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V-ray/Blender Integration

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4s4K707ur4

Links

79 Comments

  1. 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.

    • 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 on

      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.

    • 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.

  2. 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 on

      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.

  3. @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:)

  4. 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..

  5. 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...

      • 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

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

  9. 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?

  10. 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.

  11. 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 !

  12. 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

  13. 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!!

    • 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.

  14. 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?   

    • 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.

  15. 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

      • 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!

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

  17. 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.

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

  19. 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?

    • 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.

  20. Desmond Creativeking on

    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 on

      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?

  21. 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

  22. 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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