Mental Ray: Infinite White Background Lighting

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Neal Burger

· 1 min read

We will be taking a look at how you can light your scene using the “infinite white background” look. This look is commonly used to present technical stuff or single objects. In my example, I am going to use a model of a dragon statue. First, we will be taking a look at how to achieve the effect using only Final Gathering and after that, we will take a look at using ambient occlusion as a light source.

Scene Setup

Step 1

Create a Poly Plane with a white lambert and import your object.

Step 2

Create a Camera. Set the Environment> Background Color to White Camera Background Color Settings Camera Background Color Settings

Step 2

For the Final Gather technique, we will not use any lights. The default light would only cause unwanted side effects. To disable the “default light”, open the Render Settings in the “Common” tab open the panel “Render Options” and remove the check at “Enable Default light”. Disabled Default Light

Final Gather


The Final Gather Effect will use the environment color of the camera to light the scene. You only need to activate Final Gather and you will see the result.


InfiniteWhiteBackgroundFG Final Gather Render, Render time 2:34min

Ambient Occlusion Light Source

Step 1

Create an Area Light. In the Attribute Editor under mental ray > Area light, activate Use Light Shape.

Step 2

Connect to the Attribute “Custom Shaders > “Light Shader” a “mib_amb_occlusion” node.

Step 3 (optional)

To increase the render quality you can adjust the attributes ”Samples” and ”Max Distance“.


Ambient Occlusion Render, 4:35min Ambient Occlusion Render, 4:35min

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About Neal Burger

Neal Burger is a successful entrepreuner. He is the founder of Acme Inc, a bootstrapped business that builds affordable SaaS tools for local news, indie publishers, and other small businesses.