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V-ray/Blender Integration

79

V ray/Blender Integration toolbox

Developer Andrey Izrantsev is quietly improving his V-Ray/Blender integration script, and has recently released an update for Blender 2.6. I talked to Andrey about his project.

The status is pretty good. We have about 90% of V-Ray Standalone features supported

Is this a commercial or a free project?

It's a free GPLv2 project. I plan it to be some kind of commercial or based on donations, but user interest is very low (about 10 active forum users). So I'm coding it just for fun now =)

What is the current status of the project and what are the current capabilities of the script?

I'm coding it in my free time and basically the status is pretty good. We have about 90% of V-Ray Standalone features supported. I even create a free (but not GPL) VRayProxy generation tool. Just look at the gallery.

The project consists of an exporting script and a special build. Special build contains a custom operator for the multi-threaded mesh export - about 20 times faster then pure python mesh export.

What are you planning to add in the future?

Currently I'm working on some advanced standalone support including realtime update. This additions will make user interaction even more faster (only changed data will be reloaded, fast scene loading/reloading without exporting to files). I also plan to add stereoscopic features and add all missing controls (mainly for lights and textures).

Demonstration video

Links

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  • http://www.facebook.com/deadlandchronicles Tadd Mener

    Wow, lookin good! Having options for rendering is a great thing! Keep up the awesome work!

  • Nick

    Vray inside blender is just awesome. But instead of going through a few troubles of getting vray in blender, i appreciate your hard efforts though, can't we just use cycles?I find cycles produces results just as great as vray, only thing is its unbiased, so it takes a little longer to render. But anyways, its really great to see vray working in blender. Keep up the hard work.

    • Anonymous

      Vray is a lot more mature and feature rich. It has tons of bells and whistles cycles won't have for long if it is ever gonna have all of that stuff at all. Cycles is gonna become cooler as time goes by but different renderers are suitable for different tasks which is why it is great that developers spend time on integrating 3rd party stuff. The lack of options is one of the major reasons why many professionals still step back from using blender.

    • Nicholas Rishel

      Cycles is a solution for hobbyists and upstarts. If we as a community want to see Blender grow as a tool, it will have to integrate into other people's workflows. This might not be a tool for you, but it is relevant to the success of Blender.

      • Nick

        ok thanks for the replies. both cycles and vray rock. blender is the best :)

    • dcreativeking

      How can you even compare cycles to vray. Have you tried the blender-vray build provided by dbancer. Vray is super blazing fast in blender. Cycles isn't going to join the vray league any time soon. I think this project is very important for the success of blender. The developer is worried about the lack of interest shown by the blender community so far. I think we as a community should rather be grateful and show more interest in this project. You would be surprised how many professionals would jump onto the blender wagon once all vray features have been successfully integrated.

      Personally, i think a hybrid situation, where you get this great sofware - blender- for free and still have the option to extend its' ability with commercial softwares like vray will be totally awesome. Blender forever.

  • Avbear131

    How about Yafaray&luxrender?

  • Anonymous

    Yay, I am about to buy Vray finally because of this project. Been planning for some time. Thanks for the effort, Andrey!There was a discussion on blenderartists about license issues in terms of integrating commercial software into blender: http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?235352-Blender-Octane-plugin-developer-wantedThe refractive software guys were looking for a dev who would be willing to integrate octane really tightly into blender:

    "One of the problems with developing a plugin for blender is the GPL licensing issue.You cannot link a non-GPL (commercial) DLL/SO library into a GPL software, it would violate the GPL license.I am sure there are ways to do it though, by writing an intermediate layer that you link into blender, that is LGPL licensed, and then communicates to octane via our linked in API, or through a socket or pipe.Some research is required into a feasible mechanism, but it can definately be done."

    Maybe Andrey has some advice on that topic for them. :)

    • Nabil Stendardo

      That's what the customary interpretation of the GPL says. However I have some doubts about this statement (you cannot license something under GPL if it is linked to non-GPL binaries). Yes the legal text says that the software as a whole is licensed under GPL (so obligation to provide source code, etc,), however I do not follow the FSF's view that dynamic linking is considered a creation of a derivative work, a DLL/SO being used as an interface (function signatures, etc.). In an abstract systems point of view, such a dynamic library is akin to a separate computer on the network. Also, such an interpretation may also backfire and appear in proprietary EULAs as in (reformulate in appropriate legalese) "you may use our API and distribute software made using it, as long as you do not license such software under any FOSS license, etc." widening the gap between FOSS and not, making it more difficult for users to switch.

      And even if such an interpretation is valid, who brings a lawsuit against who. Suppose A writes GPL software X, B writes GPL-incompatible software Y (for sake of simplicity, no restrictions are put on licensing software using this API), C writes a GPL software Z binding X and Y. User U uses software Z. Who sues who? A can sue C, but it's debatable they will win (remember Z is GPL, and C provides all source code he/she has to their users, all that is left is code C does not have permission to license or even have access to). User U can sue C, but would have no reason to (if U downloaded it, it's to integrate X and the third party software Y - U knows that Y is non-GPL and that C cannot license it or deliver the source code). The FSF (which is distinct from all parties here) might want to sue C for having broken a license they have drafted, but it is extremely unlikely they would succeed (or even try), because they do not have any legal standing in this case (they do not "own" the license, and claiming copyright restrictions on its use would be really out-of-character - if not sure to fail). And what is there is no developer A and software X (i.e. Z was not based on any GPL code and is just a sotware which uses an API), how could there be any trouble with the courts. These incompatibilites are of technical-hairsplitting nature, and are unlikely to lead to any lawsuit.

      Besides, we will never know the true meaning of the GPL (as defined by judges) as long as nobody will have tried to infringe it and question some aspects of it. That's what US/UK common law is about : if there is no precedent, the issue is uncertain and left to the arbitrary decisions of judges.

      • Lawrence D’Oliveiro

        Software developers cannot copyright the APIs used for interfacing to their products, because these are strictly functional.

        http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111129/06033116920/eu-advocate-general-functionalities-computer-program-cannot-be-protected-copyright.shtml

        This applies to both Free software and proprietary software. So if Blender provides a public API for plugging in other software, that other software isn't automatically subject to the provisions of Blender's sotware licence. And it works the other way, if proprietary software provides public APIs for doing things, they cannot exclude Blender from using those APIs. Otherwise those APIs wouldn't be "public", would they?

        Of course, IANAL.

  • Comeinandburn

    @Andrey regarding raising funds via donations or otherwise, have you considered the same approach as the Bsurfaces project (http://www.bsurfaces.info/)? 

    It seems very reasonable to me.  There is a limited version available to the community immediately while the full addon is only $39, for a period of months and then he plans on releasing to the community.  I think it's a very generous business model and the developer gets something for all his efforts.

    BTW because of your work on this I'm seriously considering Vray, thanks for giving us options:)

  • arch.

    Good thing is, you can now learn from 3DSMAX-VRay tutorials then jump into Blender and thanks to Andrey's tool, reproduce the effect/image quality...

    .. With the cost 10x lower..

  • ROUBAL

    I am interested in this solution for a while, but if I am not wrong VRAY is a render on CPU. I have invested a lot in hardware to render on GPUs with Octane, and I think that the future of rendering is no more in CPU renders...

    • http://twitter.com/izrantsev Andrey M. Izrantsev

      VRay realtime engine (which support I'm improving now) has an option of using GPU. Basically you could use it even now, but without interactive update - just to render final image.

      • http://3d-synthesis.com ROUBAL

        Thanks for your response Andrey. Interactive update is one of the most interesting features when setting up materials.
        Does VRay detect external GPUs ? I ask that because currenty Cycles doesn't see my two GTX 580 3GB in my external Cubix Xpander Pro 2 box, and only uses my weak GTX 260 used for display on my two screens, and so allows only slow render performances.

        • http://cgdo.ru Andrey Izrantsev

          I don't have such device so have no idea. Its better to contact chaosgroup.

  • http://twitter.com/khtrammell Kent Trammell

    Andrey, you're a Rockstar. Literally.  I'm excited for Cycles like everyone else, and don't mean to dis luxrender/yafaray, but none of those engines compare to the robustness, speed, fully-featuredness, and industry-tested-quality of Vray - (the hope of course that one day they will).  But till then, God bless you Andrey - ROCKSTAR!

    • http://twitter.com/izrantsev Andrey M. Izrantsev

      Thanks =)

  • http://twitter.com/izrantsev Andrey M. Izrantsev

    Thanks everyone =)
    V-Ray is just a render option for Blender. You could use internal, cycles, yafaray, lux or whatever you want/need. I just need-want-like V-Ray and spend some time of plugining it to Blender.
    Hope you like it!
    Bug-reports and requests are always welcome on project's forum.

  • Lell

    I whish foundation helps you to finish this project, because this could make the success of blender in the professionals world!

  • Lell

    What about vray materials preview in Blender?

    • http://twitter.com/izrantsev Andrey M. Izrantsev

      Its already done.

      • Lell

        Good! I give it a try!
        Just another question: why the exporter could not work with a 3ds max vray version? It is more diffuse in the world.

        • http://twitter.com/izrantsev Andrey M. Izrantsev

          Because VRay For 3ds max is a plugin for 3ds max =) It can't be used anywhere else. We use VRay Standalone which is a command line renderer. It loads scene from vrscene file (text file with scene description) and renders it.

          • Lell

            Thank you very much for the great work!

  • Gustav

    How is Blenders external render API working out for you? Is it possible to integrate Vray as seamlessly as Cycles or does it still need more work?

    • http://twitter.com/izrantsev Andrey M. Izrantsev

      Working pretty good. As it will be improved integration will be more and more seamless.

  • onjoFilms

    I played some with this and loved it.  Had to get back to paying bills though so put it on the back burner.
    It is 'F-A-S-T' compared to other renders. One of the draw backs is that VRay is so dog-gone expensive.  About $600 for the standalone to work with Blender.  But if I had more time, I would spend the money anyway.  In the mean time, you can have fun
    with the demo (size limit and watermark). 
    Making a movie is the best part, check this out Aurora Visuals on Vimeo to see his show reel of VRay renders.

  • Sebas

    Thanks Andrey for your work, and I really hope you don't get discouraged that not so many people look interested, if some day in the future you find it's getting harder and harder to complete/add more features to the project "just for fun" don't think about abandon it without first asking for a fundraiser! I'll be more than glad to participate in one, best regards and thanks again for working in this !

  • Seba

    I have one question, is V-ray usually used in "professional" animation? I see most of the reels are for arch viz, but how good will it be to produce some semi-realistic results, not as good as pixar, but something in the middle, is it fast? do you need a super machine?
    thanks

    • http://twitter.com/izrantsev Andrey M. Izrantsev

      "Super machine" is always a good idea if you are doing CG professionally =)
      V-Ray was used in Avatar for some shots, for example.
      And non photorealistic rendering results you are talking about (I guess) are mostly about compositing.
      Yes, nowadays VRay is basically used in arch viz, but now there is VRay For Maya and VRay For XSI which are not archviz soft in general ;) VRay has a very good SDK and could be "easily" extended.

    • Vince

      Of course can Vray be used for professional animation. look at this trailer: http://www.thelordinquisitor.com/ It was done by a friend of mine in 3ds Max and Vray. Another incredable one is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSGx4bBU9Qc

      The great thing on Vray is its speed! No free renderer can compare with that.

      • Seba

        Thanks a lot for the replies guys

  • Giancarlo Mora

    Thank you Andrey ! V-Ray is awesome ;D Just need a few tutorial of how to use it in blender ! 

    • http://twitter.com/izrantsev Andrey M. Izrantsev

      You could start with wiki pages https://github.com/bdancer/vb25/wiki and then use any existing vray tutorial because all options are 99% the same in all vrays.

    • Anonymous

      Sebastian König has done a quite nice (commercial) tutorial on blender & V-ray available from cmivfx: http://www.cmivfx.com/tutorials/view/312/Blender+to+VRay+-+Settings

  • Contaxx

    keep going!! I love the combination!! can't you make a paypal account? i'm just working on the first commerical project in which i'll use vray and blender together and i would be lucky to spent some money for this great work you did!!

    • http://twitter.com/izrantsev Andrey M. Izrantsev

      Tnx! Its already there - button is on the front page.

  • rockus_123

    Thank you for your great work Andrey.

  • http://www.visnevskis.com/ Konstantins

    Awesome!
    My main concern about Blender's internal is diffuse/reflection/AO/shadow passes.
    Are they supported in "V-Ray for Blender"?

    • Jiggymoon

      I use this exporter a lot. You can pull out almost every conceivable pass from the exporter without problem; AO, specular, Raw GI, etc etc even object ID passes which is extremely useful. The best thing is "it just works".
      Great job Andrey. Looking forward to playing with the RT stuff later.

  • Jerrold

    This project is great!   Thanks Andrey.

    I think Cycles is a let down for many people,  it is a poor choice for animation.  They claim it will
    do animation - but where is the proof?   

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1600835418 Alan Lancaster

      I think its Multiple GPU rendering option leads it to be *alot* faster than a CPU renderer for animations.... however given its unbiased, and still fairly sampling methods, it can take *ages* on complex scenes and caustics.

      ITs sad when LuxRender CPU is faster than Cycles GPU for some scenes.

  • LDS2999292

    Hello Andrey,

    When do you expect stereoscopic will be implemented?   Will this work with the standalone version
    of Vray?  { vs the Maya version,  I believe it is }

    thanks

    • http://twitter.com/izrantsev Andrey M. Izrantsev

      I have no timing for that. If you need it immediately we could find a way to implement it faster. And of course it will work with Standalone.

      • LDS2999292

        Thank you.

        I didnt realize this was possible.  I thought the basic standalone didnt do stereo,  you had to buy the more
        expensive MAYA standalone.

        Im not sure on time,  if possible,  I might need it soon!

        • http://cgdo.ru Andrey Izrantsev

          Not even sure that stereo in VRay For Maya currently, but there are stereo settings in latest VRay Standalone nightly builds (you can request access to such builds from Chaosgroup after purchasing VRay).

          • LDS2999292

            Thanks,

            that sounds great.  I will contact you off the forum!

  • Max

    I love your job, thankyou Andrey... and I used it for do this >>>>  http://oyatsukai.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/fc_backstage_illustrazione.jpg

    My only fear is if you stop to develop the plug in, who can do that?

    Thankyou!

    • http://twitter.com/izrantsev Andrey M. Izrantsev

      Plugin is open source so anyone can =)

  • Rockus_123

    Blender Internal will now be stagnant - when something is stagnant, it will lead to decay.  Decay leads to death. 

  • LDS2999292

    So many people in the Blender community are ignorant of Vray!   The greater problem is they
    ignorant of any 3d software other than Blender.    They are also very cheap, with little spending
    money.

    Id be wonderful if Chaos could offer a special Blender addition only to Blender users.   Then you
    would get a huge interest.   I would say $ 99.00 for this addition would be a good price point.

  • skulpter

    I can't seem to download the 2.6 exporter plugin -
    502 Bad Gateway.

    Thanks

    • Makoriluther

      ya, same here I'm having trouble with it as well.

      • Anonymous

        github.com/bdancer/vb25/downloads - works fine for me, may be try again later.

        • skulpter

          Izrantsev,

          That link is for the whole blender package.  The plugin only link doesn't seem to work.

          • Anonymous

            Got it - it show me Server Error, too. Sorry, I can't fix github errors =)

  • Tomas Barauskas

    Molodiec Andriusha

  • Jose Manuel

    Great work  Andrey! I hope this script will be integrated in Blender in a future, as well as more developers in this project.

  • Dusty

    Yup! +1 for this to keep going!! Well done on your efforts!

  • http://www.visnevskis.com/ Konstantins

    Amazing! Is there any relatively cheap place to get V-Ray standalone?

    • deal

      EUR 350 at evermotion.org...

      I suppose this licence covers 1 workstation + 1 rendernode..

      • Todd McIntosh

        Actually the standalone license includes 10 render nodes via Distributed Rendering...which is awesome

  • Jakubbatog

    I cant' find this demo on their site ;(

    Really exciting, to use vray in blender.
    Good job Andrey.

    • Jakubbatog

      OK, after registration I can see that.

  • Japrogramer

    i like your theme may i have it, as a blend file :)

    • http://cgdo.ru Andrey Izrantsev

      I'm using this theme: http://www.martinlindelof.com/graphics/blender/softblend/

  • Ninthjake

    You are doing a wonderful job on this exporter Andrey, just wanted to thank you for all your hard work.

    I can't believe that Chaosgroup is not funding your work though, you are doing them a HUGE favor helping them increase their sales for free, I even saw them announcing your plugin as the "official" VRay for Blender plugin on their site a while ago with nothing more than a tiny line crediting you, they are probably planning to use you as much as they can but if you talk to them and request some funding for the work you do for them they should do something about it, they ARE pretty cool guys after all :P

    By the way would you have to remake this plugin again after the new and improved API from Cycles have been released?

    • http://cgdo.ru Andrey Izrantsev

      Thanks!

      >>By the way would you have to remake this plugin again after the new and improved API from Cycles have been released?
      Depends on how much it'll be changed. I already use some implemented features of new API.

  • Idiiidii3232dd

    This seems like a cool renderer.
    Im wondering ,  does this support:  ocean,  fire,  smoke ?   

    • Carl

      Good questions.   Does anyone know?

  • Desmond Creativeking

    WOW. I have been dreaming about this forever. I am getting vray immediately. To express how excited i am about this project, i would like to do it in a sentence.

    "If i were a millionaire, i would have paid you to continue developing vray-blender for the community." Anyways how can i contribute something (donate) to the project if and when i am able to. Because, thanks to you i can now join the league of professional 3d artists and start making some money using vray and blender.

    God bless you Andrey! Best of luck

    • Desmond Creativeking

      I have one question for you. I already have vray 1.5 advance for  maya stand alone. However all my renders turns out black. I noticed from trial and error, that deleting assigned materials from the objects makes them render the default gray.

      I also notice that it worked perfectly with the vray 2.0 demo build on the chaos group website. Do i necessarily need to upgrade to vray 2.0 for maya?

      • http://cgdo.ru Andrey Izrantsev

        Check the FAQ: https://github.com/bdancer/vb25/wiki/FAQ-(Errors)
        And once again - you dont need vray for maya (if you are not using it with maya of course) - you need just standalone.
        Anyway its a good idea to upgrade to 2.0.

        • Desmond Creativeking

          Thanks for the response Andrey. I think i would rather upgrade.

  • Paul

    Is there a 261 RC to try?

    thank you

  • Masluch

    I have a problem using realtime render . Don't know how to use it. When i render i don't have realtime feedback. mayby some one could make a tutorial for this please. and btw congratulations for making this exporter . cheers

  • David Lewis

    http://www.vray-materials.de/all_materials.php? is a FANTASTIC website with several thousand VRAY shaders, all D/L for free.

    I’m just about to make the “jump” (hopefully to “light-speed” ;o} from my MacPro tower, to a new PC **work**-station (such that Apple never toed-up to the mark on… no NVIDIA support at all!)

    So, very soon, I’ll be shelling out for the Blender “Stand-Alone” version of VRAY…… How many people are now USING this B.to.VR workflow? How are the shaders/texture-maps in a “Cycles” Blender scene file “coming across” when sent to VRAY for further work, and final rendering?

    I do so much hope that there will be further integration of VRAY *into* the BLENDER GUI, along with some way to work with, and STORE, and REUSE shaders “transparently” between Blender and VRAY. Any discussion on this CURRENT topic (June 1st, 2011..) Speak Up!! ;o}}

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