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  • Current version: 2.4 (for max) from September 2013 (other plugins may have other version numbers)
  • Availability: plugin renderer for 3dsmax, maya, scetchup, Rhino, Softimage and Nuke as well as standalone


Vray is available as a plugin renderer for 3dsmax and maya as well as standalone that comes with the installation. Thats a good point because sometimes in large scenes, it is preferrable to get rid of the 3d application running in the background. With the vray.exe you can render previously exported vray scenes. Unfortunatly the maya implementation is really different from the max implementation and much less optimal. But with every vray package you get 10 render licenses. With only a few UI packages you can set up a whole renderfarm. Thats really great. Compared to mentalray thats a thenth of the costs.

Creating your own shaders and especially geometry shaders is a pain with vray. There is a good sdk, but the documentation is not really detailed. Creatig a shader is not a big problem, but I tried to create a simple geometry, a triangle and I was unable to do a rendering with it. And the support was not able to answer during several weeks. With vray I started to ask myself if I'm the right man at the right position. I was able to create a hair system for maya with the maya API, mentalray geometry shaders and hair shaders as well as renderman procedural geometry and shaders. But vray is a real beast concering in this work. Now I start to understand why we have hundreds of native mentalray shaders, but only very few for vray.

Another point concering the maya implementation is the way it handles geometry plugins. In mentalray you can simply create a renderable geometry like a box, attach a mr geometry shader to the transform node and thats it. To do it with vray, you need to create your own geometry node with the maya API. There you add a special attribute where vray recognizes the geometry and calls the appropriate functions. Well, I prefer the box approach.

Vray is famous for its gi skills. The german company scanline has worked closely together with the vray develpoer team to render a huge amount of geometry and simulations for the movie 300. 

Release 3.0:

Chaos group announced version 3.0 and has a OpenBeta for 3dsmax. The will have some very interesting features there. e.g. with the integration of Intels Embree raytracing kernel they can improve speed.  They are working on vertex merging, a quite new and reliable gi solution. For maya a viewport renderer is planned what means you can use vray directly as a renderer like Viewport 2.0. Vray 3.0 is planned to support OpenExr 2.0 with its deep compositing features and even OSL what makes the development of shaders very much easier.

Release 3DSMax 2.2:


Release Maya 2.2:

The current maya version new has most of the 3dsmax features like RT and RT GPU rendering as well as a good fur and hair support with hair shading.

Release Softimage 1.5:

No RT implementation yet, but I'm quite sure it will follow soon.


Last Updated on Sunday, 22 September 2013 14:33