Wednesday, January 11th, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

Adobe chooses V-Ray as core renderer for Project Felix

Adobe has chosen Chaos Group’s V-Ray as the core rendering engine for Project Felix, its new designer-focused application for rendering 3D assets and compositing them into 2D images.

The move makes the same Academy Award-winning rendering technology used on big-budget VFX projects like Game of Thrones available in a form intended to be accessible even to 3D novices.

Making V-Ray accessible to ‘graphic designers, not 3D experts’
Launched last month as a free beta, Project Felix enables users to render 3D models to match 2D background plates, using a simple drag-and-drop and slider-based workflow.

V-Ray has been integrated into Project Felix from the start, but Adobe has just chosen to go public about this “key technical component” of the software in a post on its blog.

From Adobe’s point of view, it seems like a natural choice: Project Felix is intended for product visualisation, and V-Ray is the most widely used renderer in the visualisation industry, according to a recent survey.

From Chaos Group’s point of view, it’s an interesting way of broadening the user base of what it normally a powerful, but technically complex, renderer: Project Felix is aimed at “graphic designers, not 3D experts”.

A simplified workflow rooted in V-Ray’s core technology
Accordingly, the implementation of V-Ray inside Project Felix is much simpler than that in the 3ds Max and Maya plugin versions of the renderer.

The demo video above shows a slider-driven workflow geared around HDRI lighting, with a small set of controls for key properties like light intensity.

However, it’s based on the same core technology, and even has some functionality not yet available in the 3ds Max edition, like support for Nvidia’s MDL material format, due in V-Ray 3.5.

“With Project Felix, our technology will reach more artists, with broader creative backgrounds and perspectives,” said Chaos Group product marketing manager Slavka Stankova.

Part of a wider move to broaden V-Ray’s reach
Chaos Group’s partnership with Adobe is the second such deal to be announced in as many months: in November, the firm revealed its €2 million investment in CL3VER.

The deal will see V-Ray integrated into CL3VER’s online platform for converting 3D models to interactive presentations – again, a technology aimed at architects and designers, not 3D experts.

The two firms are also collaborating on a new line of real-time mobile, web and VR applications, currently in beta, and due to launch this spring.

Pricing and availability
Project Felix is available as a free beta to anyone with a commercial subscription to Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

New Creative Cloud subscriptions cost $19.99/month for single applications ($9.99/month for Photoshop and Lightroom) or $49.99/month for all of Adobe’s creative software.

Read more about the integration of V-Ray into Project Felix on Adobe’s blog