Chaos Group recently released V-Ray Next, a new generation of their V-Ray rendering engine, that aims to take steps to make things faster and easier for users, and let them work faster and save time during production.
One of the features V-Ray Next uses to improve render times is the Adaptive Dome Light, a hew dome light that analyzes the scene as it’s rendering, trying to figure out the best way to lit the scene and cutting render time.
Based on my experience with sample scenes, I didn’t see a change in render quality, since I would get very nice results with and without the Adaptive Dome Light. However, I saw an improvement in rendering time: render times would be cut by up to half when using it.
As I understand, the idea behind the Adaptive Dome Light is that users need to spend less time setting up plane lights (as fill lights) since the software figures that out automatically, so that would also help users save time setting up the scenes, on top of rendering them.
When I used to work with pre-rendered graphics, one of the things that really bothered me, and took a lot of my time to fix, was that “noise” plaguing the images. V-Ray Next uses the Nvidia AI denoiser to get rid of that. This is a filter that is applied on top of the image, after rendering, and only works on Nvidia GPUs.
V-Ray Next still includes the V-Ray denoiser, but the idea is to provide faster results. The Nvidia AI denoiser takes less time. This can also be a good thing when you are trying to preview a scene by using a lower number of samples, allowing for quicker workflows.
Depending on the number of samples, the Nvidia AI denoiser will be just an approximation of the final image, though, so the usage of this method may really depend on the compromises the end user may want to take while working.
Another limitation of the Nvidia AI denoiser is that you can’t output HDR images, so, again, it really depends on what the goal is. I can’t really say that not being able to output HDR images is a bad thing because, if you want to use those images or videos for a presentation where you won’t be using HDR-equipment, there’s no point on worrying about that.
For a long time, I’ve been a fan of GPU-rendering, and after spending so much on game development, I’d wish there were more GPU-rendering solutions for the kind of market V-Ray serves. V-Ray Next includes its own GPU-renderer, but I dare say it’s more of a quick render-preview tool than a GPU-based alternative to the software renderer. When I was testing it, I noticed the GPU-output can be vastly different to the CPU-output. While I think V-Ray GPU Next can be very useful to make work faster, I think the final images will always need the software-renderer.
I’ve known V-Ray users in the past that have told me how it can be daunting to use it because it can be complicated to set up and get the settings just right. However, those users also remark how newer versions make it easier and faster to tweak the settings in newer versions. Since V-Ray Next is aiming to improve workflow and render time even more, current V-Ray users should take a look at V-Ray Next.
V-Ray Next for 3D Studio Max https://www.chaosgroup.com/vray/3ds-max