V-Ray is a rendering system (of visual imaging), developed by Chaos Group (Bulgaria). The first beta version of the V-Ray renderer has appeared in 2000.
V-Ray works as a plugin for Autodesk 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, SketchUp, Rhino, TrueSpace7.5, Autodesk Maya, as a separate Standalone module, and Blender (by means of Standalone module).
V-Ray is a ray tracing renderer, which has several algorithms of calculations of Global Illumination:
• Light Cache,
• Photon Map (photon card),
• Irradiance Map,
• brute force (QMC).
There is a possibility of choosing different algorithms to render reflection and re-reflection of Global Illumination.
V-Ray had demonstrated itself well in many areas of visualization due to its flexibility and wide range of tools for the integration with pipeline of various visualization studios, whether they were animation or architectural companies.
The main advantages of V-Ray are:
• it supports Distributive rendering;
• it has many flexible settings of picture’s quality to produce good results in a reasonable time;
• it has in its functional large and constantly expanding range of materials that can imitate the certain properties of objects, such as sub-surface scattering;
• adds in 3ds Max procedural textures and utilities that facilitate work with scenery (e.g., v-ray multisub texture and v-ray edges texture);
• it supports the outcome of own Render Elements (passes) for further assembly in compositing programs.
The main disadvantages:
• the complexity of work with Global Illumination when animated objects exist. Animated objects cannot be illuminated by means of fast interpolation methods (such as Light Cache, Irradiance Map), and only very slow brute force remains; the same logics works when visualizing materials that require interpolation such as SSS;
• extremely slow rendering of transparent objects. When imposing such objects at each other, visualization slows down in many times;
• the module V-Ray RT (Real-Time) is not finished yet, so it does not support significant quantity of main functions of V-Ray and this makes work with this module not full.