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V-Ray 3.0: New Features: V-Ray RT explained

By Paul Hatton
Web: Open Site
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Date Added: 27th May 2015
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This will be our scene for the whole of this series of tutorials. We'll use aspects of this scene to look at the various new V-Ray 3.0 features.

V-Ray 3.0 packs a punch with its real-time rendering capabilities. Paul Hatton takes a look at V-Ray RT and reveals how to make the most of it for test renders and
improved efficiency


V-Ray 3.0 offers us two primary options for real-time rendering: V-Ray RT and Progressive. Hit render and your image will become increasingly ‘complete' in front of your eyes. Obviously the more complex the light and materials the longer this will take to become acceptable, but it's fantastic for test renders where you want to get an idea of light levels, or light direction, or how your camera angles look.

It's important to note that, as graphics cards become even more powerful, it is becoming increasingly viable to render ‘production' quality visuals using this technique. In this article, we'll take a look at V-Ray RT in V-Ray 3.0 to see how we can make the most of it.

Introducing V-Ray RT

V-Ray RT has been around for quite a while now and it has been adopted in varying degrees by different artists and studios. It's really exciting to know that it is only a matter of time before it becomes completely viable to use real-time rendering techniques in every area of production and thereby removing the requirement for a production-only version. How long this will be I don't know, but if the improvements in the last few years are anything to go by then it won't be too many more years before it becomes a reality.

V-Ray has been revolutionizing rendering for years now and the improvements in V-Ray RT keep it firmly on the front line alongside other dedicated GPU renderers like Octane


V-Ray RT is split into two versions, namely a version to run on the GPU and a version to run on the CPU. The version you use will depend primarily on how your GPU stacks up against your CPU. To change to V-Ray RT you need to go to Render Setup and the Assign Renderer rollout. Under ActiveShade rendering, set it to V-Ray RT. With that done, click on the arrow at the bottom right of the render setup and select Active Shade Mode. Then on the V-Ray RT tab you can set the engine type to either CPU, or one of two GPU options: OpenCL or CUDA.

The dropdown box lets you specify exactly what hardware you want to utilize at that point in time

GPU: OpenCL vs. CUDA

You'll have noticed that V-Ray in the Engine Type dropdown gives you the option between OpenCL and CUDA. If you're new to the graphics card world then you may wonder what these even mean. Both of these are graphics cards platforms. CUDA was created by NVIDIA and is implemented on their cards. OpenCL is an open framework utilized by AMD. Whatever graphics card you've got, find out which framework it implements and select that from the dropdown.

NVIDIA and AMD are two of the main players with regards to CUDA and OpenCL

Why use V-Ray RT CPU?

The main reason for using the CPU version is quite simply that it supports a ton more features than its GPU counterpart. The limitations for the CPU are really quite minimal and therefore moving a scene over from the production renderer to the RT CPU rendering is unlikely to cause too many problems if any at all. In the V-Ray 3.0 version the CPU now supports Hair Farm, Ornatrix hair, subsurface scattering and V-RayClipper objects! Very impressive. There is a full list of supported features on the V-Ray website.

The implementation of features in V-Ray RT GPU is very impressive

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