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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.
One area of potential difficulty for Maya artists wanting to use the V-Ray renderer can be the fact that the engine doesn't support some standard Maya features, especially in the areas of lighting and material work. As it is true, though, that the team at Chaos Group are constantly adding to V-Ray's compatibility with Maya's toolset, it is always a good idea to read through the changelog.txt file that comes with each new install of V-Ray. That way, we can stay in the know as to which tools can be utilized on our current project. Still, as a number of standard Maya lighting and texturing options may not be available to us, we may still feel that we have a fairly significant obstacle in our way.
The best way to get around or over this potential obstacle in a fairly easy manner would be to become familiar with the installed V-Ray specific toolset as quickly as possible. In fact, my recommendation would be to adopt a workflow approach that always opts for use of a V-Ray specific version of a tool, rather than the perhaps more familiar Maya one. This can have some very beneficial effects. For one thing, it will really help optimize our rendering pipeline's efficiency.
We get an efficiency in workflow, because these tools are naturally designed to work together, they integrate well, and of course, everything written as a V-Ray tool will have been optimized to work as efficiently as possible with the renderer's own internal algorithms. Of course, the choice of how we work V-Ray in Maya is entirely up to us. Oftentimes, artists will mix and match aspects of differing workflows, so as to find something that works well for them. In the end, so long as we're producing the quality and amount of work that is required to complete our current project, well, then all is good.
These suggestions really are just food for thought. Time now to move on to actually installing, and getting ready to use V-Ray as our Maya production renderer.
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