Download set V-Ray files
Please don’t translate or copy these tutorials elsewhere. I don’t like the tutorials to float around in 10 different versions and places on the net. Feel free to link to this page of course!
FREE Vray Tutorial – What is Vray?
Please don’t translate or copy these tutorials elsewhere. I don’t like the tutorials to float around in 10 different versions and places on the net. Feel free to link to this page of course! First learn 3D Studio Max, then start with Vray. It is an extension to 3DS Max, not a replacement!
For example things like the material editor, creating and manipulating objects, modifiers etc should all be familiar before trying to learn Vray. What is Vray? As you probably already know, Vray is a render plugin. It’s a plugin, which means that it adds functionality to an existing program.
Vray’s features mainly aim at creating photorealistic images, together with improving rendering speed. Please check out the Chaosgroup website for information on compatibility and pricing.
This tutorial is made with Vray for 3dsMax, but the plugins for the other packages are generally very similar. Most of Vray’s features can be found in the render setup dialog F10 , but many other additions are distributed across the complete program.
For example Vray adds its own materials and textures, light types, a fur generator, a toon style effect, displacement modifier, frame buffer, effects, etc Vray is created by Chaosgroup, a European company based in Bulgaria.
Click here to visit their website. Vray 3. Take a look at the image below to see the difference between anti-aliasing and no anti aliasing. It deals with smoothing out object edges, texture details, blurry reflections, area shadows etc Because it affects so many aspects in your image, it is very important to understand how to control it.
Changing anti aliasing settings has a huge effect on render times, it can bring a render from 5 seconds to a few hours by altering a setting from 0. In Vray you can control the quality of the image with only a few settings, which makes this perfect for switching from a quick preview render to a high quality final image. You just have to learn and understand the effect and importance of each setting, so you know what to expect by changing a parameter.
Here’s a tutorial on optimizing render speed vs. The most important one is the Standard V-ray material, this will be the base for most of the materials you will create. There’s also a blend material, which can be used to blend several other materials together to create more complex, layered materials.
The normal Vray material is the one you will be using most. With only this type you can create anything like glass, plastics, metals, wood, and so on. Below are a few examples of simple materials you can create by altering just a few parameters in the standard V-ray material.
First some plastic and metal materials: But also glass or transparant plastics are super easy to create and render: You can create every material you can imagine with these types or a combination of these types or in combination with Max’s texture maps. Here’s an example of the VrayLight material in action. You can assign it to any object to turn it into a light source. There’s even an option to make it a real direct light source so it casts sharp raytraced shadows.
Another example, this time the VrayCarpaint material. It adds a subtle ‘flake’ effect to the base layer of the material, simulating the look of metallic paint. But it’s also a layered material, so you can change the diffuse and reflection parameters for the base and the ‘coat’ layer individually.
For example, note the subtle glow around the sharp reflections of the coat layer. You can use any kind of map for the displacement, and vray will ‘displace’ your mesh according to the grayscale info in the map. For example black pixels will not be displaced, white pixels will have the highest displacement. This is similar to bump maps, but with displacement the actual mesh is displaced, so even at the edges of your object you can see the ‘bumps’. You can even use displacement to turn a flat plane into a rough mountain landscape!
The image below shows the difference between a simple bump map and Vray’s displacement modifier. Both use the exact same texture map. The fur is not heavy on the viewport as it is generated at render time. Fur can be used for thins like hair, grass, cool looking trees, rugs or even a cactus. The latest Vray version has lots of options to create quite realistic fur, and with todays computers it’s not impossible to achieve decent render times too.
Here’s a quick example, adding some hair to our fish model: Global illumination is the simulation of how light behaves in the real world. When light hits objects, it gets partially absorbed, and partially bounced off again.
Without GI, this behavior is not calculated. When you add a light source, it casts light onto the other objects and that’s it, everything that is not directly lit by the lightsource will be black.
Now with GI turned on, light gets reflected from the groundplane and the fish model, and everyhting not lit directly by the light brightens up. In Vray 3. Calculating global illumination is heavy on the CPU, but Vray has loads of clever optimizations built in to speed things up. You have full control over the speed vs quality. And a tutorial on the Irradiance Map here. As you can see in the image below, these lights act like big light panels, as you would see in photo studio’s. The larger the light, the softer the shadows will be or vice versa.
When used with the special HDRI texture maps, you can light your entire scene with only one light, and get very natural lighting and reflections out of it.
The image below is lit with only one light, casting very nice shadows and lighting the model from different directions. With this you can easily setup a sunlight with a corresponding sky texture. The sky texture automatically adjusts its colors to the chosen position of the sun. This is very usefull for architects to make sunlight studies on their buildings.
This will add a lot of features to control every aspect you can control on real cameras like shutter speed, aperture, depth of field, motion blur, lens distortion, vignetting, color balance, iso, and so on Below is an example of depth of field: And of course like everything else, you have full control over every property that defines the DOF.
Another feature related to the camera is motion blur. Vray can calculate raytraced motion blur, resulting in very realistic blur much better than with any post method. For example, the green fish in the image below is moving quite fast from left to right, while the red fish is spinning.
This effect is added in post through the Vray Frame Buffer, and can be adjusted to your needs after the render has completed. This is especially usefull when you have bright light sources or very bright reflections in your scene. The image below show the effect, exaggerated a little bit to make it more visible. Also note how this effect solves anti aliasing issues that will always be present in situations like this! You can assign a viewport to Vray RT, and it will constantly show it in rendered mode.
Change any setting like a material or light source, and the render will update immediately. This is very useful for placing lights, so you can see the effect of it on the fly, without having to wait long for a new test render.
It also uses your GPU to render the image, so with the right gear this can really speed up render times!
Here are some free alternatives for those looking to try something new. V-Ray has been lining the bed of the visualization and rendering industry since the early days of computer generated graphics. However, for many casual renderers or those looking to dip their toes in the proverbial water, dropping the cost and time commitment required to best utilize V-Ray is a daunting uphill climb that typically results in regret and disappointment. It has a dedicated user-base who heavily influence the development, giving it a unique mix of usability, performance, and value. Blender presents a user-interface unlike any other on the market, and might take a few pointed tutorials to become familiar with it.
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