Chaos Group has released V-Ray 5 for Maya, a major new version of its Academy-Award winning production renderer. For more than a decade V-Ray has been used by the world’s leading studios to render over 300 television series and feature films, including Terminator: Dark Fate, Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones. To meet the growing demands of high-end production, V-Ray 5 for Maya builds on its extensive rendering toolset with integrated compositing, interactive light mixing, powerful scene management, and more.
V-Ray for 3dsMax was previously released a few weeks ago. Both versions of V-Ray not only produce stunning images but they can take full advantage of the hardware with production rendering that scales on multiple CPUs, GPUs, or both. A single image can even be rendered across multiple machines with distributed rendering.
“V-Ray is rock solid, no matter what you apply it to,” said Bob White, lighting department supervisor at Digital Domain. “We’ve used it on everything from Thanos to Terminator and we get a consistent output back every time. As we continue to push the boundaries of CG characters, we need tools that can keep up. V-Ray has been there for us every step of the way.”
Beyond Rendering: Light Mix and Layer Composite
The redesigned V-Ray Frame Buffer (VFB) now plays host to two of V-Ray 5’s most anticipated features, Light Mix and Layer Compositor.
Light Mix lets you change the color and intensity of your lights after you’ve rendered your scene. Using the VFB, Light Mix, allows artists to vary lighting scenarios from a single render. Color and light intensity can now be adjusted instantly without ever having to re-render. Once everything is balanced, an artist can save their ‘mix’ and send the layers to compositing and update the lights in the scenes.
The new Layer Compositor allows artists to composite their renders directly in the new VFB. Users can now combine and grade render passes, set blending modes, and adjust colors for more in-depth previews before sending the layers on to compositors such as Foundry’s NUKE.
This is possible as V-Ray’s ray tracing tracks the contribution each light has on a rendered scene: diffuse, specular, reflection, refraction, and global illumination. As ray tracing works with the additive nature of light, an artist can adjust the color and intensity of lights, even after they’ve been rendered. As Chris Nichols points out in his post, technically, V-Ray has had the ability to mix lights ever since the Light Select Render Element was introduced. “But this previously required manual setup for each light (or group of lights), plus a trip to a compositing application to make the adjustments”.
Light Path Expressions
With the addition of Light Path Expressions, artists can construct their own render passes, providing better control while compositing. Specific lighting contributions can now be outputted with time-saving presets, custom expressions or even combined with boolean operations to get a pass ready for comp.
Using the behavior of light, rather than just geometry, Light Path Expressions can be used to produce flexible masks for very efficient compositing. Built-in presets make getting started easy, while scripting is also available for detailed control.
V-Ray 5 also introduces a new VRayProxy node that is fast and easy to use. With proxies loading in the background, artists can now start working right away, using a new hierarchy view to select, hide or assign materials to different objects inside the proxies. Rules can also be created, making it easier to modify multiple objects at once.
New Features in V-Ray 5 Include:
Native ACEScg Support – Artists can now create color-accurate workflows in the new standard for professional production. Once selected, V-Ray makes automatic colorspace adjustments for textures, dispersion, sun & sky and light temperature, bringing immediate consistency to a shot.
Coat Layer – The updated V-Ray Material can now generate reflective coatings on surfaces without the use of blend materials.
Sheen Layer – Easily simulate soft, microfiber fabrics like velvet, satin and silk inside the updated V-Ray Material.
V-Ray GPU Updates – V-Ray GPU supports every new feature in V-Ray 5, as well as 2D displacement, OSL textures and memory tracking. Initial support for out-of-core geometry has also been added to help users render scenes when they are too big for a GPU’s RAM.
Material Presets – Save time making common materials with new presets for metals, plastics, glass and more. Presets for common hair colors like blonde, brown and black have been added as well.
Stochastic Texture Tiling – Automatically remove tiling artifacts with the new VRayUVWRandomizer.
Dirt and Weathering – With the improved V-Ray Dirt texture, users can add dirt to cracks and crevices, create procedural streaks or cover an entire surface.
Blue Noise Sampling – New algorithm update can make images (and noise) look cleaner through fewer samples.
Filmic Tonemapping – HDR images can now mimic the properties of film to give images a cinematic look.
Corona Renderer (Release Candidate 2), has been released Corona Renderer 6 for Maxon Cinema 4D. While not yet formally released it is getting close to the final version. It will include:
- The New Sky Model
- New Lens Effects
- The Corona Distance Shader for a wide range of effects
- Tools to avoid texture repetitions with updates to the UvwRandomizer
- The New Adaptive Environment Sampler, improvements to the Corona Node Editor, and more
Project Lavina is also now in Beta
Project Lavina promises to offer artists a chance to explore their 3D scenes in real-time, in a 100% raytraced environment. The idea is to have the ability to tag and drop your V-Ray scene into Lavina and start viewing. There’s no geometry to optimize, UVs to unwrap, or lighting to bake. Project Lavina uses physically-based lighting, materials, and global illumination. It also now has a new Animation editor where artists can create, edit, and render animated sequences inside Lavina, and transfer back camera changes back to 3ds Max.