VRay Tutorials – Level Up!mdunnam

VRay Tutorials – Level Up!

Welcome to my NEW and long awaited tutorial section. First I am going to start with some VRay Tutorials. These are absolutely free! Just like my brushes, these took quite some time to develop. So if you find them useful, please donate. I would greatly appreciate it. I will be adding these as I complete them.

  • Render Settings Explained (NEW!)
  • Materials Explained (Coming Soon!)
  • HDRI – How to Set it up (Coming Soon!)
  • Night vs. Daytime (Coming Soon!)
  • Believable Glass (Coming Soon!)
  • Fast but Pretty! (Coming Soon!)
  • How to use the lightMTL (Coming Soon!)
  • Render Passes Explained (Coming Soon!)
  • Camera Effects Explained (Coming Soon!)
  • Post Effects (Coming Soon!)
  • Helpful Hints (Things you may have missed) (Coming Soon!)
  • Linear Workflow (Gamma 2.2) (Coming Soon!)

V-Ray Settings Explained

Here I have mapped out the entire V-Ray settings dialog. Most of this information is in the help files from chaosgroup, although I took that information and added more. So it is all in one convenient place 🙂

The V-Ray Tab
V-Ray Frame Buffer
1. Enable Built-in Frame Buffer

Enables the use of built-in V-Ray frame buffer. Due to technical reasons, the original 3ds Max frame buffer still exists and is being created. However, when this feature is turned on – V-Ray will not render any data to the 3ds Max frame buffer. In order to preserve memory consumption set the original 3ds Max resolution to a very low value (like 100×100) and turn off the 3ds Max Virtual Frame Buffer from the common 3ds Max render settings.

  • Allows you to view all render elements in a single window
  • Keeps the image in full 32-bit floating-point format
  • Allows you to perform simple color corrections on the rendered image
  • Allows you to choose the order in which the buckets are rendered.

 2. Render to memory frame buffer

If you run into memory problems turn this feature off. However you will not see what is being rendered. The memory frame buffer stores color data that you can see while rendering. If you are rendering extreme resolutions it is recommended to turn this feature off and use Render to V-Ray raw image file.

3. Show Last VFB

  • This brings up your last render image if you accidentally closed it.

4. Get resolution from MAX

  • This takes the resolution from the MAX common render settings dialog.’

5. V-Ray raw image file

When this is turned on V-Ray will render a raw image directly to the disk. It will not store any data in the RAM. This is especially handy when rendering large resolutions. If you need to see what is being rendered. Turn on the Generate Preview feature.

6. Split Render Channels

This allows you to save the channels from the VFB into separate files. This is also required to be turned on if you are using render elements.

Global Switches

7. Displacement

enables or disables V-Ray’s own displacement mapping. This has no control over the standard MAX displacement. This must be turned off separately.

8. Force Back Face Culling

enables or disables (default) back face culling for camera and shadow rays. Don’t use this unless you have to! It greatly increases render time.

9. Lights

enables or disables lights globally. You can turn off default lights here as well. Turning of default lights is recommended unless they are needed. However they will interfere with your scene lights.

10. Hidden Lights

Render all lights including hidden lights in the scene. If your scene is heavy with lights and it is slowing your viewport down, hide them and turn this feature on.

11. Shadows

enables or disables shadows globally.

12. Show GI Only

when this option is on, direct lighting will not be included in the final rendering. Note that lights will still be considered for GI calculations, however in the end only the indirect lighting will be shown.

13. Reflection/refraction

enables or disables the calculation of reflections and refractions in V-Ray maps and materials.

14. Maps

enables or disables texture maps. Map Filtering can also be controlled here. When enabled, the depth is controlled locally by the settings of the texture maps. When disabled, no filtering is performed.

15. Override mtl

When off (the default), texture maps are not filtered for GI and glossy reflections/refractions in order to speed up the calculations. This is especially useful for rendering a specific Ambient Occlusion pass.

16. Glossy Effects

This turns off all glossy reflections in the scene. Very useful for faster test renders.

17. Don’t Render Final Image

Using this will only calculate global illumination maps such as photon, light and irradiance. Useful for fly through animation calculations, that you can then save so they only have to be rendered once.

18. Secondary Rays bias

a small positive offset that will be applied to all secondary rays; this can be used if you have overlapping faces in the scene to avoid the black splotches that may appear.

19. Legacy sun/sky/camera models

This is for backwards compatibility with older V-Ray scenes.

20. Use 3ds Max photometric scale

When on this sets the light calculation for VRayLight, Sun, Sky and Camera to be aligned with the calculations used by 3ds Max and it’s photometric lights.

V-Ray: Image Sampler (Antialiasing)

21. Image Sampler Type

Fixed Rate Sampler – For complex scenes with lots of blurry effects and/or detailed textures, the Fixed rate sampler performs best and is very predictable with regards to the quality and render time.

Adaptive DMC Sampler – For images with detailed textures or lots of geometry detail and only a few blurry effects, the Adaptive DMC sampler performs best. Also in the case of animations involving detailed textures, the Adaptive subdivision sampler might produce jittering which the Adaptive DMC sampler avoids.

Click here if you want to read more about the DMC Sampler

Adaptive Subdivision Sampler – For smooth scenes with only a few blurry effects and smooth textures, the Adaptive subdivision sampler with its ability to undersample the image is unbeatable.

22. Antialiasing filter

Click here for awesome visual examples of the antialiasing filters.

V-Ray: Adaptive DMC Image Sampler

23. Min subdivs

determines the initial (minimum) number of samples taken for each pixel. You will rarely need to set this to more than 1, except if you have very thin lines that are not captured correctly, or fast moving objects if you use motion blur. The actual number of pixels is the square of this number (e.g. 4 subdivs produce 16 samples per pixel).

24. Max Subdivs

determines the initial (minimum) number of samples taken for each pixel. You will rarely need to set this to more than 1, except if you have very thin lines that are not captured correctly, or fast moving objects if you use motion blur. The actual number of pixels is the square of this number (e.g. 4 subdivs produce 16 samples per pixel).

25. Clr thresh

the threshold that will be used to determine if a pixel needs more samples. This is ignored if the Use DMC sampler threshold option is on.

V-Ray: Environment

26. GI Environment (Skylight) override

Here you can apply a global HDRI to your scene. You can also apply a dirt map for a really nice effect. This group allows you to override the 3ds Max Environment settings for indirect illumination calculations. The effect of changing the GI environment is similar to skylight.

27. Reflection/refraction environment override

If you want your HDRI to show in your reflections. Add it here. This group allows you to override the 3ds Max Environment settings when reflections and refractions are calculated.

28. Refraction environment override

If you want HDRI to be used in the calculations of the refractions add it here. *Note. this greatly increases render time. This group allows to override the environment for refraction rays only. When this override is disabled, V-Ray will use the environment specified in the Reflection/refraction group when calculating refractions.

V-Ray: Color Mapping

29. Color Mapping Type:

  • Linear multiply – this mode will simply multiply the final image colors based on their brightness without applying any changes. Color components that are too bright (above 1.0 or 255) will be clipped. This can result in burnt out spots near bright light sources.
  • Exponential – this mode will saturate the colors based on their brightness. This can be useful to prevent burn-outs in very bright areas (for example around light sources etc). This mode will clamp colors so that no value exceeds (255 or 1 in floating point value)
  • HSV exponential – this mode is very similar to the Exponential mode, but it will preserve the color hue and saturation, instead of washing out the color towards white.
  • Intensity exponential – this mode is similar to the Exponential one, but it will preserve the ratio of the RGB color components and will only affect the intensity of the colors.
  • Gamma correction – this mode applies a gamma curve to the colors. In this case, the Dark multiplier is a general multiplier for the colors before they are gamma-corrected. The Bright multiplier is the inverse of the gamma value (i.e. for gamma 2.2, the Bright multiplier must be 0.4545).
  • Intensity gamma – this mode applies a gamma curve to the intensity of the colors, instead of each channel (r/g/b) independently.
  • Reinhard – this mode is a blend between exponential-style color mapping and linear mapping. If the Burn value is 1.0, the result is linear color mapping and if the Burn value is 0.0, the result is exponential-style mapping.

30. Dark Multiplier

this is the multiplier for dark colors.

31. Bright Multiplier

this is the multiplier for bright colors.

32. Gamma

This parameter allows the user to control the gamma correction for the output image regardless of the color mapping mode. Note that the value here is the inverse of the one used for the Gamma correction color mapping type. For example, to correct the image for a 2.2-gamma display, you should set the Gamma parameter simply to 2.2.

33. Sub-Pixel mapping

this option controls whether color mapping will be applied to the final image pixels, or to the individual sub-pixel samples. In older versions of V-Ray, this option was always assumed to be on, however its default value is now off as this produces more correct renderings, especially if you use the universal settings approach.

34. Clamp Output

if this is on, colors will be clamped after color mapping. In some situations, this may be undesirable (for example, if you wish to antialias hdr parts of the image, too) – in that case, turn clamping off.

 I hope these VRay Tutorials helps!