Thursday, September 14th, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

Chaos Group releases V-Ray 3.6 for Maya

Chaos Group has released V-Ray 3.6 for Maya, a big update to the Maya edition of the renderer, introducing support for the new V-Ray Hybrid CPU/GPU rendering system first rolled out in the 3ds Max edition.

The update also adds Nvidia’s NVLink multi-GPU technology, the Cryptomatte ID matte-generation system, the MDL material format, and enables V-Ray lights to illuminate objects directly inside Maya’s viewport.

Run V-Ray RT GPU on the CPU as well with the new V-Ray Hybrid technology
The biggest new feature in the release is V-Ray Hybrid, Chaos Group’s new technology to enable the CUDA code used by V-Ray RT GPU, V-Ray’s interactive renderer, to run on the CPU as well as the GPU.

We wrote about V-Ray Hybrid and what it can and can’t render in our original story on V-Ray 3.6 for 3ds Max, so check that out for full details.

You can find benchmarks on Chaos Group’s blog and in the video above: in general, rendering with Hybrid seems to come out 10-20% faster than rendering on the GPU alone.

New features from the 3ds Max edition: NVLink, Cryptomatte and MDL materials
As with the 3ds Max edition, V-Ray 3.6 for Maya also introduces support for NVLink, Nvidia’s proprietary technology for high-speed communication between GPU and CPU, or between GPUs.

That makes it possible to share memory across GPUs, making it possible to GPU-render much larger scenes, although it’s currently only supported on the Quadro GP100 and Tesla P100, so you need a high-end card.

The Maya edition also gets support for Cryptomatte, Psyop’s in-house technology for generating ID mattes automatically from 3D renders, which the studio made available open-source last year.

And as with the Max edition, the Maya edition gets an extension of the VRayLightSelect render element, which enables users to separate the contributions of individual lights to a scene into separate passes.

The new Full mode enables VRayLightSelect to output all of the information available, including GI, reflection and refraction, rather than just a light’s diffuse and specular contributions.

The update also adds a feature introduced in V-Ray 3.5 for 3ds Max: support for the MDL material format.

Developed by Nvidia with the aim of enabling assets created in one app to render near-identically in another, the MDL format is now supported in Substance Designer, plus Nvidia’s own Mental Ray and Iray renderers.

Preview V-Ray lights, materials and the V-Ray Sky directly in Viewport 2.0
However, the feature in the update that will arguably make the most difference to most people’s day-to-day workflows is unique to the Maya edition – and that’s that V-Ray lights now work directly in Viewport 2.0.

The change makes it possible to preview illumination in the Maya viewport, without the need to test render. Direct support for environmental reflections, V-Ray materials and the V-Ray Sky has also been added.

Other features include the option to change resolution on the fly when rendering via the Virtual Frame Buffer, plus a new Toon Render Element and support for Maya’s native toon shader setup.

Pricing and availability
V-Ray 3.6 for Maya is available for 64-bit Maya 2015 to 2018, running on Windows 7+, RHEL, CentOS or Fedora Linux, and Mac OS X 10.8.5 and above. You can find full system requirements here.

New licences start at $1,040 for one floating user licence and one floating render node licence. You can see more pricing options here. The update is free to existing users.

Read an overview of the new features in V-Ray for Maya on Chaos Group’s website

Read a full list of new features in V-Ray 3.6 for Maya in the online changelog