Join Brian Bradley for an in-depth discussion in this video Using universal settings, part of V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max Essential Training.
- In this final image sampling video for the chapter, I'm going to walk through setting up and then using what has come to be called the universal settings approach. This is a quick and easy way to get high quality image sampling from V-Ray whilst at the same time bypassing the need to understand or even touch the vast majority of image sampling controls that the renderer makes available. The drawback is that this approach is in no way optimal for any of the scenes that we may be working on. With a little bit of tweaking, it is highly likely that we will be able to get similar quality from our scene with faster, sometimes much faster, render times.
The beauty of the settings though is that they require, as we say, almost no tweaking at all and we are guaranteed to get a good result at the end of the render process. The lack of optimization though tends to mean that these settings are best employed when rendering stills. If we have a 500 frame animated sequence that will take 50 minutes of frame to render using the universal approach; whereas, with a little tweaking we could get that down to say 15 minutes of frame, well, I'm sure you see the potential drawback of sticking with this approach for an animated sequence.
The universal settings work because the high primary ray, or anti-aliasing subdiv value that it uses essentially causes most if not all of the sampling in a scene to be performed by the primary rays rather, that is, than making use of the secondary ray subdivs that are available on many materials, lights, and so on. These primary rays will use as many samples per pixel as required in order to achieve the specified noise threshold. In many ways, this is similar to a progressive path tracing approach.
To get our universal settings up and running then, let's open up the render setup dialog, and in the image sampler rollout switch from fixed to either the adaptive or progressive options. As noted earlier in the chapter, we can use either of these because they are essentially the same image sampling engine, and so both have the ability to be adaptive which is the important requirement here, and, of course, is the reason why we cannot use the fixed rate engine. I'm going to go with the adaptive option making certain that the min and the max subdiv values are set to one and 100 respectively.
In the Global DMC rollout, we can set the adaptive amount parameter to 0.9, and then so as to make certain that the system is able to make good use of the max number of samples available, we can adjust the noise threshold as the default will most likely leave us with too much noise in the scene. A typical production quality value is 0.005. We do need to keep in mind here though that whilst lower values will typically mean a cleaner image, they will also give us longer render times.
Finally, let's jump into the GI tab, make certain that GI is enabled, set the primary GI engine to Brute force, and the secondary to Light cache leaving subdiv values for both set at their defaults. Indeed, we want to leave all subdiv values found in the engine at their defaults given they won't have an effect anyway. The 100 value set for the max subdivs here will almost certainly override everything else in the scene. All that is left now is for us to go ahead and take a render, and what we get as promised is a clean looking render that has used a set of parameters that can now be applied to pretty much any scene we find ourselves working with which is really the point of the universal settings approach.
Although we may, given that our render has now taken about half an hour to complete, want to take advantage of the fact that we can now in V-Ray 3 very quickly tweak things in order to gain a little bit of a speed-up. We do that by globally telling V-Ray to focus a little more on computing secondary samples for shading effects such as glassy reflections, area shadows, GI, and so on. This can be done by means of the min shading rate parameter. Let's set that to a value of six, save the image that we already have, and then take a final render.
What we end up with if I just do a quick comparison here is an image that is pretty much identical in terms of quality to our previous render, but one that, as you can see, has actually rendered more than two minutes faster. The universal settings approach then whilst by no means the most optimal way to get the clean images out of V-Ray, is one that is quick and easy to set up, and is guaranteed to produce nice looking renders from pretty much any type of scene that we throw at V-Ray.
- Using the new UI elements, Quick Settings, and revamped Frame Buffer
- Understanding color mapping modes
- Adding V-Ray light types
- Working with the V-Ray Sun and Sky systems and dome light
- Using irradiance mapping and light cache
- Working with diffuse color maps
- Making reflective materials
- Creating a translucency effect
- Using the new SSS and skin shaders
- Ensuring quality with image sampling
- Working with the adaptive subdivision engine
- Controlling the physical camera
- Working with FX tools such as VRayFur and VRayMetaball
- Stereoscopic 3D rendering
- Using Render Mask
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: This course was updated on 02/02/2016. What changed?
A: We added tutorials on the new 3ds Max camera tool, which replaces the defunct V-Ray Physical Camera. The author also includes a method for creating a V-Ray camera via scripting.
Q: This course was updated on 04/19/2018. What changed?
A: New videos were added that cover V-Ray 3.1 to 3.3 updates.