V-Ray 3.0, the versatile lighting, shading, and rendering toolkit for 3ds Max from Chaos Group, delivers a powerful new feature set as well as being production-ready for teams of any size.
Chaos Group’s launch of V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max continues the company’s goals of making speed and simplicity accessible to all artists. With significant optimizations to the ray tracing core, Brute Force GI, Progressive Path Tracing, Reflections, Refractions and more are running up to 5x faster; while the new Progressive Production Renderer brings a new era of fast set-ups and quick iterations.
“When your customers come from a variety of industries like architecture, product design, games, and VFX, the feature requests can be fairly diverse,” said Vlado Koylazov, Lead Developer and Chaos Group co-founder. “But speed and simplicity benefit all artists, so they are at the core of 3.0’s development.”
Simplicity starts with V-Ray 3.0’s new interface. Designed with new and experienced users in mind, three UI modes (Basic, Advanced, and Expert) can be selected to match an artist's preference. The new V-Ray toolbar includes Quick Settings with dropdowns for production-ready presets for common uses like Archviz Exterior, Archviz Interior, and VFX. Settings for Quality and Shading Rate can be fine-tuned with easy-to-use sliders, making the entire process highly intuitive.
According to beta testers, the speed at which V-Ray 3.0 can produce high-res stills and animations is generating a buzz in the design community. “V-Ray 3.0’s new Progressive Renderer was the talk of our recent 3ds Max London User Group,” said David Bullock, Partner at creative agency Hayes Davidson. “Iterating in real-time should really help speed up our workflow, and we’re definitely looking forward to putting it into production.”
VFX artists will find that V-Ray 3.0 offers improved Subsurface Scattering (SSS) including options for object-based and ray traced illumination, faster hair rendering speeds (up to 15x), view-dependent tessellation that automatically smoothes hair curves, and a dedicated Skin Shader with layered reflections. Now with UDIM and UVTILE support, it’s even easier to move MARI and Autodesk Mudbox assets into V-Ray.
“Our game cinematics are usually packed with epic action scenes, huge environments, multiple characters with hair and SSS, fire, explosions, debris, all with 3D motion blur and render passes. That’s a lot to work with, but V-Ray makes it easy to get the job done,” said Kevin Margo, VFX Supervisor at Blur Studios. “3.0 is something to be excited about.”
As an industry standard for large environments and complex scenes, V-Ray’s recent use on Industrial Light & Magic’s (ILM) Star Trek Into Darkness, Pacific Rim and The Lone Ranger has proven why it’s become such a dependable part of the pipeline for the digital environments and matte painting team. "When we started The Lone Ranger, we changed some of the toolsets under the hood; we went strictly over to 3ds Max, using V-Ray as our renderer. That was the final piece of the puzzle. We were getting not only great render results, but great render throughput; it could handle everything we were throwing at it,” said Dan Wheaton, Digital Matte Supervisor at ILM.
V-Ray 3.0 offers a number of additional workflow shortcuts, technical advances and support for open sources technologies. These include:
- Render Mask – Users can define render regions using an object selection or image mask
- Reflection/ Refraction Trace Sets – Provides more direct control in choosing whether reflections and refractions are visible in objects
- Max Ray Intensity – Will easily fix artifacts from over-bright sources
- Probabilistic Lights – Increases the speed of scenes with a high number of lights
- V-Ray RT GPU – Improved with support for Render Elements
- V-Ray Frame Buffer – Improved with added color correction controls
- Open Source Technologies
o Alembic integration with support for hair and particles
o Deep Data output support including OpenEXR 2.0
o Ptex object-space vector displacement support
o Open Shading Language (OSL) support for programmable shaders
o OpenColorIO support for advanced color management
Source: Chaos Group
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.