Base Shaders

The mental ray Base Shader Library is a set of simple shaders designed to form the standard building blocks of Phenomenon™ scene elements. They perform functions useful in many different contexts, and are not tied to specific types of shaders. A base shader is not inherently a material or light shader but can be used to build a Phenomenon used in place of a material or light shader. This means that base shaders must be as generic as possible. They avoid interdependencies that would limit their applicability.

The shaders are designed to form groups, such as the group of geometry base shaders or BRDF functions. Members of a group have similar parameters to make it easy to replace one base shader with another one of the same group. The replacement may have shader-specific extra parameters, but those it shares with other similar base shaders of the same group have the same names and types and the same layout. In general, common parameters come first.

Before any shader in the base shader library can be used, it must be loaded into the mental ray rendering software. A .mi scene file may use the statements

        link ""
        $include <base.mi>

All shader names begin with "mib", for "mental images base". Their declarations are given in mi format of mental ray. Here is a summary:

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