Tag Archives: Chaos Group

V-Ray GPU is Chaos Group’s new GPU rendering architecture

Chaos Group has redesigned its V-Ray RT product. The new V-Ray GPU rendering architecture, according to the company, effectively doubles the speed of production rendering for film, broadcast and design artists. This represents a redesign of V-Ray’s kernel structure, ensuring a dual-blend of high-performance speed and accuracy.

Chaos Group has renamed V-Ray RT to V-Ray GPU, wanting to establish the latter as a professional production renderer capable of supporting volumetrics, advanced shading and other smart tech coming down the road.

Current internal tests have V-Ray GPU running 80 percent faster on the Nvidia’s Titan V, a big gain from previous benchmarks on the Titan Xp, and up to 10-15x faster than an Intel Core i7-7700K, with the same high level of accuracy across interactive and production renders. (For its testing, Chaos Group uses a battery of production scenes to benchmark each release.)

“V-Ray GPU might be the biggest speed leap we’ve ever made,” says Blagovest Taskov, V-Ray GPU lead developer at Chaos Group. “Redesigning V-Ray GPU to be modular makes it much easier for us to exploit the latest GPU architectures and to add functionality without impacting performance. With our expanded feature set, V-Ray GPU can be used in many more production scenarios, from big-budget films to data-heavy architecture projects, while providing more speed than ever before.”

Representing over two years of dedicated R&D, V-Ray GPU builds on nine years of GPU-driven development in V-Ray. New gains for production artists include:

• Volume Rendering – Fog, smoke and fire can be rendered with the speed of V-Ray GPU. It’s compatible with V-Ray Volume Grid, which supports OpenVDB, Field3D and Phoenix FD volume caches.
• Adaptive Dome Light – Cleaner image-based lighting is now faster and even more accurate.
• V-Ray Denoising – Offering GPU-accelerated denoising across render elements and animations.
• Nvidia AI Denoiser – Fast, real-time denoising based on Nvidia OptiX AI-accelerated denoising technology.
• Interface Support – Instant filtering of GPU-supported features lets artists know what’s available in V-Ray GPU (starting within 3ds Max).

V-Ray GPU will be made available as part of the next update of V-Ray Next for 3ds Max beta.

Chaos Group acquires Render Legion and its Corona Renderer

Chaos Group has purchased Prague-based Render Legion, creator of the Corona Renderer. With this new product and Chao’s own V-Ray, the company is offering even more rendering solutions for M&E and the architectural visualization world.

Known for its ease of use, the Corona Renderer has become a popular choice for architectural visualization, but according to Chaos Group’s David Tracy, “There are a few benefits for M&E. Corona plans to implement some VFX-related features, such as hair and skin with the help of the V-Ray team. Also, Corona is sharing technology, like the way they optimize dome lights. That will definitely be a benefit for V-Ray users in the VFX space.”

The Render Legion team, including its founders and developers, will join Chaos Group as they continue to develop Corona using additional support and resources provided through the deal.

Chaos Group’s Academy Award-winning renderer, V-Ray will continue to be a core component of the company’s portfolio. Both V-Ray and Corona will benefit from joint collaborations, bringing complementary features and optimizations to each product.

The Render Legion acquisition is Chaos Group’s largest investment to date. It is the third investment in a visualization company in the last two years, including interactive presentation platform CL3VER and virtual reality pioneer Nurulize. According to Chaos Group, the computer graphics industry is expected to reach $112 billion in 2019, fueled by a rise in the demand for 3D visuals. This, they say, has presented a prime opportunity for companies who make the creation of photorealistic imagery more accessible.

Main Image: ( L-R) Chaos Group co-founder Vlado Koylazov and Render Legion CEO/co-founder Ondřej Karlík.

Thinkbox addresses usage-based licensing

At the beginning of May, Thinkbox Software launched Deadline 8, which introduced on-demand, per-minute licensing as an option for Thinkbox’s Deadline and Krakatoa, The Foundry’s Nuke and Katana, and Chaos Group’s V-Ray. The company also revealed it is offering free on-demand licensing for Deadline, Krakatoa, Nuke, Katana and V-Ray for the month of May.

Chris BondThinkbox founder/CEO Chris Bond explained, “As workflows increasingly incorporate cloud resources, on-demand licensing expands options for studios, making it easy to scale up production, whether temporarily or for a long-term basis. While standard permanent licenses are still the preferred choice for some VFX facilities, the on-demand model is an exciting option for companies that regularly expand and contract based on their project needs.”

Since the announcement, users have been reaching out to Thinkbox with questions about usage-based licensing. We reached out to Bond to help those with questions get a better understanding of what this model means for the creative community.

What is usage-based licensing?
Usage-based licensing is an additional option to permanent and temporary licenses and gives our clients the ability to easily scale up or scale down, without increasing their overhead, on a project-need basis. Instead of one license per render node, you can purchase minutes from the Thinkbox store (as pre-paid bundles of hours) that can be distributed among as many render nodes as you like. And, once you have an account with the Store, purchasing extra time only takes a few minutes and does not require interaction with our sales team.

Can users still purchase perpetual licenses of Deadline?
Yes! We offer both usage-based licensing and perpetual licenses, which can be used separately or together in the cloud or on-premise.

How is Deadline usage tracked?
Usage is tracked per minute. For example, if you have 10,000 hours of usage-based licensing, that can be used on a single node for 10,000 hours, 10,000 nodes for one hour or anything in between. Minutes are only consumed while the Deadline Slave application is rendering, so if it’s sitting idle, minutes won’t be used.

What types of renderfarms are compatible with usage-based licensing?
Usage-based licensing works with both local- and cloud-based renderfarms. It can be used exclusively or alongside existing permanent and temporary licenses. You configure the Deadline Client on each machine for usage-based or standard licensing. Alternatively, Deadline’s Auto-Configuration feature allows you to automatically assign the licensing mode to groups of Slaves in the case of machines that might be dynamically spawned via our Balancer application. It’s easy to do, but if anyone is confused they can send us an email and we’ll schedule a session to step you through the process.

Can people try it out?
Of course! For the month of May, we’re providing free licensing hours of Deadline, Krakatoa, Nuke, Katana and V-Ray. Free hours can be used for on-premise or cloud-based rendering, and users are responsible for compute resources. Hours are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and any unused time will expire at 12am PDT on June 1.

Chaos Group’s new V-Ray 3.2 for 3ds Max update is VR-ready

The Chaos Group has released V-Ray 3.2 for 3ds Max, a free update that introduces compatibility with 3ds Max 2016 and adds VR rendering capabilities and multiple V-Ray RT GPU enhancements.

Available for download at chaosgroup.com, V-Ray 3.2 for 3ds Max adds two new VR camera types to render stereo cube maps and spherical stereo images for VR headsets such as Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR. The update also offers V-Ray RT GPU improvements including displacement, anisotropic highlights, composite map, output curves, texture baking, UDIM support (Mari), and QMC sampling on Nvidia CUDA.

The update’s support for OpenVDB, Field3D, and Phoenix FD volume grid formats allows users to import and render data from popular effects applications such as Houdini and FumeFX. Newly equipped with distributed rendering, users also can add or remove distributed rendering nodes on the fly. An updated Light Cache algorithm removes light leaks and improves animation. With respect to geometry-ray 3.2 for 3ds Max includes new preview types for proxy objects, with mesh simplification for optimized proxy display; faster rendering of hair and fur; and Intel Embree support for 3ds Max Hair and Fur and V-Ray Fur. With support for 3ds Max 2016 comes full support for the new “physical camera” and its exposure control feature, as well as a new V-Ray lens analysis utility that adds support for the 3ds Max Physical Camera.

Chaos’ Service Pack 1 for V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max offers 100 improvements

Chaos Group’s new Service Pack 1 for V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max offers almost 100 new features, including faster render speeds, a new Microfacet GTR/GGX BRDF and advancements in V-Ray RT GPU.  Service Pack 1 is a free update for all V-Ray 3.0 customers and is available now for download.

Chaos’ V-Ray RT GPU now supports rendering hair and subsurface scattering, allowing for more advanced character work. Improved refresh speeds help with greater interactivity for look development and faster iterations. Light Cache support now makes it possible to render architectural interiors using the GPU.

V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max Service Pack 1 adds support for Microfacet GTR/GGX BRDF, for hard surfaces such as metal. In addition, many shaders have been refined for faster rendering and added functionality. There are now Clip opacity and Stochastic opacity material options for faster rendering of opacity-mapped trees and vegetation, improved translucency of two-sided materials, and optimized volume rendering with Light Cache support.
Other new features in Service Pack 1 include:

Geometry
• Updated to Embree 2.3; Embree can now accelerate VRayProxy objects, instances and Ornatrix/HairFarm hair
• New VRayInstancer geometric plugin for instancing objects using ParticleFlow systems
• Improved cutaway and section rendering with VRayClipper
• Automatic instancing of identical proxy objects
• Added support for subdivision objects in Alembic files through OpenSubdiv
• Added support for point cloud rendering in 3ds Max 2015
• New VRMesh/Alembic viewer for proxy objects

Lighting
• New disc-shaped area light
• Faster sampling of rectangular area lights
• Ability to control diffuse and specular lighting contributions separately

Render Elements and Compositing
• Support for OpenEXR 2.2 with new DWA compression options
• Render out light contributions into separate components (raw, diffuse, specular, etc.)
• New controls for object visibility in VRayVelocity render elements

V-Ray Frame Buffer
• New dockable history and color correction tools in V-Ray Frame Buffer
• New Reinhard highlight burn color correction
• Save multi-channel OpenEXR and .vrimg files directly from VFB
• Ability to load background image into VFB
• New option for loading files into VFB for post processing
• Improved anaglyph stereoscopic preview

 

Chaos Group ships V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max

Sofia, Bulgaria — Chaos Group’s new V-Ray 3.0 for Autodesk’s 3ds Max is now shipping. And thanks to optimizations to the raytracing core, Brute Force GI, Progressive Path Tracing, Reflections, Refractions and more are running up to five times faster; while the new Progressive Production Renderer brings fast set-ups and quick iterations.

“When your customers come from a variety of industries like architecture, product design, games, and VFX, the feature requests can be fairly diverse,” said Vlado Koylazov, lead developer and Chaos Group co-founder. “But speed and simplicity benefit all artists, so they are at the core of 3.0’s development.”

V-Ray 3.0’s new interface is designed with experienced users in mind. Three UI modes (Basic, Advanced, and Expert) can be selected to match an artist’s preference. The new V-Ray toolbar includes Quick Settings with dropdowns for production-ready presets for common uses like Archviz Exterior, Archviz Interior, and VFX. Settings for Quality and Shading Rate can be fine-tuned with easy-to-use sliders, making the entire process highly intuitive.

VFX artists will find that V-Ray 3.0 (www.V-Ray.com) offers improved Subsurface Scattering (SSS) including options for object-based and ray traced illumination, faster hair rendering speeds (up to 15x), view-dependent tessellation that automatically smoothes hair curves, and a dedicated Skin Shader with layered reflections. Now with UDIM and UVTILE support, it’s even easier to move Mari and Autodesk Mudbox assets into V-Ray.

“Our game cinematics are usually packed with epic action scenes, huge environments, multiple characters with hair and SSS, fire, explosions, debris, all with 3D motion blur and render passes. That’s a lot to work with, but V-Ray makes it easy to get the job done,” said Kevin Margo, VFX supervisor at Blur Studios, one of the software’s beta testers.

As an industry standard for large environments and complex scenes, V-Ray’s recent use on ILM’s Star Trek Into Darkness, Pacific Rim and The Lone Ranger has proven why it’s become such a dependable part of the pipeline for the digital environments and matte painting team.

“When we started The Lone Ranger, we changed some of the toolsets under the hood: we went strictly over to 3ds Max, using V-Ray as our renderer. That was the final piece of the puzzle. We were getting not only great render results, but great render throughput: it could handle everything we were throwing at it,” said Dan Wheaton, digital matte supervisor at ILM.

V-Ray 3.0 offers a number of additional workflow shortcuts, technical advances and support for open sources technologies:
• Render Mask – Users can define render regions using an object selection or image mask
•Reflection/ Refraction Trace Sets – Provides more direct control in choosing whether reflections and refractions are visible in objects
•Max Ray Intensity – Will easily fix artifacts from over-bright sources
•Probabilistic Lights – Increases the speed of scenes with a high number of lights
•V-Ray RT GPU – Improved with support for Render Elements
•V-Ray Frame Buffer – Improved with added color correction controls
•Open Source Technologies include: Alembic integration with support for hair and particles; Deep Data output support including OpenEXR 2.0; Ptex object-space vector displacement support; Open Shading Language (OSL) support for programmable shaders; and OpenColorIO support for advanced color management.

V-Ray 2.0 upgrades start at $420 and the full Workstation license price will be $1,050. As upgrade bundle prices vary, customers should contact their local reseller, or to Chaos Group directly.

Image Caption: Ciro Sannino created this image using the V-Ray 3.0 Beta and Progressive Rendering.