Join Dave Schultze for an in-depth discussion in this video Using V-Ray Express for quick renders, part of Rhino and V-Ray: Rendering.
Coming right up, we'll focus on pure speed. I'll be using the V-ray Express toolbar this time, which is actually four toolbars, materials, lighting, backdrops, and environments. This will really help us render our project fast. Even better, the entire collection is totally free. Let's switch over to a browser. So, if you don't already have the express toolbar or didn't know it existed, you'll need to log in or create an account at cassgroup.com. Once logged in you want to go to the download page, here is mine and click on V-ray Express, then this will show up at the bottom.
This is the download application that will install it on your computer. You can put it anywhere you want, then run it. They'll then be open inside of Rhino. Here's mine at the bottom, docked into the interface. We have the four tabs I mentioned: Materials, Studios, Lighting, etcetera. Before we use any of these features, let's go ahead and just make a quick render and see where we're going to start from. Be nice for a comparison later. So I'm going to open up the V-ray for rhino tool bar, which I have over here to the left. Click on the R button. And just start a quick render.
Now it's not going to be much to look at. We've got no materials whatsoever. No backdrop and no light. But this is a starting point. We can go ahead and minimize this. And then go back to four view ports. You'll notice I've zoomed out quite a bit on the other 3 viewports, so some of these scenes are quite large and you'll see them in just a second. First let's talk about a backdrop that's not in the expressed toolbar, but actually built right into V-ray. That is this one here, called the V-ray infinite plane. So this basically gives you just a large unlimited sized floor that goes off into the horizon.
A lot of people love this, I'm not a big fan. Let's go ahead and re-render and I'll show you why. Okay, here the renders done and we, now we do have a floor which is actually pretty important for capturing reflections or shadows like it is right here. But I find this very distracting. We have a horizon line, so it's really telling us we've got this scene set up on a plane and there's nothing behind it. So the focus is really more on the environment than the object we're trying to render. So that's why I don't use this specific. Type of floor. I'll show you what a better one would be coming up next.
Let's minimize that guy, I'm going to click on the infinite plane, and just hit delete. Then I'm going to look at some other studio floors that we might want to use. Here's the first one on the list, 360. I'm going to go into the perspective view port, and kind of zoom out. This is kind of a big bowl, which might be important if you have a lot of critical reflections. Going to switch to a corner studio. Again that will vary depending on what your needs are. Here's an S studio, so it has a nice little lip on the front and a back wall. Now don't forget any of these may be perfect for your job, but a little bit too big or small.
No problem. Just go ahead and select them and scale them up or down as needed. Here's another C wall studio and it just gives you a floor, backdrop, and something above it to reflect. I'm going to go ahead and select the 180 studio wall. This gives me a very simple set up. And once I zoom in, you'll notice I have a floor continuing into the wall beyond. Let's go ahead and render that and you'll notice the big difference from the prior render with the infinite plane and that sharp horizon line. Okay, the renders done and now you'll notice there's a much bigger focus on the objects in the scene.
What I really love about this, is the floor, is here. Underneath all the objects, it's capturing the shadows, and then it almost impercetively curves up into the rear, so there is no little hint or line, or anything to distract your attention. Okay, the only lighting we have here is the ambient or global illumination. Take a quick peek at that under the V-Ray options. So we just have this skylight up above. Casting a pure white light evenly in all directions and the black background you saw in the prior render.
So that's the only lighting we have now. Let's explore some of the express toolbar lighting setups. So we go into studio and lighting tab, let's start with studio seven here. And if we zoom back out, you can see there's three large rectangular lights in the scene. Let me zoom back in and just see how it looks. So, I'm using my name to view, a little short cut here. Hit the render button one more time, and while it's rendering, I'll just mention, this is going to be like the biggest jump in quality when you go from environmental sky light or GI.
To putting physical lights in the scene. This is where things really start to pop. Also, you might notice there is quite a few boxes on these renders, I'm using the DR spawner, with four separate computers, and that really speeds things up. Also, don't forget we have no materials assigned yet. This is just a backdrop, and all the geometry with no materials at all. So, let's do that next. Let's throw a few materials on this scene. I'm going to go full screen on this by double clicking on the viewport icon.
First tab is the materials. Actually, the best way to do this is pick something in the scene, first. I pick that CRT picture frame. Go to plastic. And this is nicely organized. We've got glossy plastic which is polished. If you can read that there's nice sharp reflections. We've got blurry which is not so polished and rubber which is very matte. So I'm just going to pick a bright red glossy. Now, we're in the shade of views, we're not really seeing the colors. Let's switch over to rendered view and we'll start noticing the difference. So there is that red plastic already applied.
We can try one or two more here. Click on the bird house, pick another plastic. We can make that yellow, okay. Let's just leave it at that. Do another quick render just for comparison. Now as these renderings take longer and longer, we'll be editing that out and I'll just come back when they're done. Okay, the render's done. One thing I want to point out is the big difference from the ambient or GI lighting and using the rectangular lights is we get these nice highlights. Well they're not possible with just two diffuse GI lighting. You'll need to have lights in this scene to get those nice highlights. Go ahead and close this, make a few more tweaks. I'm going to switch my lighting maybe to another set up all together. This is a normal part fo the process where you just try things out and then either they work or you throw them away and try the next thing. So in studio lighting I'm going to go studio one. I kind of like this arrangement where we have lights on three different sides. It's almost like a light box, so let's zoom back into the same exact spot and we'll try a render again, just to slowly compare the differences we add or subtract things from the scene. Okay, I definitely like this lighting arrangement quite a bit better. I'm going to make another change here. We're going to minimize this guy. I've already got the materials applied to all of the materials here so I'm going to go switch over. We've got a rendered mode you see all the final selection of materials, I've kind of designed those. I believe I also have my own floor in here so I can turn off the one we've just added from the toolbar. Don't want to have two on top of each other. Just go ahead and render this. Take another look. Alright, the renders done. That took roughly a minute, not too bad. So not counting the maling time, we have created a full studio with lighting and materials in just a few minutes. Also I want to point out that, all the materials that we've applied with the express toolbar, will show up in the material editor. So let's take a look at that. Going to the V-Ray toolbar, hitting on the M. And then, all the materials that we added, for example, some of the plastics. We have the red plastic, that we brought off the toolbar. That is now in the material editor, so we can continue to change it, to make it less glossy or more glossy or whatever we want. So in my opinion the express toolbar is fantastic for quick setups, but it might be a little bit limited after you gain more experience or need some customizations. Just remember that any light, backdrop, or material brought into the scene is always editable.
- 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