Wednesday, June 14th, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Chaos releases V-Ray for Houdini Update 1

Chaos has released V-Ray 6 for Houdini Update 1, the latest version of the Houdini edition of the renderer.

The release introduces a new bump to glossiness workflow for materials like skin; extends V-Ray Decal, the procedural clouds system and V-Ray GPU; and adds support for AI image upscaling in the Denoiser.

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.

New bump to glossiness workflow for materials like skin
New features include the TexBump2Glossiness node, which generates a reflection glossiness texture from a bump or normal map.

It is intended to stop materials like skin from looking too shiny when seen at a distance.

Updates to V-Ray Decal and procedural clouds
Existing features that get updates include texture-projection system V-Ray Decal, which now supports Cylindrical as well as Planar projection, and additive bump mapping on decals.

The new procedural clouds system gets the option to generate contrails.

Updates to lighting, rendering and the VFB
Other changes include new controls for the V-Ray Direct Light for creating custom light decay patterns.

V-Ray GPU, the software’s hybrid CPU/GPU render engine, gets a new Compressed Textures mode to reduce memory footprint, and support for V-Ray Clipper in mesh mode, for rendering cutaway images.

The Denoiser now supports Nvidia’s AI-based upscaling technology when using the NVIDIA denoising engine, and can now be used on panoramic images.

The V-Ray Frame Buffer (VFB) gets support for emissive materials in the VRayLightMix and VRayLightSelect render elements, making it possible to adjust the look of self-illuminating materials after rendering.

It is also now possible to control post effects with masks inside the VFB.

Performance and workflow improvements
For troubleshooting performance bottlenecks, the V-Ray Profiler gets support for profiling export tasks, and a new Simple mode, intended for use with simpler scenes.

Performance improvements include faster geometry compilation for static meshes and faster hair rendering.

There is also a longish list of fixes and workflow improvements to the Solaris Hydra delegate.

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 rental-only, with node-locked V-Ray Solo subscriptions priced at $466.80/year, and floating V-Ray Premium subscriptions priced at $694.80/year. Find more details in this story.

Read an overview of the new features in V-Ray 6 for Houdini Update 1 on the product website

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