In this tutorial, we will learn how mental ray's tools and core features work, as well as exploring solutions for simulating lighting that's physically accurate, and time-saving techniques to overcoming common challenges that artists of any skill level often encounter. We'll begin our tutorial by learning how to use global illumination, final gather, and the new Irradiance Particles as well as importons so that you can easily simulate the effects of indirect lighting and quickly render highly realistic scenes. We'll also spend some time going over how you can dramatically increase your rendering speed by saving and re-using indirect illumination data, giving you more time to focus on the creative aspect of the image. We'll also explore how you can use caustics to simulate the light patterns that are created when light passes through refractive surfaces. Then, we'll then take time to explore several specialized mental ray shaders like the architectural materials, subsurface scattering, and ambient occlusion shaders, as well as learn how we can use Render Passes and Render Channels to split our renders into multiple passes for compositing purposes. Software required: Softimage 7.5 or higher.