V-Ray can handle and render most of the materials included inside 3ds Max including MentalRay materials with some exceptions of certain shaders. However all shaders coming with V-Ray are optimized for the V-Ray ray-tracing and the engine itself so its recommend that you use them to achieve the best results in shortest time. The shaders use a pre-pass to create fast and accurate subsurface scattering effect with support for both single and multiple scattering. Between the shaders included inside V-Ray 2.0 belongs VRayCarPaintMtl, VRayHairMtl, VRayDistanceTex texture, VRayPtex, VRayMultiSubTex, .... All these shaders come now with a new feature accessible inside the shader settings “Dispersion“. This simple yet powerful feature allows you to create stunning close ups of refractive objects with caustics and adds realism to your glass materials. Moreover, these custom shaders can be enhancement using inbuilt procedural maps which can be placed into any map slot of these shaders. Between these procedural maps belongs VRayHDRI, VrayDirt, VrayCompTex and VrayDistanceTex. You can read a short description about all shaders and maps included in the new version below.
VRayCarPaintMtl – allows you to create car paint shaders complete with base, flake and coat layers
VRayHairMtl- a new shader, allowing hair and fur to be rendered with great quality, and speed
VRayDistanceTex texture - this procedurally generated texture is used to create a wide range of effects based on the distance between objects in the scene. The map is computed analytically without raytracing and can be used to drive other render-time effects like V-Ray fur and displacement mapping
VRayMultiSubTex – similar to default 3ds Max, this map allows you to assign different textures based on object ID
VRayHairInfoTex - a new texture, adding control and flexibility when using the VRayHairMtl
VRayOrnatrixMod - a new modifier, providing the ability to render Ephere’s Ornatrix hair seamlessly in V-Ray
VRayPtex - a new texture capable of loading Ptex files, an innovative texture format created by Walt Disney Animation Studios®, that eliminates the need to assign UVs
VRayGLSLMtl - a new shader, providing the ability to load materials created using the meta shading language - MetaSL
VRayGSLTex - a new map capable of loading textures created using MetaSL
V-Ray effects, lights:
V-Ray comes with a wide range of render elements, render features but also own lights and cameras. The V-Ray Lights are physically accurate and allows you to create realistic illumination using these lights including IES lights and true area lights with support for texture mapping. Talking about illumination we have to mention also the fact that V-Ray can render accurate global illumination (GI) using a combination of the provided global illumination methods. V-Ray 2.0 comes with enhancements to V-Ray Lights, which now allows you to control the light direction and dispersion. With these settings you can easily transform a light plane to a spot light. Also new render elements were added, VRayLightSelect allows you to save separate render passes of specific lights or groups in your scene with the option to control the multiplier on the pass. A huge improvement was made to the VRayEnvironmentFog, before you could apply this render feature only to a single gizmo to a scene, now you have the option to assign it to multiple gizmos. A new render effect called VRayLensEffects was added, this new feature allows you to create highly realistic bloom and glare effects. By this you can separately control all parameters including the size, shape and so on.
The computing power of the current workstations raised in the last few years exponentially. Not only were the new generation CPUs released on the market but also new powerful GPUs. This fact opened a new way for renderers, Real-Time rendering. V-Ray comes by default with V-Ray RT which allows you as a default max shader to render your scene inside your view using GPU or CPU acceleration. This is of course a real advantage because you can adjust and fine tune your lights and materials before you actually hit the render button. The GPU acceleration is faster than CPU but it depends on the used graphic card – more memory is in this case better. Still the V-Ray RT is not only limited to nVidia CUDA technology and this means that you can use any graphic card you have. However certain shaders will not work in this configuration.
V-Ray 2.0 stands for his name and fulfilled all exceptions which the community had before releasing this new major update. It’s no doubt that V-Ray belongs between the best and most used render engine in the CG industry and as a first choice of many 3D artists. The rich feature set which the solution can give you is absolutely amazing and it’s really true that with V-Ray 2.0 you get not only a render engine but a complete rendering solution. The complexity of V-Ray is known and you will understand this at the moment you will open the web-manual for it. You shouldn’t expect any miracles before you really get in touch with V-Ray. V-Ray its build also on the feedbacks of many 3D artists and as by many other software’s you need some experience to be able to handle the features and possibilities V-Ray can give you. V-Ray 2.0 has lots of more “pros” than “cons” and by my review I found actually just one, the need of a powerful GPU for the V-Ray RT. It’s not the fastest renderer but also not the slowest. All of the features and possibilities I mentioned above making from V-Ray really a great piece of software.