Tuesday, June 7th, 2016 Posted by Jim Thacker

Chaos Group releases V-Ray 3.4 for 3ds Max and Maya

Chaos Group has released V-Ray 3.4 for 3ds Max and Maya, adding a new interactive, animation-ready denoising system to the renderer, and improving GPU rendering and overall performance.

The recent rise of denoising
Denoising systems have been a popular addition to renderers lately. Pixar led the way with RenderMan 20, and Render Legion recently followed suit with Corona 1.4 for 3ds Max.

The systems clean up faster, more noisy renders as a separate process, reducing total rendering times over simply allowing the image to resolve to the same point normally.

Chaos Group has also done some work in the field, writing the V-Ray integration script for standalone denoising tool Altus, but the latest updates build the functionality directly into V-Ray.

Denoise V-Ray renders interactively and non-destructively
The new V-Ray Denoiser looks well thought out, with the software returning both the raw render and the denoised version, then enabling users to adjust the effect interactively without re-rendering.

As well as a range of presets, there are sliders for strength and radius. The images generated by different settings are stored in a palette, with the option to wipe between pairs of images in a preview window.

(That’s in the 3ds Max edition, at least: the product page for the Maya version doesn’t include a video, so we’re not sure how it’s implemented within Maya’s UI.)

In both editions, denoising can also “be used progressively while rendering or after rendering, with support for animation and enhanced blending between frames with the standalone denoiser tool”.

And as you’d expect, it’s faster than simply allowing the render to resolve to the same point normally: Chaos Group claims that the Denoiser can cut render times by “up to 50%”.

Improvements to GPU rendering
In addition, GPU-based rendering has been improved, with both the 3ds Max and Maya editions enabling procedural textures to be used as bump maps.

In the 3ds Max edition, GPU rendering also now supports orthographic cameras; and enables GPU memory usage to be tracked directly in the V-Ray frame buffer.

In addition, V-Ray RT – the software’s interactive render engine, which supports both CPU and GPU rendering – now enables render regions to be redrawn on the fly while a render is in progress.

Faster GI and other changes
Other changes common to both editions include a performance boost for global illumination: Chaos Group says that light cache calculations are now “up to 15% faster”.

Both editions have been updated to support the latest releases of their host software, and there are a number of smaller individual changes, which you can read about via the links below.

Pricing and availability
V-Ray 3.4 is available for 3ds Max 2011 and above, running on 64-bit Windows; and Maya 2013 and above, running on 64-bit Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

A workstation licence of either edition of the software costs $1,040; render nodes, which also work with other editions of V-Ray, now start at $350. The updates are free to registered users.

Read a full list of new features in V-Ray 3.4 for 3ds Max

Read a full list of new features in V-Ray 3.4 for Maya