Thursday, June 25th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Chaos Group releases V-Ray for Unreal Update 3

Originally posted on 31 May 2019. Scroll down for news of Update 3.

Chaos Group has released V-Ray for Unreal Update 1, the first non-hotfix update to the new edition of V-Ray designed to work with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine game engine.

The release extends support for native Unreal Engine materials, and for viewport rendering.

Import scenes created in other editions of V-Ray into Unreal Engine to render in real time
Chaos Group’s answer to Unreal Engine’s native Datasmith toolset, V-Ray for Unreal makes it possible to import scenes created in other editions of V-Ray into Unreal Engine for rendering there.

The process automatically converts V-Ray lights and materials into their real-time equivalents.

User can then either generate a ray traced render within UE4, or make changes to the scene inside the game engine and have them propagated back to V-Ray.

The system is intended to make it possible to create both offline and real-time content with a single unified workflow, particularly for visualisation projects.

Better support for UE4 materials, lights and viewport rendering
V-Ray for Unreal 1 – it’s also referred to as V-Ray Next for Unreal Update 1 in the online documentation – is an incremental update, extending support for UE4’s native materials, and for viewport rendering.

In the first category, V-Ray for Unreal now supports Unreal’s Subsurface shading model and Two-Sided Foliage material. You can see a full list of UE4 materials currently supported here.

In the second category, the release “improve[s] viewport rendering with Translucent shading model”.

There are also a few updates to the conversion process for lights, including support for the V-Ray Rectangle light’s directional parameter, and support for Specular Scale in Unreal Engine lights.

The release also adds support for UE4’s PixelDepth expressions.

In addition, there are a number of workflow and performance improvements, particularly to speed and memory use when baking UE4 lights in V-Ray.

Updated 25 June 2020: Chaos Group has released V-Ray for Unreal Update 3, adding support for the firm’s Chaos Cloud online rendering service, both for rendering and baking lightmaps.

The release also introduces the V-Ray Material Optimizer, a MAXScript intended to optimise V-Ray for 3ds Max scenes for export to UE4, setting lightmap resolution and simplifying complex materials.

Since our original story, other updates have introduced support for transferring lightmaps between the two apps and for colour correction of V-Ray textures in the Unreal editor.

The price of an annual subscription has also fallen from $470/year to $219/year.

Pricing and availability
V-Ray for Unreal Update 3 is compatible with V-Ray for 3ds Max, Maya, Rhino and SketchUp and Unreal Engine 4.23.1+. It’s available on a rental-only basis, with subscriptions costing $80/month or $219/year.

Read a full list of new features in V-Ray for Unreal Update 3 on Chaos Group’s website