Thursday, April 16th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Get the free V-Ray for Maya Personal Learning Edition

An image rendered in V-Ray for Maya by Troll. The new Personal Learning Edition makes “all the major features” of the renderer available indefinitely to anyone who wants to learn the software.

Chaos Group has released V-Ray PLE for Maya, a new personal learning edition of its production renderer.

The edition, which is free for non-commercial use, provides anyone who wants to try V-Ray for Maya with indefinite access to “all the major features” of V-Ray Next, the current commercial release.

So how is this different to an ordinary trial version?
Unlike the existing free 30-day trial licence, the V-Ray for Maya Personal Learning Edition can be used indefinitely, although users will need to renew their licences every 90 days.

PLE users also don’t get active product support – although given how active the Chaos Group forums are, that shouldn’t be a major handicap when learning V-Ray.

Renders aren’t watermarked, which was historically often the case with PLE editions of other software, though output resolution is limited to 4K (3,840 x 2,160px) resolution.

There are a also number of technical restrictions, presumably intended to limit unauthorised use in production, including lack of support for batch and distributed rendering.

In addition, the PLE edition lacks the ability to export scenes in .vrscene format for use in other editions of the renderer, or access to V-Ray SDK or V-Ray AppSDK.

The online documentation also refers, enigmatically, to “Scene pollution (stamping saved scenes)”. We’ve asked Chaos Group what that means, and will update if we hear back.

Updated: Saved scenes include information that they came from the PLE. Rendering a saved scene in a commercial edition of the software then has the same limitations as in the PLE itself.

Will there be a PLE edition of V-Ray for 3ds Max?
According to Chaos Group, the release represents the “pilot project for V-Ray personal learning editions”, and has been fast-tracked due to the number of people working from home during coronavirus restrictions.

The firm hasn’t announced any further specific upcoming PLE editions, but “will leave the option open for other products in the future”.

System requirements and availability
V-Ray for Maya PLE is available for Maya 2017+ running on 64-bit Windows 7+, Mac OS X 10.9+ and RHEL/CentOS Linux. You can see the full system requirements for the commercial edition here.

The software is free for non-commercial use, with the restrictions listed above.

Visit the V-Ray for Maya Personal Learning Edition product page
(Includes download link)

Read Chaos Group’s online FAQs for V-Ray for Maya PLE