The mental ray series of handbooks is conceived to provide concise and up to date general and technical information about the commercially available rendering software mental ray. The series addresses the needs of professional and non-professional users of the software as well as of software developers who intend to integrate the stand-alone version of mental ray or the mental ray component software into applications that require interactive photorealistic and high image quality programmable rendering. In addition, the series provides comprehensive information to students and researchers in computer graphics. mental ray is a valuable tool for teaching and demonstrating the fundamental concepts of photorealistic and programmable rendering as well as a benchmark and catalyst for further research. The rendering software mental ray and many of its unique underlying concepts are the result of ongoing research and development at the company mental images since its incorporation in 1986. Leading vendors of 3D digital content creation and 3D CAD and product design software have made mental ray their rendering software of choice for all purposes of high end visualization and image synthesis ranging from digital special effects and 3D animation for motion picture, video ?lm, and games production to 3D mechanical and architectural CAD and to industrial product design and automotive styling.