Chaos Group has released V-Ray 5 for Maya, an important new version of their Oscar-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 much more.
V-Ray for 3dsMax was released a few weeks ago. Both versions of V-Ray not only produce impressive images, but can also take full advantage of the hardware with production rendering that can be scaled to multiple CPUs, GPUs, or both. A single image can even be rendered on multiple computers with distributed rendering.
"V-Ray is absolutely solid no matter what you apply it to," said Bob White, head of lighting at Digital Domain. “We have used it for everything from Thanos to Terminator and we get a consistent output every time. As we continue to push the boundaries of CG characters, we need tools that can keep up. V-Ray was there for us at every step. "
Beyond rendering: light mix and layer composite
The newly designed V-Ray Frame Buffer (VFB) now houses two of the most anticipated features of V-Ray 5, Light Mix and Layer Compositor.
With Light Mix, you can change the color and intensity of your lights after you have rendered your scene. With the VFB Light Mix, artists can vary lighting scenarios from a single render. Color and light intensity can now be adjusted immediately without having to be rendered again. Once everything is balanced, an artist can save their "mix" and send the layers to the compositing and update the lights in the scenes.
With the new Layer Compositor, artists can put their renderings together directly in the new VFB. Users can now combine and rate render passes, set blending modes, and adjust colors for a more detailed preview before sending the layers to compositors like Foundry's NUKE.
This is possible because V-Ray's ray tracing function tracks the contribution of every light to a rendered scene: diffuse, specular, reflective, refractive and globally illuminated. Because ray tracing works with the additive nature of light, an artist can adjust the color and intensity of light even after it has been rendered. As Chris Nichols emphasized in his contribution, V-Ray has been able to mix lights since the introduction of the Light Select Render Element. "However, this previously required manual setup for each light (or group of lights) and a trip to a compositing application to make the adjustments."
Light path expressions
Light Path Expressions allows artists to create their own render passes, giving them better control over compositing. Certain lighting contributions can now be combined with time-saving presets, custom expressions, or even Boolean operations to prepare a passport for composition.
With the help of lighting behavior and not just geometry, light path expressions can be used to create flexible masks for very efficient compositing. Integrated presets make it easier to get started, and scripting is also available for detailed control.
V-Ray 5 also introduces a new VRayProxy node that is quick and easy to use. When proxies are loaded in the background, artists can start working immediately and select, hide, or assign materials for different objects in the proxies using a new hierarchy view. Rules can also be created to make it easier to change multiple objects at the same time.
New features in V-Ray 5 include:
Native ACEScg support – Artists can now create color-accurate workflows in the new standard for professional production. After selection, V-Ray automatically adjusts the color space for textures, scatter, sun and sky and light temperature and gives an image an immediate consistency.
layer – The updated V-Ray material can now create reflective coatings on surfaces without using mixed materials.
Gloss layer – Easily simulate soft microfiber fabrics like velvet, satin and silk in the updated V-Ray material.
V-Ray GPU updates – The V-Ray GPU supports all new functions in V-Ray 5 as well as 2D shift, OSL textures and memory tracking. Initial support for out-of-core geometry has also been added to make it easier for users to render scenes when they are too large for a GPU's RAM.
Material presets – Save time producing common materials with new presets for metals, plastics, glass and more. Presets for common hair colors like blonde, brown and black have also been added.
Texture randomization – For more realistic textures and materials, artists can now add more variety and subtle imperfections with the new VRayUVWRandomizer card and improved VRayMultiSubTex controls.
Stochastic texture tiles – Remove tile artifacts automatically with the new VRayUVWRandomizer.
Dirt and weathering – With the improved V-Ray Dirt texture, users can add cracks and crevices to dirt, create process strips or cover an entire surface.
New sun and sky model – Improves accuracy when the sun is on the horizon, including the magic hours just before sunrise and after sunset.
Blue noise sampling – With the new algorithm update, images (and noise) can look cleaner with fewer samples.
Cinematic tone mapping – HDR images can now mimic the properties of films to give them a cinematic look.
Corona Renderer (Release Candidate 2) was released as Corona Renderer 6 for Maxon Cinema 4D. Although it has not yet been officially released, it is nearing the final version. It will contain:
- The new sky model
- New lens effects
- The Corona Distance Shader for a variety of effects
- Tools to avoid texture repetitions with updates to the UvwRandomizer
- The New Adaptive Environment Sampler, Corona Node Editor improvements and much more
The Lavina project is now in beta
The Lavina project promises to give artists the opportunity to explore their 3D scenes in real time in a 100% raytraced environment. The idea is to be able to tag your V-Ray scene and put it in Lavina and start viewing. There is no geometry to optimize, UVs to unpack, or lighting to bake. The Lavina project uses physical lighting, materials and global lighting. It now also has a new animation editor where artists can create, edit, and render animated sequences in Lavina and transfer camera changes back to 3ds Max.