3rd Party Mental Ray Shader for Maya

Little 2011 update: these shaders are for the most part discontinued/not maintained/not compiled for versions above 2008/32bit; Florian Wild (Floze), Francesca Luce (ctrl.studio), Jan Sandström (pixero), Ledin Pavel (puppet); most seem to have vanished into thin space (or into hire). Fortunately; a lot of the work has been put in new MR shaders & engine. Some will be missed though, like the ctrl.shaders.

Binary Alchemy Free Shaders

A few useful shaders

Deex Shader Pack

"One-click buffer output passes" based on the puppet shaders

ReflectionUtility? 1.3

A Mental Ray shader that computes blurred reflections. (Windows, Linux and OSX version.)

RayType? 1.1

A Mental Ray shader that lets you assign different shaders to different kind of raytrace calculations.

FramebufferOutput? 1.0

A Mental Ray geometry shader that enables framebuffers for multi-pass output.

FramebufferWriter? 1.0

A Mental Ray material shader that writes the connected shaders' output into separate framebuffers.

IBL Tools

Image Based Lighting Tools for efficient illumination by high dynamic range images.


shaders designed for lighting cg objects and characters to be placed in live action scenes

Photogrammetry Projection Shader

matte painting tool for blending multiple camera texture projections

Jan Sandström's custom mentalray shaders

  • written by Jan Sandström aka Pixero Download
  • JS_FlatColor
  • JS_Ramp
  • JS_BlendColor
  • JS_MultiplyDivide
  • JS_PlusMinusAverage
  • JS_Reverse
  • JS_FacingRatio
  • JS_Luminance
  • JS_Clamp
  • JS_SetRange 1.1
  • JS_Color_to_Vector
  • JS_Vector_to_Color
  • JS_Vector_to_Scalar
  • JS_Incidence 1.2
  • JS_DistanceBetween
  • JS_Scalar_to_Color
  • JS_RampDriven
  • JS_VectorMath_Scalar
  • JS_VectorMath_Vector
  • JS_VectorState
  • JS_Gamma
  • JS_Contrast 2.0
  • JS_Oneside
  • JS_SurfaceLuminance
  • JS_Switch
  • JS_ColorMath 1.1
  • JS_ScalarMath
  • JS_MultiRamp
  • JS_Normalmapper 1.2.1
  • JS_EdgeDisplacer
  • JS_BiasGain
  • JS_Mosaic
  • JS_Wood 2.0
  • JS_MultiLayers
  • JS_SpaceChange
  • JS_Place3dTexture
  • JS_Expression
  • JS_panoramic
  • JS_fisheye
  • JS_wrapmaterial
  • JS_Glare
  • JS_mix20layers
  • JS_ExposureControl Jan shoots these like a machine gun so watch for new ones periodically!

Ledin Pavel's custom mentalray shaders

Another large list of custom mentalray shaders including the universal p_MegaTK shader (really mega shader hehe! ) and many many other usefull shaders

  • written by Ledin Pavel aka Puppet Download


An great all-in-one shader that features lambert/orennayar as diffuse, phong/ blinn/ fresnel/ etc as specular and a very fast glossy algo.


Material that blends multiple materials/texture branches just like in photoshop. Another must-have
  • Download
  • explanation of some some blend modes that are available in the mix8Layer Blendmodes
  • written by Francesca Luce @ ctrl.studio


Very very usefull shader that lets you output multiple passes in one shot very easily. With it's lastest verion it also features some Impressive tonemapping algorithms that are a MUST-HAVE for every self-respected lighting guy


Shader that allows you to change the irradiance of materials.


Shader that does directional occlusion and can be used to simulate area light shadows by using only final gather.
  • includes color corrrection nodes to tweak shadows in maya before having to output them as a pass and edit them
  • Download Discussion
  • example animation without raytraced or depth map shadows, pure Final Gather Save As.. and View
  • remark:
    • only the first light you link in the panel is used to define shadow ray direction, others are ignored
    • for contact shadows tweak the blend parameter
  • written by Francesca Luce @ ctrl.studio

ctrl.objectlights [Update]

An great shader that lets you turn objects into lights that cast shadows, emit photons, etc. For maya 7+ it's even better, you can use different CPV sets to control the intensity, shadow, color, etc of the shader.


Lets you make layered multi displacement.


Great shader that lets you use darkTree textures into maya with a very elegant workflow.


A material/texture that lets you assign different shading branches to different ray types (such as FG, Reflect, Refract, etc). Very usefull especially with glossy surfaces, as you can make the FG rays see the material as not glossy but the eye rays see it as glossy.


Use bumpCombiner to add bump to all those shaders without an explicit bump slot (like the DGS, Dielectric and so on).. and probably maintain a better workflow design by avoiding the 'famigerates' mib_bump_shaders and use instead the maya standard bump nodes and maya standard texture coordinates.
  • Download: Linux Windows
  • written by Francesca Luce @ ctrl.studio


An must-have color utilities pack.

ctrl.timestamp [NEW]

Utility that lets you add the rendertime, frame, framebuffer and custom text to your rendered images directly from maya without messing with Photoshop or other 2d apps... Very nice for testings


An fur shader as an alternative to the builtin maya one.


An gooch cartoonish shader.


T2S? _Illumination 1.1 [NEW]

An great all-in-one shader that lets you simulate pretty much every material. Worth a try for sure

l_glass 2b

An great glass shader that's actually an modifyed dielectric to allow you a hell lot more control, including an dispersion effect, glossy reflections and refractions and the fresnel effect.


A great lens shader that features multiple lens types (such as panoramic, cylindrical, etc), a very fast physical DOF effect and much more infact


Shader that allows you to do geo boolean operations at rendertime. Very Neat.


Shader that does exactly what the name says, It does dof based on zDepth


Nice soft, velvet shader

madPhysical Sky [NEW]

This is a mental ray shader based on the paper A Practical Analytic Model for Daylight presented at Siggraph 199
  • Download
  • Discussion
  • available as: [Source Code], Windows Version
  • written by Mad Crew, Fredrik Brännbacka Technical Director Mad Crew Stockholm, Sweden
  • added November 3 2006

EI03 shader

A rough metal shader

Hapke-Lommel-Seeliger Lunar Surface shader

Use for rough surface shading
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