Tuesday, June 9th, 2015 Posted by Jim Thacker

Chaos Group releases V-Ray for 3ds Max 3.20

Chaos Group has released V-Ray for 3ds Max 3.20, aka Service Pack 2: another sizeable update to the renderer, adding support for fluid sims, improving distributed rendering, and expanding the capabilities of V-Ray RT GPU.

No official fanfare yet, but it’s definitely out
The new build was made available to subscribers at the end of last week, but slipped out surprisingly quietly.

So far, neither the Chaos Group or the official V-Ray website makes mention of it: it was only when we started to see posts about it on social media that we realised what a significant update it actually was.

Better rendering of fluids and fur
Top of the change log is support for rendering of fluid simulation data, either from Chaos Group’s own Phoenix FD software, or in OpenVDB or Field3D format, bringing V-Ray for 3ds Max into line with the Maya version.

Hair and fur – both 3ds Max’s native Hair & Fur and VRayFur – can now also be rendered faster, thanks to support for acceleration by Embree, Intel’s library of high-performance CPU raytracing kernels.

Further expansion of V-Ray RT GPU
The real-time V-Ray RT GPU render engine has been brought further into line with its CPU-based counterpart, with support for new features including composite maps, displacement and VRayEnvironmentFog.

The GPU implementation also gets “initial support” for texture baking, further expanding V-Ray RT beyond its original function as an interactive render preview.

Many other new features
Other new features include the option to add or remove servers on the fly during distributed rendering; and VRayCurvatureMap, a new texture “similar to VRayDirt” and used to detect mesh curvature.

There is also a long list of smaller new features and bugfixes, which you can read via the link below.

Updated 9 June: Chaos Group has released an official demo video for V-Ray for 3ds Max 3.20, which you can now see at the top of the story. The release also now has its own page on the V-Ray website.

In addition to the features listed above, the update adds two new VR camera types, enabling users to render stereo cube maps and spherical stereo images for output to devices like Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR.

Pricing and availability
V-Ray 3.20 for 3ds Max is available now. The update is free to registered users. New licences of V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max cost $1,040, including one render node; individual render nodes cost $350 each.

Read a full list of the new features in V-Ray 3.20 on vray.info
(Also available on the Chaos Group forum, but you’ll need to log in to read them there)