect through email or other secrete channel. I believe you.

  3. jhon villa says:

    hey mate, I hope everything s all right, im trying to use mental ray 3.14 for maya 2018, I cannot render anything, can you give a hand?

    tks in advance

      1. Steffen says:

        You can use the Mental Ray plugin without a license for still frame rendering inside Maya, or the interactive Mental Ray viewport rendering. Just ignore the license window popping up each time the plugin loads.

  4. jhon villa says:

    is there any way to request a license with being a education facility or buying a Nvidia product?
    tks in advance

    1. zh says:

      Maya ships with Arnold nowadays which is one of three professional (and industry standard) renderers (the other two are RenderMan and Vray). If one is serious about rendering animation, s/he should use Arnold, not mentalray. I still need to use mentalray now only because I have some old Maya scene files to brush up my rusty modeling and texturing skills. For new users of Maya I really cannot figure out any reason to stick to mentalray instead of Arnold. When it comes to education, instructors should all the more use Arnold because how can you bear the sight of teaching students out-of-date and useless stuff after charging them tens of thousands of dollars a semester?

  5. jhon villa says:

    i meant “without”, sorry for my mistake; right now I need mental ray to finish some stuff, I ll be switching to Arnold asap, but in the meanwhile I need mental ray, do you know how can I request that license or where can I find a procedure to use one even if it doesn’t is a official one?
    tks in advance.

      1. jhon villa says:

        hey mates, tks, right now im using a free full mental ray license, i ve just had to ask for it, tks for everything, i ll need some info to begin to use arnold, passes and things like that, later boys, have fun.

  6. Enrico says:

    I have to use 3ds max 2016 with mental ray to render university project, and I have a Linux workstation with 64CPUs (beside my Windows laptop). My first thought was to install mental ray satellite on the workstation and then use distributed bucket rendering to speed up, but 3ds mental ray satellite seems to be available only for windows : (
    Does anyone know if it will work if I install the Maya mental ray satellite on the Linux Workstation and then use it to distributed bucket rendering using 3ds max from my Windows laptop?

    1. Steffen says:

      Hi Enrico. The Mental Ray Satellites are tied to the specific application. So a Maya satellite won’t work with the 3dsMax MR plugin. Instead, you can use the Mental Ray Standalone as a satellite. It requires a separate license though, so setting this up might get involved quickly (network license server).

  7. oyeniyi wale says:

    I requested for a license to be able to use mental ray batch render / animation for my design VISUALIZATION project but I have not gotten any reply.
    I need it for my Masters of Environmental Design project

    My email:

      1. oyeniyi wale says:

        Thank you so much
        I can now use full version of mental ray with batch rendering unlocked

  8. Martin A. says:

    If I try to install the installer file for 3ds max 2018, Windows 10 shows me the NVIDIA certificate info and after I click continue absolutely nothing happens. No splash screen, no error message. I have a 32GB WIndows 10, 3ds max 2018 system.

    The NVIDIA package launcher stays in the task manager for about 3-5 seconds and then silently disappears.

    What can I possibly do?

    1. Steffen says:

      That is a known issue with the (dated) Mental Ray plugin installer. It is not compatible with the latest NVIDIA driver installer any more. As a workaround, you may remove (or rename) the cache files in the directory “<C:/Program Files/NVIDIA Corporation/Installer2" (if C:/ is your System Drive). Then run the MR installer again. This operation will invalidate the NVIDIA installer file cache, so follow-up installations may need to start from scratch since the installation history is lost.

  9. Mike says:

    I have max 2018 and the MR plugin you provided, thank you for that. I never had a license for MR, is it possible to get one for MR Satellite? I have an opportunity to purchase a bunch of dual processor 32 core servers and would like to be able to add more than 4 if this would be possible. For my projects, max 2018 and mental ray are all I will need for the foreseeable future, and I really don’t want to have to learn an entirely new render system. I have tried v-ray, Arnold, and some others, and I like MR the best and it is what I know. Thank you,

  10. Mental Sunray says:

    Hi, I looked at the mental ray faq about licensing requests, but mine didn’t seem to fit in either category exactly, so I sent to your email and the two listed there since I wasn’t sure which was the right one.

    Mostly just a heads up in case it gets filtered to spam or whatever, to make sure you know to look for it.


  11. Hilary Yip says:

    Hi there, I urgently need to Maya Batch render for my architecture project..and would like to request for a license. Thank you for your help in advance!

    1. Steffen says:

      It will stay until you remove it. You can use it as long as your CPU (and optionally GPU) is supported by mental practically forever I believe 🙂

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