Search form

Chaos Group Releases V-Ray 3.5 for Maya

Fast adaptive lights and major GPU rendering improvements now available in latest update of Academy Award-winning renderer recently used on ‘The Fate of the Furious,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ and ‘Stranger Things.’

LOS ANGELES -- Chaos Group has released V-Ray 3.5 for Maya, a major update to its Academy Award-winning CPU and GPU production renderer. Used on recent television and film projects including The Fate of the Furious, Beauty and the Beast, and Stranger Things, this update brings faster rendering, more responsive look development and added realism to high-end VFX and animation projects.

“We are constantly working with studios to address their daily production challenges, as well as researching and developing new ideas,” said Vlado Koylazov, Co-founder and CTO at Chaos Group. “V-Ray 3.5 is the result of our continued efforts to help artists and to advance rendering technology at the same time.”

New additions include faster rendering with Adaptive Lights, Interactive look development in V-Ray IPR, and Improved shading and reflections.

Faster rendering with Adaptive Lights

V-Ray 3.5 introduces Adaptive Lights, a fast new lighting algorithm that speeds up rendering in scenes with many lights. With Adaptive Lights, V-Ray determines which light sources are most important, so ray tracing calculations are focused and more precise. When tested on multiple CPU and GPU scenes, render times were typically two to seven times faster.

“At Digital Domain, we used Adaptive Lights extensively on The Fate of the Furious. It allowed us to render highly complex environments with thousands of lights in a fraction of the time compared to what other renderers could offer. We saw 4X speedups per frame, which significantly helped our render throughput on the show,” said Carlos Cidrais, Lighting Lead at Digital Domain. “Chaos Group was extremely supportive, responding to our requests and fixing bugs in just a few days. V-Ray 3.5 for Maya has broadened the horizons of what we can deliver to our clients.”

Interactive look development in V-Ray IPR

Look development is quicker and more responsive in V-Ray 3.5 for Maya. The improved V-Ray IPR starts instantly, updates faster and uses less memory. Changes to materials in the Hypershade Material Viewer now update instantly as well.

New V-Ray Frame Buffer tools make rendering with V-Ray IPR even faster. The Render Mask: Isolate select mode focuses rendering on a specific object without rendering the entire scene, and a new Set Focus Point option allows the camera’s focal point to be set interactively, simply by clicking on an object.

Improved shading and reflections

For more accurate reflections and realistic skin, V-Ray 3.5 for Maya adds support for the alSurface material. Developed by Anders Langlands, the alSurface shader includes layered subsurface scattering and glossy Fresnel reflections. This makes it a popular choice for rendering photorealistic skin.

“Our specialty is our ability to bring creatures to life. With V-Ray’s help, we’ve been able to design and render creatures like the Demogorgon for the Netflix series, Stranger Things,” said Aaron Sims, owner of Aaron Sims Creative. “The new alSurface shader and interactive look development tools are a perfect fit for creature work. We’re looking forward to using them on our next production.”

Additional features and improvements include Maya 2017 support, resumable rendering, and a host of GPU rendering improvements.

Maya 2017 support

  • Support for XGen Interactive Groomable Splines
  • Support for AOV setups in new Render Setup templates

Resumable rendering

  • Stop your render at any point and continue where you left off

GPU rendering improvements

  • On-demand Mip-mapping – Fit larger, more detailed scenes into memory with automatic texture sizing and loading
  • Matte Shadow catcher – Composite 3D scenes with realistic shadows onto background images
  • Improved glossy materials – Cleaner renders of glossy materials
  • Low thread priority – Continue working while rendering, now possible on a single GPU
  • Directional lights – Add realistic area lights with directional controls
  • Stochastic Flakes – Create car paints, snow and sand with procedural glitter and sparkle effects
  • Clipper – Create cross sections using a clipping plane
  • Aerial Perspective – Add atmospheric depth and haze
  • Cached irradiance maps – Pre-calculate global illumination using CPU and render with GPU
  • Lens distortion – Add realistic barrel or pincushion lens distortion
  • Interactive lens effects – GPU-accelerated bloom and glare effects

V-Ray 3.5 for Maya is a free update for all V-Ray 3.x customers. Login at to download. This version also marks the debut of online licensing for V-Ray for Maya users, who can now choose this option instead of the traditional dongle. A full-featured 30-day trial is also available.

Source: Chaos Group

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.