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Chaos Group releases V-Ray 5 for Houdini as free public beta

Monday, September 21st, 2020 | Posted by Jim Thacker

Chaos Group has released V-Ray 5 for Houdini, the latest version of the renderer for SideFX’s 3D animation and effects software, as a free public beta.

The update makes key features from other editions of V-Ray 5 available in Houdini, including compositing directly within the frame buffer, support for Light Path Expressions, and better ACEScg worfkflows.

A readymade look development pipeline across Maya and Nuke
First released in 2019, V-Ray for Houdini is intended as much for look development as final-quality rendering.

VFX studios with V-Ray pipelines can use it preview effects or assets before exporting them to Maya or 3ds Max for rendering, ensuring visual consistency across each stage of production.

The Houdini edition supports most of the key features of the host application, and of the other editions of V-Ray, bar a few exotic geometry and material types. You can find a full list of supported features here.

Adds key features from V-Ray 5, including the updated VFB and support for LPEs
To that, V-Ray 5 for Houdini adds several of the key features originally rolled out in V-Ray 5 for 3ds Max and V-Ray 5 for Maya earlier this year.

That includes the redesigned V-Ray Frame Buffer, which makes it possible to perform layer-based compositing and relighting operations directly inside the VFB.

In addition, the Houdini edition now supports Light Path Expressions (LPEs), making it possible to generate custom render passes.

The update also simplifes workflow when using ACEScg colour space, with V-Ray coverting textures and light temperatures automatically, without the need to create extra nodes.

Houdini users also get access to the new built-in material library, which provides over 500 common real-world materials, including metals, glass and wood.

We covered the features when the 3ds Max edition was announced, so see this story for more details.

Pricing and availability
V-Ray 5 for Houdini is available as a free beta for various builds of Houdini 17.5 and Houdini 18.0, running on Windows 8.1+ and CentOS 6 or RHEL 6.2 WS Linux. Chaos Group hasn’t announced a final release date.

The current stable version, V-Ray Next for Houdini Update 1, is available for Houdini 17.0+ running on Windows 7+, CentOS 6.2, RHEL 6.2+ WS or Fedora 16+ Linux, and Mac OS X 10.10.2+.

The software is rental-only, and costs $80/month or $470/year.

Read an overview of V-Ray for Houdini on Chaos Group’s website

Read a full list of features in V-Ray 5 for Houdini in the online documentation

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