Mental Images

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Mental Images GmbH
Industry CGI, Computer software
Founded April 1986, Berlin
Headquarters HQ in Berlin, Germany
Key people
Rolf Herken, President,
Products Mental Ray, RealityServer, mental mill, MetaSL, mental mesh, iray, DiCE
Number of employees
Parent Nvidia

Mental Images GmbH (stylized as mental images) was a German computer generated imagery (CGI) software firm based in Berlin, Germany, and was acquired by NVIDIA in 2007, then rebranded as NVIDIA Advanced Rendering Center (ARC), and is still providing similar products and technology. The company provides rendering and 3D modeling technology for entertainment, computer-aided design, scientific visualization and architecture.

The company was founded by the physicists and computer scientists Rolf Herken, Hans-Christian Hege, Robert Hödicke and Wolfgang Krüger and the economists Günter Ansorge, Frank Schnöckel and Hans Peter Plettner as a company with limited liability & private limited partnership (GmbH & Co. KG) in April 1986 in Berlin, Germany. The Mental Ray software project started in 1986. The first versions of the rendering software were influenced, tested and used for production by Mental Images' then operating large commercial computer animation division, led by the visual effects supervisors John Andrew Berton (1986-1989), 2000 Academy Award winner John Nelson (1987-1989), and 1996 and 2000 Academy Award nominee Stefen Fangmeier (1988-1990).

In 2003 Mental Images completed an investment round led by ViewPoint Ventures and another large international private equity investor. Since Dec 2007 Mental Images GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of the NVIDIA corporation[1] with headquarters in Berlin, subsidiaries in San Francisco (Mental Images Inc.) and Melbourne (Mental Images Pty. Ltd.) as well as an office in Stockholm. After acquisition by NVIDIA the company has been renamed NVIDIA Advanced Rendering Center (NVIDIA ARC GmbH).


Mental Images is the developer of the rendering software Mental Ray, iray,[2] mental mill, RealityServer, and DiCE.


  1. ^ mental images
  2. ^ Keller, Alexander; Wächter, Carsten; Raab, Matthias; Seibert, Daniel; Dietger van Antwerpen; Korndörfer, Johann; Kettner, Lutz (2017). "The Iray Light Transport Simulation and Rendering System". arXiv:1705.01263Freely accessible [cs.GR]. 

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