Tuesday, June 16th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Chaos Group ships V-Ray 5

Originally posted on 1 May 2020. Scroll down for news of the commmercial release.

Chaos Group has released V-Ray 5 for 3ds Max, the next major version of the production renderer – and the first of the next generation of updates to the entire V-Ray product family – as a free public beta.

The update radically reworks the V-Ray Frame Buffer, adds a new material library and asset browser, and makes a range of other key improvements to V-Ray materials and the V-Ray GPU render engine.

The first of a new generation of updates to the V-Ray product family
Chaos Group typically introduces new features in the 3ds Max and standalone editions of V-Ray before rolling them out the other versions, starting with V-Ray for Maya.

As a result, the V-Ray 5 beta provides a glimpse not just of the new features for 3ds Max users, but of the next generation of releases for the product family as a whole.

It arrived much quicker than its predecessor: it’s just over two years since the original beta of V-Ray Next – V-Ray 4.0 in standard version numbering – compared to the four-year gap between V-Ray 3.0 and Next.

Perhaps as a result, the two release cycles overlap: at the time of posting, the new features from V-Ray Next still haven’t rolled out to every edition of the renderer, notably V-Ray for Cinema 4D.

Key changes: built-in compositing and relighting in the VFB, plus a new materials library and browser
The major change in V-Ray 5 is the reworked V-Ray Frame Buffer (VFB), which gets an integrated layer-based compositing system, and a Corona Renderer-style LightMix system for relighting scenes after rendering.

Other major changes include a new built-in library with over 500 readymade materials, plus a new material asset browser, a material preview system, and material presets.

The update also adds new parameters for surface coatings and sheen to the standard V-Ray material, and new texture randomisation and texturing tiling features.

Other significant changes include support for rendering ACEScg colour space, and further updates to the V-Ray GPU render engine, including support for out-of-core rendering.

For a deeper dive into the changes, check out our run-down of the 10 key features in V-Ray 5 for 3ds Max.

Updated 29 May 2020: Chaos Group has released V-Ray 5 for 3ds Max Beta 2.

The update adds further features to the VFB, including support for filmic tonemapping and background colour correction, while LightMix gets an option to solo individual lights.

Other changes include support for Light Path Expressions through VRayLightSelect; and blue noise sampling in the DMC sampler, intended to cut the number of samples required to render a noise-free image.

V-Ray also gets the improved sky model that Chaos Group demoed in the upcoming Corona Renderer 6.

Workflow improvements include the option to export only parts of a scene when generating a .vrscene file, and support for the Alembic file format’s IParticleObjExt interface, making it possible to use particles generated in other DCC applications as instancing sources within V-Ray.

Updated 16 June 2020: V-Ray 5 is now shipping.

The commercial release adds a few extra features, the most significant probably being new controls for generating procedural streaks of dirt in the V-Ray Dirt material.

Pricing and system requirements
V-Ray 5 for 3ds Max is available for 3ds Max 2016+, running on Windows 8.1+.

Pricing remains unchanged from V-Ray Next, with a perpetual workstation licence and one render node priced at $1,180. Rental costs $80/month or $470/year.

Read an overview of the new features in V-Ray 5 for 3ds Max on Chaos Group’s website

Read a full list of new features in V-Ray 5 in the online release notes

Read our run-down of the 10 key features for CG artists in V-Ray 5 for 3ds Max