Wednesday, August 31st, 2022 Posted by Jim Thacker

Chaos ships V-Ray 6 for Maya

Originally posted on 23 August 2022. Scroll down for news of the public release.

Chaos has released V-Ray 6 for Maya in open beta.

New features in the latest major version of the renderer include V-Ray Enmesh, Chaos’s system for repeating geometry across the surface of an object without instancing, and procedural clouds in V-Ray Sky.

Changes unique to the Maya edition include a new V-Ray Profiler for identifying rendering bottlenecks in scenes, and extended USD support, including support for VDB volume shaders in USD.

Full disclosure: the beta was actually released last month, but we only spotted it while working on a story on V-Ray 6 for Cinema 4D, which has also just been released in open beta.

V-Ray Enmesh generates repeating surface geometry without instancing
The release makes Maya the second host application to get the new features from V-Ray 6, following the release of V-Ray 6 for 3ds Max earlier this year.

Major new features include the VRayEnmesh modifier, which covers the surface of an object with repeating geometry, in a way analogous to tiling a texture.

Unlike instancing, no extra memory is used by the repeating geometry – only the source mesh is loaded – making it possible to have “billions of polygons [in a scene] without any impact on the memory consumption”.

Suggested use cases range in scale from fences to chainmail and rattan to the micro-structure of fabrics.

Updates to VRayMtl, VRaySky, the Dome light and the VFB
VRayMtl, the standard V-Ray material, gets a new integrated Thin Film layer for creating iridescent materials like soap bubbles and oil spills: effects previously only achievable via an OSL shader.

There is also a new implementation for SSS mode, which should speed up rendering of translucent materials.

In addition, energy compensation has been implemented in the GTR BRDF, which should fix a long-standing issue in which reflections appear unrealistically dark at very low glossiness values.

Texture projection system VRayDecal now supports displacement maps.

VRaySky, V-Ray’s physically accurate sky system, gets support for procedural clouds: a feature based on technology from real-time rendering firm Enscape, with which Chaos merged this year.

Other lighting changes include the new Finite Dome mode for the V-Ray Dome Light, for fine tuning light projection onto ground surfaces via three new settings: Radius, Projection height and Ground blend settings.

In addition, interactive renders can now use the Light Cache GI, making IPR and production renders identical.

The V-Ray Frame Buffer (VFB) also gets a number of new features, including support for viewing spherical panoramas, and a new Proportion Guides Layer to help with scene composition.

New V-Ray Profiler identifies rendering bottlenecks
Changes unique to the Maya edition include the V-Ray Profiler, a new tool for identifying bottlenecks in scene rendering in order to optimise material settings.

It tracks the time taken to render each material in a scene, breaking the result down into categories by calculation type, including initialisation and calculating GI, reflections and refraction.

In the initial release, it is limited to the Windows and Linux editions of the software, and does not support V-Ray GPU or several advanced material types, including the car paint, Fast SSS, OSL and GLSL materials.

In addition, support for USD – introduced to V-Ray 5 for Maya – has been extended with support for VDB volume shaders in USD, and the option to export V-Ray materials as USD Preview Surfaces.

Subscriptions now work across eight other host applications
Since the previous release, Chaos has changed its licensing model for V-Ray, making the software subscription-only, but with subscription licences now working across a range of host applications, not one.

There are three new subscription packages: V-Ray Solo, V-Ray Premium and V-Ray Enterprise.

V-Ray Solo subscriptions, which cost $466.80/year, are node-locked; floating V-Ray Premium subscriptions cost $694.80/year. V-Ray Enterprise subscriptions are bulk discounts for buying five or more seats.

Each works with 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Houdini, Maya, Nuke, Revit, Rhino, SketchUp and Unreal Engine, and includes access to the Chaos Cosmos asset library.

Premium and Enterprise subscriptions also include access to material library Chaos Scans and three other applications: scene-exploration tool Chaos Vantage, newly rebranded image player Chaos Player, and fluid simulation tool Chaos Phoenix, itself also now subscription-only.

Updated 31 August 2022: V-Ray 6 for Maya has been officially released.

As well as the features listed above, the release includes updates to environment fog and the VRayVolumeGrid, for rendering volumes. You can find a full list of changes via the links below.

Pricing and system requirements
V-Ray 6 for Maya is compatible with Maya 2019+, running on 64-bit Windows 8.1+, RHEL and CentOS 6.5+ Linux and macOS 10.14+. You can find more detailed system requirements here.

You can find details of Chaos’s new subscription pricing in the story above.

Read an overview of the new features in V-Ray 6 for Maya on Chaos’s website

Read a full list of new features in V-Ray 6 for Maya in the online release notes