Thursday, December 15th, 2022 Posted by Jim Thacker

Chaos releases V-Ray 6 for Houdini

Chaos has released V-Ray 6 for Houdini, the latest version of the Houdini edition of the renderer.

The update adds support for Houdini’s native ocean tools and key features from Houdini 19.5 like the new hair procedural; and improves rendering of volumes like haze, smoke and fire.

Other new features include geometry replication system V-Ray Enmesh, support for procedural clouds in the physical sky system, and access to online asset library Chaos Cosmos.

A readymade look development pipeline across Maya and Nuke
First released in 2019, V-Ray for Houdini is intended as much for look dev as final-quality rendering.

VFX studios with V-Ray pipelines can use it preview effects or assets before exporting them to Maya or 3ds Max for rendering, ensuring visual consistency across each stage of production.

As well as the core software, V-Ray is available as a Hydra delegate within Solaris, Houdini’s USD-based shot layout, lighting and look dev environment, making it possible to use as a viewport renderer.

Now supports Houdini’s ocean tools and the new features from Houdini 19.5
Given the way that it is intended to be used, the headline change in V-Ray 6 for Houdini is not a new feature in V-Ray itself, but simply the fact that it is compatible with Houdini 19.5, the latest version of Houdini.

In particular, it supports Houdini 19.5’s new hair procedural, and the new render region system in Solaris.

Chaos has also introduced support for more of Houdini’s existing toolsets, including the ocean tools. You can find a more detailed breakdown of what is and isn’t currently supported here.

Improvements to volume rendering
V-Ray 6 for Houdini also improves volume rendering: something that Chaos pitches as improving look development of smoke and fire generated with Pyro, Houdini’s volumetric simulation toolset.

Changes include a new option to quickly create masks for volumes by “export[ing] Cryptomatte elements without using the Volumetric Geometry mode”.

Houdini users also get absorption colour and phase function (anisotropy) controls for the VolumeGrid shader similar to those in other editions of V-Ray.

Other new features: Enmesh geometry replication, procedural clouds and access to Chaos Cosmos
In addition, the update adds the main features from the other editions of V-Ray 6.

They include geometry replication system V-Ray Enmesh, which covers the surface of an object with repeating geometry at render time, in a way analogous to tiling a texture.

VRayMtl, the standard V-Ray material, gets a new Thin Film layer for iridescent materials like soap bubbles, new Coat and Sheen layers, better handling of translucency, and better energy conservation.

V-Ray’s physical sky system gets support for procedural clouds, while the Dome Light gets a new Finite Dome mode for fine tuning light projection onto ground surfaces.

Older V-Ray features now supported in the Houdini edition include texture projection system V-Ray Decal and performance profiling tool V-Ray Profiler.

Outside the core software, V-Ray for Houdini users also now have access to Chaos Cosmos.

The online asset library was originally intended primarily for architectural visualisation, but for Houdini users, Chaos is pitching it as a potential source of stock assets for previs work.

Subscriptions now work across eight other host applications
Since the previous release, Chaos has changed its licensing model for V-Ray, discontinuing perpetual licences, but with subscriptions 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 Chaos Cosmos. Pro and Enterprise users get additional bundled software and services.

Pricing and system requirements
V-Ray 6 for Houdini is compatible with Houdini 19.0+, running on Windows 8.1+, CentOS 6/RHEL 6.2+ Linux and Mac OS X 10.9+. The software is available rental-only: you can find details of pricing in the story above.

Read an overview of the new features in V-Ray 6 for Houdini on the product website

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