Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 Posted by Jim Thacker

Chaos Group ships V-Ray 3.0 for Maya

The new Progressive Production Renderer in V-Ray 3.0 for Maya, now officially released after seven months in beta. Watch more videos of the renderer’s new features on Chaos Group’s YouTube channel.

Originally posted on 20 March 2014. Scroll down for updates.

Now that V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max has shipped, Chaos Group has moved on to the second application to get the 3.0 treatment, releasing the beta version of V-Ray 3.0 for Maya.

Some of the same good stuff as the 3ds Max version…
If you followed the 3ds Max release, a lot of the new features in V-Ray 3.0 for Maya will already be familiar.

Raw raytracing performance is improved, with support for Intel’s Embree raytracing kernels (on Windows and Linux, at least), and so is hair rendering, with a claimed speed boost of “up to 15x”.

Interactive rendering takes a step closer to final-quality output with the new Progressive Production Renderer, and support for exporting render elements via V-Ray RT GPU, the GPU-accelerated preview renderer.

Pipeline integration is also improved, with support for Mari’s UDIM and Mudbox’s UVTILE formats; and support for open visual effects standards Alembic, OpenColorIO, OpenEXR 2.0 and Open Shading Language.

There is also a new skin material and improved subsurface scattering.

Hair rendering performance is improved in V-Ray 3.0 for Maya. Chaos Group claims a speed boost of up to 15x.

…and a few extra bonuses
However, there are also a few new features in the Maya implementation: again, many of them pipeline-related. Voxel data formats OpenVDB and Field3D are supported, as is OpenSubdiv.

The Maya version also comes with volume shaders for Phoenix FD, Chaos Group’s fluid simulator.

Texture baking has been improved, with the option to bake to Ptex, UDIM or projections; and as in the 3ds Max version, Ptex support now includes object-space vector displacement.

New pricing and licensing policy
Chaos Group is also moving to its new unified licensing policy, which cuts the price of a workstation licence to $1,040, but prices render nodes separately.

Those nodes can now be used with the 3ds Max and Softimage versions of the software, making it easier to run mixed pipelines; but with total licence cost increasing for all but the smallest render farms, expect the same sort of debate the new policy caused within the Max community.

Updated 23 October: V-Ray 3.0 for Maya is now shipping. You can read the official announcement here, or download the demo from Chaos Group’s website (registration required).

One interesting addition to the feature set is the ability to directly render splines and archives created by Maya’s XGen instancing technology, and meshes created by Bifrost, Maya 2015’s new fluid simulator.

Read about the new features in V-Ray 3.0 for Maya on the V-Ray website