We take a look at Chaos Group’s update for V-Ray with new features including hybrid rendering capabilities.
Today’s computer graphics industry consists of a lot of different ﬁelds; you have the gaming industry, visual effects, ﬁlms, game cinematics, architectural visualization and many more. Nearly all of them require some kind of rendering engine to output the ﬁnal result of many hardworking artists and enable them to present their masterpiece to audiences around the world. Bulgarian developer Chaos Group created a tool that helps many artists, architects and engineers show their creative side to the public. In this review, we are going to take a good look at one of its ﬂagship products – V-Ray 3.6 for Maya.
V-Ray is one of the most popular render engines of today. Created by Chaos Group in the early 2000s, it has a strong presence in the rendering scene of the computer graphics industry. The latest stable release of V-Ray for Maya is version 3.6, which adds many great things to the already impressive set of features.
Hybrid rendering in V-Ray is one of the features that was really new in the rendering ﬁeld. It enables users to render their scenes using CPU and GPU at the same time, saving even more render time. According to Chaos Group, the addition of CPU to the already fast renders with GPU improves rendering times by around 13-25%. It is a welcome speed boost. Users can now ﬁnally utilise all of their available processing power and get faster render times. The fallback of this technique in case a scene won’t ﬁt into your GPU RAM limits, is that you can still render on CPU.
Another new addition in V-Ray 3.6 for Maya is the full Light Select render element. This feature is really useful in the post-production and compositing stages. It enables users to disassemble their render into the lighting contribution from one or more user-selected lights in the scene. Each Light Select channel can output the selected lights’ raw, diffuse, or specular contributions to the illumination, or the overall light contribution. This way artists can control illumination of each Light Select channel in post-production and achieve much better control of the scene’s lighting.
Cryptomatte is also a welcome addition to V-Ray 3.6 for Maya. It is considered to be one of the best and easiest methods for creating ID passes and mattes. It is an automatic method, and is easy to set up, supporting matte creation even when artists use depth of ﬁeld, motion blur and transparency. After the rendering is ﬁnished, artists can create nearly one-click mattes inside Nuke or Fusion.
Nvidia NVLink support is also added to V-Ray 3.6 for Maya. Users can now use a shared memory pool between multiple GPUs that support NVLink. This method makes it possible for users to render scenes that were previously unable to ﬁt into the memory of the single GPU. By sharing memory pool between multiple GPUs, users can render bigger scenes that require more GPU memory.
There is support for Nvidia MDL materials straight out of the box, so users can now load Nvidia’s Material Deﬁnition Language ﬁles and render them directly with V-Ray. Also, there are a couple of Maya Viewport 2.0 improvements that add support for environment maps for the reﬂection of V-Ray materials, V-RaySky and displacement preview.
After long hours of testing and having fun with this latest version of V-Ray for Maya, we can conclude that Chaos Group has added a nice set of features to the already great render engine.