Check out the first tutorial in this four-part practical guide and unlock the powerful features available in V-Ray Next for Maya. Plus, read more below about Rusty and the making of these essential guides.
I chose to use the paint splash project as the basis for the tutorial as it involves lots of interesting materials including colorful paint splashes, shiny metal paint cans, and a paintbrush featuring a plastic handle with a sub-surface shader and bristles rendered with the V-Ray Next Hair shader.
In this tutorial, I wanted to see what was possible with distributed rendering in V-Ray Next. This mode is built right into the V-Ray core and can be used to accelerate IPR rendering in both the Maya viewport and the VFB.
In this lecture, CG Supervisor Stehen DeLalla gives a thorough introduction to V-Ray for Maya. All major aspects of V-Ray will be covered, starting with the fundamentals of how V-Ray integrates into Maya, linear workflow and color management, render settings, lights, materials, new features of vray 3 and 3.1, xgen integration, and more. There is also an in-depth discussion on general workflow techniques that will be useful for all levels of artists, and are directly related to how Stephen works in production. Topics include the V-Ray, Blend, Car Paint, Two-Sided, Hair, SSS and Skin Materials as well as Displacement, Global Illumination, Render Elements, Proxies, Physical Camera, and effective usage of the Adaptive DMC. There is also a making-of, discussing the techniques used with Maya, V-Ray, and Nuke to create the cover image. Stephen explains why certain decisions were made, what techniques were used, and how they relate to different chapters in the series. This lecture will provide artists with a wonderful foundation in V-ray, and enable them to push their work to a new level.
VRay is amazing at volumes, but the standard behavior is a little confusing if you assign a vrayEnvironmenFog to an object via the volume slot on a shading group. It'll render happily as long as the camera is outside the shape, but disappear once its inside. Vlado on the forums hinted it was possible to do, these are the steps. Basically you apply it as a global fog, then constrain it to a shape using the envfog as a set:
Per light aov's, lightgroups, call them what you will, they're handy. Vray does them just fine, but they're underdocumented, and I didn't have time to watch a 16min youtube tutorial. Doesn't anybody read anymore? ;)
It's SO much better than maya's render view, which should surprise no-one. When working with floating point, high intensity lights, its really important to be able to check your work at various exposures, with and without a curve, a lut, and do it quickly. Vrays' framebuffer lets you do all this. A minor annoyance is that maya insists on popping the render view up each time you render, I just slide it nearly offscreen so it stops bothering me. Also lets you easily see all the render elements you're creating, which is nice. Which leads to...
If you have any crazy sized, exr's (I'm currently loading 5 14k exrs for a skyline projection, beat _that_ ), convert them. Makes vray much happier. Under windows its a nice little gui that can batch process: start -> all programs -> chaos group vray -> tools -> image to tiled multiresolution exr converter
Distressingly easy to use. Found it funny that maya had a harder time throwing around the bounding box version of a crowd, even instanced, than vray had rendering it. Why you suck so hard at lots of transforms maya? WHY??
If you've only ever used mentalray, vray feels like mentalray done right. It's as tightly integrated into maya as mentalray (prman always feels like a bolted on thing), can be tuned and fiddled like mentalray if you like to create light caches and precompute blah blah, or can put it into brute force mode like arnold and just path trace all the things. The standard material is similar to the mia material but much easier to use, volumes are dead simple and fast, has actual working aov's/eoc's/render elements that are a no brainer to setup. It also ships with a cuda/opencl accellerated renderer called vrayRT, which is integrated with maya's IPR mode, good for fast tweaking and lookdev. The forum at chaos group is lively and helpful, builds are released almost every day, the devs are visible and engaged.
Know the Basics: Maya Part 1: InterfaceKnow the Basics: Maya Part 2: Viewports and NavigationKnow the Basics: Maya Part 3: ModellingKnow the Basics: Maya Part 4: OrganisationKnow the Basics: Maya Part 5: AnimatingKnow the Basics: Maya Part 6: Motion GraphicsKnow the Basics: Maya Part 7: Shaders & TexturesAs of 2017, Maya ships by default with a renderer called Arnold. Now I know that we've not got to the rendering section of the series of tutorials but in essence the renderer that we want to use will affect the lights that we will want to create. So because we're going to be using Arnold we also want to make sure that the lights we use are compatible with it. We'll therefore explore the lights that ship with Arnold. The benefit of these lights is that they are all physically accurate. That means that they act in a mathematically accurate manner; the same way that they do in the real world. Before we start go to 'Windows' -> Rendering Editors' -> 'Render Settings' and select the Arnold.
This tutorial is part of the SimplyMaya archive and as such is done with older versions of software. We keep this online for members to re-download and for people still running early versions of software.
SideFX supports MaterialX in Houdini 19, including the authoring and exporting of MaterialX graphs through the Solaris framework, and rendering of MaterialX content in Karma CPU/XPU. Karma, A Beautiful Game by Moeen Sayed provides a useful tutorial on look development in Houdini/Solaris, including an overview of using MaterialX to construct surface and volume materials. Additional details on MaterialX support in Houdini/Solaris may be found in the slides from the MaterialX session at ASWF Open Source Days 2021.
Pixar provides early support for MaterialX in RenderMan 24, rendering MaterialX pattern nodes through USD HdPrman, and rendering Physically Based Shading features through a custom implementation of the MaterialX Lama nodes. Additional details on MaterialX Lama may be found in this tutorial series from Pixar. 2b1af7f3a8