'Writing mental ray Shaders: a Perceptual Introduction' describes the creation and use of the software modules known as shaders in the mental ray rendering system. In mental ray, shaders can customize the entire rendering pipeline, from the simulated camera lens to object geometry and appearance and to the output of the final image. Intended both for experienced programmers new to mental ray and for artists learning how to program, this book presents the various shader types in an intuitive order based on a model of visual perception. With over one hundred example shaders and their associated scene files and explanatory diagrams, both beginning and advanced shader programmers will find the books catalog of techniques useful in customizing mental ray. Serving as a tutorial guide to the first two volumes in the 'mental ray Handbooks' series, the present book provides further information on any topic it discusses by detailed references to those previous books.