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V-Ray 3.0: New Features - Faster Rendering

By Paul Hatton
Web: Open Site
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Date Added: 29th April 2015
Software used:
3ds Max
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V-Ray 3.0 promises faster rendering. Paul Hatton dives into the new rendering features of V-Ray 3.0 and checks out some of the tools that Chaos Group is offering to help us speed up!


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In V-Ray 3.0, Chaos Group has clearly worked hard to bring down render times. And isn't that what we all want, really? The quicker we're able to get to production quality, the better. It enables us to deliver projects quicker and to take on new projects even sooner. Here we will be looking specifically at both the integrated Intel Embree Raycaster, and the Dynamic Bucket Splitting Tool.

1: V-Ray over the years

With each new release of V-Ray, Chaos Group has delivered not only new and improved features but also a quicker engine. V-Ray is built on top of a ray-tracing engine, which means that to create a render it has to shoot millions of rays around the scene until you end up with the final rendered image. Chaos Group has optimized this core system and the way that V-Ray's calculations are made. These means that V-Ray works a lot quicker. Brilliant!

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Chaos Group, the creators of V-Ray, have been pushing the boundaries year after year. I've never looked back since moving over from mental ray

2: Quicker calculations

The improved ray-tracing engine works across the board. This means that your GI will be calculated quicker, your reflections will be generated more efficiently, as well as the refractions. So with all this increased speed and efficiency, does this mean you'll get your renders done more quickly? Maybe not. What I've actually found is that I'm now able to up my settings to get even /better/ renders while still being able to hit my deadlines. It is, however, great to have improved speed for those clients that want their projects delivered yesterday!

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Look forward to quicker render times if you need it, but you will more than likely end up pushing the barriers for even better renders

3: Brute Force improvements

In previous versions I've mostly stayed away from using the Brute Force GI engine. I do a lot of animations which make waiting for a brute force GI calculation nice to have, but impossible to use. The new release of V-Ray 3.0 has made me revisit this. Now, I'm not saying brute force can suddenly be used on all of my projects, but I'm certainly using it a lot more - especially if I can find no other way to get rid of specific flickering. I'd highly recommend looking at it again if you have largely avoided it previously, like me.

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Brute Force for Global Illumination has now become a much more viable option, even if you're up against a tough deadline

4: Introducing Intel Embree

Reading and saying the word ‘Embree' makes me smile every time. Why? Because it speeds up my rendering! On the latest Intel processors you'll find a collection of high-performance ray-tracing kernels. It is these optimized kernels that software engineers like Chaos Group tap into when building their rendering engines. So, if you have one of the more recent Intel processors then you can certain make use of this great technology!

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Intel have done an amazing job of developing these high performance ray tracing kernels and Chaos Group have thankfully integrated this functionality into V-Ray

5: Using Embree

V-Ray has made it incredibly easy to utilize Embree technology, which should ensure a large uptake among its user base. In the Settings tab and the System rollout there are 3 tick boxes for Embree. The first enables you to use Embree for your standard renderings. Make sure this is ticked. The second and third boxes enable you to utilize the technology for motion blur and hair, so if you use either of these then make sure they're ticked as well.

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Embree delivers increased speed right to your fingertips without having to do any extra work!

6: Using Embree Advanced

As previously mentioned, you can use Embree for rendering hair, which proves to be a massive timesaver! I don't do much with hair but I noticed in the small print that Embree will work with both Hair Farm and Ornatrix, which are both plug-ins for 3ds Max. Just make sure the checkbox is ticked, but other than that it should work straight out of the box with no extra tweaking required.

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Make sure V-Ray is set to expert to see all of the Embree tick boxes. Otherwise you'll be restricted to just one of the options

7: The processor core problem

We all want to be as productive as possible, don't we? We've all waited a silly amount of time before for that final bucket to render a super glossy surface. It gets annoying because we know that the rest of our processor cores are being wasted. This is especially frustrating for animations where you can't move onto the next frame until all the buckets are complete. Thankfully, V-Ray has addressed this problem.

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Scenes like this with lots of glossy reflections can result in wasted buckets at the end of a rendering

8: Dynamic Bucket Splitting

V-Ray has helped to solve the problem by ensuring that the buckets reduce in size towards the end of the rendering, thereby ensuring maximum usage of your processor cores. They essentially split in half. To activate this setting, head over to the Settings tab and the System rollout, and tick Dynamic splitting. Simple!

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Speed up your renderings by maximizing your processor core usage

9: Bucket width

This feature isn't new to V-Ray 3.0 - in fact it's been around for as long as I can remember - but I thought it was worth pointing out anyway: the ability to change the default bucket width. In the System rollout V-Ray lets you set the number of pixels that make up the bucket and then it'll split accordingly. Now, you might think that smaller is better, but keep in mind that if you're rendering over a network this will mean a larger number of buckets will need to be sent, which could slow things down.

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Keep bucket widths relatively low to ensure efficient rendering

10: Rendering in summary

V-Ray is always making improvements to our workflow, not just to rendering speeds but also through the exciting new features that come with every release. In the rest of this series of V-Ray 3.0 features (stay tuned!) we'll delve deeper some of the new features that many users don't get chance to experiment with.

Please feel free to use the Comments section below to discuss this topic further, or to suggest other ways V-Ray has helped improve the speed of rendering for you over the years!

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I would highly recommend just browsing the render setup dialog box to see what is new

Pro tip: Rendering on the fly

I've focused solely in this post on the standard rendering process. V-Ray, however, does offer both Progressive Rendering and V-Ray RT for rendering in a more ‘On the fly' manner. These are perfect for test renderings, but with improvements in graphics cards they are becoming increasingly used for final renders, too.

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Set the active shade renderer to V-Ray RT for some real time results

Pro tip: Comparing graphics cards

If you are into or want to get into real-time rendering then you're going to need a good graphics card. There are vast improvements being made out there. Read reviews and see what people think of them who have already
done the tests!

Related links:

Visit Paul Hatton's official site
See more tutorials by Paul Hatton
Learn more about V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max
Try V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max for free
Check out 3ds Max Projects

 
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