This time I am starting a new series of articles, now focusing on V-Ray. While I’ve used a little bit of V-Ray in the past, I am not an expert, and I decided it would be better to “unlearn what I have learned” as Master Yoda says, and start from scratch. Welcome to my V-Ray learning adventures!
As I mentioned in my review, V-Ray has a lot of different components, including lights and materials. I think the best way to start is using lights, because you can’t have a render unless you have lights (unless you are OK with using Maya’s default lighting, but that’s not meant for production). For starters, I simply created a couple of planes and a sphere, and then I created a V-Ray point light. I have turned off GI in the V-Ray render settings (it’s on by default), so you can see the result. This is basically the Maya default rendering.
But if I turn on GI, this is what I get.
One thing you can notice is that big white sphere floating above the scene. That’s the point light. By default, V-Ray is set to show the lights, and while it may be useful in some cases (like, if you want to simulate light sources reflecting on surfaces, like in the example below, sometimes you just want to have a light source.
That’s easy to solve, though. All you need to do is check the “Invisible” box in the Attribute Editor.
Light rectangles are very useful if you want to simulate certain types of light sources, like light panels.
I’ve also been experimenting with materials. While you can use Maya’s materials, V-Ray uses its own materials to allow you get better results (you will definitely not get the same results if you use Maya’s regular materials). So far, I’ve been experimenting with the material colors, textures (including normal maps and bump maps) and reflections, but I haven’t really gotten into more advanced parameters.
My next exercise is going to be creating a full scene using V-Ray.