In this article, we will show you how to render images using the V-Ray® rendering engine. The latest version, 3.40, has been further improved: it is faster than previous versions, more flexible, and much easier to use.
When you start the rendering process for the first time, the window that will appear is the one in the image below:
The arrow button, on the right side of this window, allows you to open the “Advanced Parameters” section. In the next image, you can see the way the window expands when the arrow is clicked so that the “Advanced Parameters” section is visible.
We suggest that you do not modify the settings in this section unless you have previous experience with V-Ray.
As you start the rendering, you will notice that in the first phase of the process, the engine works to automatically adjust the exposure value for the scene. This is an automatic process that saves you the time and hassle of having to set the value beforehand, as in previous versions. In addition, you can change the Exposure Value even during the rendering of the image (see the EV-Exposure Value slider in the next image). Again, this is a significant upgrade compared to previous versions, as it is now much easier to setup and adjust the correct Exposure Value.
Let’s take a closer look at the controls available in the rendering window above:
Mode: can be Interactive, Progressive, or Customized. Interactive mode means that the user can interact with the rendering engine while the image is processing. This means that users have the flexibility to stop the rendering process at any time, for example, as soon as the quality seems to be acceptable for their needs.
While in Interactive mode, you can choose to see the standard image rather than the denoised one; the newest version of the engine, in fact, is able to develop the standard image and try to remove the noise affecting it. The denoised image is generated at the end of each rendering cycle; you can compare the standard and the denoised images by switching between them by using the dropdown menu in the top-left of the window, as seen in the following image.
At the top-right of the window, you can find a dropdown menu which lets you manage the priority of the rendering process. Normal priority allows you to split the cores of the computer so that DomuS3D®, as well as other WindowsTM applications will run normally: this priority setting will slow down the rendering process, possibly doubling the time required for rendering. High priority gives the rendering engine all the PC’s available power: this mode reduces the rendering time to the minimum possible. The third option (In Pause), allows you to temporarily place the rendering process in stand-by (for example, if you need to use other core-demanding applications), and start it again as soon as you have finished.
As an alternative to Interactive mode, you can choose the Progressive mode when you do not plan to follow up and interact with the rendering directly while it is processing.
When Progressive mode is selected, it is possible to set the quality level you want to reach by the end of the process and/or the time limit for the process itself. When a time limit is set, the rendering process will terminate, regardless of the quality previously selected. Similarly, if you set a desired quality level, the process will terminate as soon as it reaches that quality, regardless of the time limit specified.
Thus, it is of utmost importance to get a good feel for quality levels and time limits in order to achieve your desired results when rendering (see related paragraph in this article to learn more about quality levels).
At the end of the rendering process, the program will save both the standard and the noised images (the denoised image will be created right at the end of the rendering process). The denoising process greatly improves the quality of your final image: take a look at the following images for a comparison between a standard and a denoised image. In your own work, you will notice that for most images, the denoised solution is far better than the standard one. If you are using a previous version of the application, you will now be able to reach the same result as before in half the time thanks to the denoising option.
Zoom of a standard image
Zoom of a ‘denoised’ image
Another great option available in the latest version of V-Ray® is that you can save a temporary image of the current screen at anytime during the rendering process, without interrupting the process. This is very useful if you want to start creating folders for the project and need to know how big the final image will be.
V-Ray® 3.40 makes the rendering process incredibly easy and speeds up the time required to achieve your desired result. In addition, it sets up and optimizes the rendering parameters for you. Lights will be used only if they have a specific and perceptible role in the selected point of view. Lastly, the quality of the final image is better than ever before.
When you upgrade your license, you will have access to the advanced parameters of this engine for old projects, as well. Those projects still contain the Customized mode in the rendering window.
You can continue to render them with this setup, or you can reset the rendering setup and use the new calibration created for V-Ray® 3.40. If you want to use the new rendering setup, select Interactive mode and click the “Reset parameters” button.
Resolution: specifies the dimension of the rendering. When you open the rendering window for the first time in the project, the resolution is the same as the Navigation window. In the resolutions list you can find most common values for daily use, such as A4, A3, … and different DPI setups.
In the advanced section of the rendering window (other options) there are other parameters. Let’s have a look at them:
Exposure: allows you to calibrate the exposure value using a small preview
Load, Save: with these buttons, it is possible to load or save the rendering setup you have configured so that you can use the same setup for future (and similar) projects.
Panorama: allows you to create a 360° Panorama, centered in the position of the observer in the Navigation window.
Stereoscopic: allows you to create a Stereoscopic image (or a Stereoscopic Panorama 360°, if the Panorama control is checked. Use this option if you want to create VR Panoramas to be used on Cardboard or Samsung Gear
Users coming from previous versions will note many new features related to rendering options.
The following list summarizes the most important new features:
- Automatic calibration of the exposure value
- Dynamic calibration of the exposure value during rendering
- Automatic setup of the rendering parameters
- Denoised image: saves significant time (between 20 and 40%) with optimized images with noise reduction
- Image calibration after rendering, thanks to HDR format
- Image quality is better than with previous versions of the engine
This article is valid for DomuS3D® 2017 and later versions