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V-Ray 5 for Houdini Update 1 introduces V-Ray for Solaris

Friday, June 18th, 2021 | Posted by Jim Thacker

Chaos has released V-Ray 5 for Houdini Update 1, the new version of the Houdini edition of the renderer, introducing V-Ray for Solaris, a new beta version of V-Ray for Houdini’s USD-based layout toolset.

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.

Now available as a Hydra render delegate within Houdini’s Solaris toolset
Along with V-Ray for Maya, also updated yesterday, V-Ray for Houdini becomes the first edition of the renderer to support VFX workflows based around Pixar’s Universal Scene Description (USD).

For the Houdini edition, that means V-Ray for Solaris: support for V-Ray within Houdini’s new USD-based shot layout, lighting and look dev toolset.

The feature, which is still officially in beta, makes V-Ray available as a Hydra render delegate within Solaris, alongside Houdini’s native Karma renderer, Arnold, Redshift and RenderMan.

According to Chaos, settings for geometry, materials and lights that V-Ray provides for working with Solaris LOP nodes are “basically the same settings as those in V-Ray’s [own] nodes”.

The initial implementation also supports instanced geometry and variants, displacement, subdivision, light linking, and V-Ray’s physical camera, object properties and render settings.

V-Ray is available both for viewport previews and final-quality rendering via Houdini’s USD Render node, with support for batch rendering via husk.

However, there are currently still a number of known issues and restrictions: in particular, AOVs, V-Ray environment fog and V-Ray fur are not yet supported.

In addition, neither V-Ray proxies or .vrscene files can be imported “due to a Solaris limitation”.

Improved texture baking and support for the Phoenix foam shader for fluid sims
The release also simplifies V-Ray for Houdini’s user interface, and improves texture baking, making it possible to render multiple packed primitives that share UV islands without modification.

V-Ray for Houdini also now supports the foam shader for Phoenix, Chaos’ fluid simulation software.

Pricing and availability
V-Ray 5 for Houdini Update 1 is available for Houdini 18.0+ running on Windows 8.1+, CentOS 6.2/RHEL 6.2+ WS Linux, and Mac OS X 10.10.2+. The software is rental-only, and costs $80/month or $470/year.

Read an overview of the new features in V-Ray for Houdini on the product website

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

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