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This course introduces the features of the V-Ray 2.0 rendering engine and demonstrates how to extend the range of Maya with its state-of-the-art tools, such as irradiance mapping, fur and hair textures and shaders, and stereoscopic 3D rendering. The course covers critical concepts such as creating basic materials, image sampling, color mapping, subdivs, and lighting, as well as the Render Elements, RT, and physical rendering workflows in V-Ray. Exercise files are included with the course.
V-Ray RT or V-Ray Real Time is potentially a huge leap forward in productivity for Maya artists, especially if we're using version 2.0 of V-Ray as the RT Engine, now comes as the standard part of that install. RT can offer extremely fast feedback for us as we work on a good number of our scene's elements. Yes, its interactive rendering really can insert instances, eliminate the need to sit around waiting for test renders, just so as we can evaluate the latest tweaks and changes to our scenes.
As RT is an IPR Renderer inside of Maya, it is pretty much set up and ready to go, as soon as we enable V-Ray as the production renderer. In fact, if we come up to our IPR Render icon and we just click on it, you can see we very quickly get an RT render inside of Maya's Render View window. Now, one thing we need to know about RT is that as it is a progressive path trace renderer, it will just keep on refining this image, it will keep on working away for as long as the Render View window is open. Of course we can change that behavior and I would recommend that more often than not you do, by coming into the Render Settings window, and if we come along to our RT Engine tab, if we just come down, you can see in the Rendering roll out we have this Max.
render time option. Now, while this option is set at 0, RT will, as we say, just keep on working away in the background, it will keep progressively refining the image that we are viewing. Oftentimes though I just like to set a value of something like half a minute in here, that generally speaking is enough time to evaluate the changes we have made in the scene and then undo them if we don't want to keep them. So with that tweak made, you can see as we look at the control set inside of this RT Engine tab that we only have a limited set of parameters to work with and that of course makes working with the RT Engine a very simple process.
Not of course that these are the only controls that will effect how our RT Renders are looking, there are some options inside of our other tabs that will affect our renders. For instance, inside of the Indirect Illumination tab, now our choice of Primary and Secondary bounce engines doesn't really make any difference with V-Ray RT as it is not utilizing those options. But whether or not our GI systems are on or not, whether or not there is bounce light in the scene, is something that will be affected. So you can see if we turn our GI systems off, that definitely makes a change.
So we need to be aware of that. We also need to be aware that our Color mapping options will make a difference. So if we come down, you can see we are on Linear multiply. If I just set my Gamma value to a value of 1, you can see that also will change how our RT Render is working. So just be aware that there are a couple of parameters inside of the V-Ray production tools that will make a difference to our RT Renders. And perhaps one thing we should stress at this point, something that Chaos Group themselves do go to great lengths to find out, is the fact that the V-Ray RT is not designed as a V-Ray Preview Renderer.
It is a fully featured production renderer in its own right. Very much along the lines of NVIDIA's iray Render Engine, that is also available in Maya. One of the very cool features that V- Ray RT has at its disposal, and if we just come along in our tabs, into the RT Engine tab, is the fact that as we dropdown to the Engine roll out here, you can see we can dropdown and choose between the CPU and GPU versions of this renderer. The GPU version, if we are able to make use of it, can significantly increase the speed of our renders.
We can get much faster renders back from the system. Of course there is a limitation, a bit of a weakness with the GPU version of the renderer, in that we really need to be able to fit our entire scene into the graphics card's memory. Now, as memory on graphics cards, generally speaking, is nowhere near as large in terms of quantity as a standard workstation and the RAM that it has supplied with it, we may need to just evaluate whether or not we can make use of the GPU version on our particular project. Of course on the plus side is the fact that we are not tied to any particular manufacturer's graphics cards when using the V-Ray RT GPU Engine.
As it is written using OpenCL and not CUDA, we can just choose whichever graphics card we want to put in our computer and that will be fine, V-Ray RT GPU version will work with it with no problem. Now, although we have mentioned that RT is not designed as a Preview renderer for V-Ray, as the two engines share the same material, lighting, and rendering workflow, it is perfectly possible for us to switch between the two engines with no real difficulties at all. In fact, what we can do, if we just get rid of our Render Settings window, if we just Save our current RT Render, and then we engage our enable and actual V-Ray Production Render, and if we compare what we are getting from the two engines, you can see that other then the refinement of the V-Ray RT Engine, the fact that it clearly needed more time to clean up the noise, you can see there's very little difference in the two renders at all.
So V-Ray RT then does represent a significant amount of extra value to artists and studios using a license of the V- Ray Renderer, as it really does have the potential to speed up certain parts of the pipeline in very measurable ways. What we are going to do now is put that statement to the test then and use V-Ray RT in our test scene and let's see what kind of feedback we can get when performing standard operations inside of our Maya scene.
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