Join Dave Schultze for an in-depth discussion in this video Recommended hardware, part of Rhino and V-Ray: Rendering.
If you are on a budget, both Rhino and V-Ray have some demo versions that you can download for free, but there are limitations. Let's first go to the Rhino website. It's up here at the top, rhino3d.com/download. And here's the link for Rhino 5. This is a full version. And the great thing about this is it'll run for 90 days. This is a big improvement over the prior demo they had, which only worked until you saved it 25 times. Also, if it ever expires, you can go ahead and purchase a license, and then continue using it.
Let's check the demo for V-Ray. Now once you go to their website at chaosgroup.com you will need to create an account. Then you go to a download page, and here's where mine is. Their limitations are that you can only render up to 600 by 400 resolution. They do allow you up to two render nodes, and only four lights. Plus you will get a watermarked image. It's still a very nice deal to get the free software even with those limitations. So I already talked about a budget. Let's go to Educational Software.
I just did a Google search here, for the words educational software. When the results come up you have a lot of options. The only requirements are that you're either a student or faculty. But many times if you're an employee of an education institution that will work just as well. These accounts are typically very easy to set up. I've seen both V-Ray and Rhino, which sell for a thousand bucks each full retail, at these type of websites for only $138. There is occasionally some limitations. I believe that these are limited to resolution of 1600 by 1200.
They do not have watermarks, but they will run for only one year. Next up let's talk about some hardware recommendations. But keep in mind these are for people who are serious or professional. I would say the minimum set up is whatever PC you already have. In fact, most current model PCs will be able to run Rhino just fine. Later on, when you're ready, you can upgrade to a work station class computer. So if I were to pick one brand, I would recommend the Dell, just for the amount of features, price point, and reliability.
So they a full line called Precision Work Stations, and those also include mobile work stations, laptops. So if you're not a fan of Dell, that's okay. I still recommend you get a Windows 7 or 8 operating system, preferably 64 bit and that's actually very important. If you get the older 32 bits you'll be severely limited to memory, and experience way too many problems with running out of memory. Speaking of memory, I would get RAM at least 16 gig. It's pretty cheap, no reason to scrimp on that. I would go even higher if you're going to be rendering large scenes.
For video cards, I'm a big fan of the Nvidia Quadro line. And their new K-series is the best. So unless, you own a huge studio like Pixar, I would probably stay away from the 6,000 and 5,000 cards. Those will break the bank. Instead, kind of focus here on the mid-range. It's kind of funny. These mid-range cards, are actually outperforming the top of the line just from a year or two ago. So this is the sweet spot that I always recommend people buy. Now the nice thing about these cards is they will drive two monitors easily.
And since we're talking about monitors, let's go back to Dell. Their line of Dell UltraSharp are one of the best in the industry. I recommend a 24 inch monitor as kind of a minimum. You just need a lot of screen real estate with 3D and rendering. And all those video cards we were looking at will drive two monitors. That's where I'd recommend you end up. Two monitors can be a huge boost to your productivity. Finally, I would also recommend one of these space pilots or navigators.
These can really help maneuver and rotate and get around in your 3D scene. I was actually a bit skeptical when I first got mine. But it does make modeling a lot faster and easier, once you get used to it. So all my hardware recommendations should be considered optional for beginners. However, once you get good enough to start charging for your expertise, then it starts to make sense to upgrade your tools, and begin to view your equipment as an investment. So feel free to check these out and do your own research.
- Why use V-Ray?
- Installing DR Spawner
- Understanding 3D terminology
- Activating V-Ray
- Adjusting quality settings
- Get quick previews with the material override
- Understanding lighting types
- Exploring materials in the Material Editor
- Creating your own materials
- Texture mapping materials with bitmaps and procedurals
- Saving time with V-Ray presets
- Getting the right size for your render with output settings
- Working with environment lighting
- Strategies for working with cameras and camera settings
- Ensuring accurate color for your scene with color correction
- Rendering tips and tricks