Chaos Group recently released V-Ray 5 for Maya, and this time I am taking a look at some of the new features in the latest version of this amazing renderer. V-Ray positioned itself very quickly as the lead renderer for architectural visualization, and it’s available on various applications including 3D Studio Max, Rhino, Cinema 4D, Revit, Modo, and Maya, which is the one we are discussing. V-Ray has evolved a lot and this current version has some really interesting features that can be used to greatly increase the quality of your renders.
I think the feature that most drew my attention is the Light Mix because it becomes a really huge time-saver and it’s amazing. Imagine being able to modify any light of your render, directly on the finished image after you finish rendering. That’s what Light Mix does. Basically, what you do is add a Light Mix to your scene and then you render your image. When your render is done, you can go to your Layers tab in your V-Ray Frame Buffer and, in the LightMix section, you can modify the color and intensity of every light (and even disable lights completely) and see those changes on the rendered image right away without having to wait for it to re-render. Normally, you’d need to close the render window, modify the lights directly in Maya, render again and wait for the result, so you can see how this feature can save you a lot of time.
Overall, the V-Ray Frame Buffer lets you do a lot of things to your images after they are rendered. For example, you can color correct them perform tone mapping, and add post-process effects. This saves you the time of sending the image into your image-editing application for further color correction.
V-Ray has let you use a V-Ray viewport to have a real-time view of your scene that updates constantly as you work. Having tried this one in the past I see this iteration of the viewport works faster and offers better quality (although I experienced that it took a little bit to actually switch to this view mode). My computer is a 6-year old computer with a GTX 970, so it’s definitely not a top-of-the-line system. Even on my dated system, the V-Ray viewport works very smoothly.
The software also features a variety of materials to recreate the look you want. You also have a lot of material presets to choose from, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time tweaking and creating the material you need. These materials include standard metals, and also more special things like car paint and hair. The image below shows a sphere with a V-Ray gold material, and XGen hair with a V-Ray material added on top.
Another thing you can do is tweak the camera attributes. V-Ray uses Maya’s cameras, but you can enable extra attributes to control things like the ISO, f-stop, etc. Those who are into photography and know about these things will surely appreciate this. Personally, I am not a camera guy so all the knowledge I have about those features is limited to what I read on the internet.
V-Ray offers a lot more interesting and advanced features that I have not covered here. If you are a Maya user and you are interested in high quality photorealistic rendering, you should definitely check it out.
Learn more about V-Ray 5 for Maya: https://www.chaosgroup.com/vray/maya