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V-Ray/Blender integration update

120

vray_renderprogressAndrey Izrantsev's V-Ray/Blender integration script has come a long way. Sebastian König (well known for his Blender video tutorials) reports.

Sebastian writes:

Hey there!

I am going to do a bit yellow press and introduce to you the new celebrity couple of the year!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it's - drumroll please - Blender and V-Ray!

Andrey Izrantsev has written an awesome script that lets you render with V-Ray from within Blender. I know, that's not exactly news, there have been a couple of articles already (here and here) , but nevertheless I wanted to share my experience, because I have been very surprised and impressed of how well the script already works.

For those of you that don't know what V-Ray is, it is a commercial global-illumination-renderer, known for speed and beautiful output. Some of you might know the beautiful renderings of Bertrand Benoit, if not, go check it out!

blender-vray

Andrey really did a great job of integrating V-Ray into Blender. After reading many tutorials and manuals about V-Ray I came to the conclusion that in terms of functions and extent the implementation of V-Ray into Blender is in no ways different than the Max/Maya implementation. This script gives you access to all the functions that you can use from within Max or Maya. That means, that besides the various image- and render-samplers, the irradience map, brute-force and light-cache settings there is also Distributed Rendering, which allows you to render your images over a network, and there is - again, drumroll please - Render Baking! Yes, that's right, you can indeed use V-Ray to bake all the delicious Global Illumination to a yummy texture-map for further use in Blender! How cool is that?!

You can apply almost every tutorial for rendering with V-Ray to Andrey's V-Ray-Script in Blender. It only looks a bit different. And I really like the GUI of the Script. Actually I keep forgetting that it is a script I am working with. And with the upcoming Blender 2.5 things get even better, because the integration will be much more direct and intuitive. Andrey is already working on that, as you can see on the Screenshot.

vrayexport_2.5_ui

What's even better is the price. Sure, it cannot compete with Blender's quite affordable price-tag, but: For what you get it is extremely cheap. The V-Ray plugin for Maya costs around € 700 (plus taxes). Well, that's not exactly cheap, isn't it? But here in Blenderland things are a bit different. To use V-Ray with Blender you only have to buy the Standalone Version of Maya for V-Ray, and that is just € 245. That's better, right? But even better, that includes 10 (!) licenses for Distributed Rendering. Pretty cool, if you see that Indigo, which, that has to be said, is a decent renderer too, is a bit more expensive (€ 295) and offers only 2 additional render-node-licenses.

So, with V-Ray we have now one more tool for rendering. With the upcoming Blender 2.5 there will be a lot more users that would like to migrate from other packages to Blender, but who might be held back because they don't want to leave there favorite commercial Renderers and have no time to try Luxrender, Yaf(a)Ray or Indigo, and need a fast, reliable, tested and solid GI-Renderer. I for one love Blender, you can do a lot with the Blender Internal Render, but the lack of real Global Illumination has always be a problem, especially when doing architectural visualization. Thanks to Andrey this won't be a problem anymore now. I am sure that V-Ray for Blender will open up Blender for a lot more professional production pipelines.

Before I thank and praise Andrey for this great exporter-script I want to say sorry for this almost advertise-like article, but I am just so excited about the V-Ray integration. :-)

Okay, and now let me say: Thanks Andrey! This is soo awesome!

Everybody interested go to Andrey's site and check it out - and make sure you don't skip the gallery. If you want to test V-Ray you need to register and download the V-Ray-demo for Maya and follow the instructions how to install it. It is really worth it!

About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.

120 Comments

  1. I believe this is one of the most important and greatest steps to get Blender into professional production pipeline.
    Thank you Andrey!

  2. indeed great news:) this is a great integration of v-ray into the blender!
    thanks Andrey! thanks Sebastian for keeping us up to date:)...
    best regards

  3. Looks good.. also is important for attracting people to Blender.

    Does anybody know how long the V-Ray demo can be used for?

  4. Yeah, I've been using VRay with Blender since the script came out. It's going to help Blender a lot I think in terms of quality, speed, and flexibility in production.

    Good work Andrey!

    --
    Kevin

  5. The script is really awesome, thanks a lot Andreymi.
    And people don't forget to "thank" him, through the donate button

  6. Hey there,

    great News, and also great script. First thanx for that.

    I can't find the Product for 245€. The Maya and Standalone Versions are in every Shop i looked much more expensive!

    cheers
    Puddie

  7. Thanks guys! Very proud to read this =)

    puddie
    >>I can't find the Product for 245€.
    V-Ray Standalone at Evermotion store:
    http://www.evermotion.org/modelshop/show_product/v-ray-standalone/2703/0/0/

    TweakingKnobs
    >>i mean , if i buy vray , and then 6 months later this guy stops developing it ?
    >>what about that ?
    This is where the power of open source comes into play - script is open source and someone could continue developing, BUT I won't stop =) and I'm doing it for about 2 years already =)

    PS
    URL update (old URL work too):

    Developing blog: http://cgdo.ru
    Project site: http://vray.cgdo.ru

  8. Sebastian König
    Special thanks to you! Very proud to read you article!

    Thanks all guys for comments!

    puddie
    >>I can't find the Product for 245€.
    V-Ray Standalone at Evermotion store:
    http://www.evermotion.org/modelshop/show_product/v-ray-standalone/2703/0/0/

    TweakingKnobs
    >>i mean , if i buy vray , and then 6 months later this guy stops developing it ?
    >>what about that ?
    This is where the power of open source comes into play - script is open source and someone could continue developing, BUT I won't stop =) and I'm doing it for about 2 years already =)

    PS
    URL update (old URL work too):

    Developing blog: http://cgdo.ru
    Project site: http://vray.cgdo.ru

  9. @TweakingKnobs: If Andrey decides to stop developing in 6 months, than you still have the script that he has developed until then, right? Other people can continue working on the script. So, i would say it is "safe". Even if he stopped right now, there is already this version of the script that we have by now. And there is always the donate-button... That could also help. ;-)

    @puddie I got it from http://www.evermotion.org/modelshop/show_product/v-ray-standalone/2703/0/0/

    @Dan I don't think the demo is limited to a certain time-frame. the only limitation is that you cannot render larger than 600X450px

    (i hope this won't become a double-post... let's see what wordpress makes from this... )

  10. @ TweakingKnobs:

    From Andrey's site:

    "V-Ray/Blender is an open source (GPLv2) project of V-Ray integration to Blender.
    It is implemented as an exporting script to V-Ray Standalone file format (.vrscene)."

    He develops an open source script for V-Ray. If you buy V-Ray, and six months later he will stop developing the exporter, you will still have an exporter that works. And as it is open source, anyone has the right to continue/help developing it.

    If I understood things correctly...

    @ News:

    Blender gets better with every day! It is great news, even if it is for connecting Blender with a commercial application (that has a lot of users)! It will surely attract some users, and they can bring in some motivation for developing it further! Good work!

    I'm really waiting for the day, when I will have just enough Python experience to start playing with scripting!

    (Excuse me for my English...)

  11. Alvaro
    There are only good software and bad software - no matter how much it cost. Btw, when saying "I won't use it because it is proprietary" (no matter vray or anything else) - have you donate smth to Blender development? No? Don't forget - free software is not free of charge (cheep), but of freedom.

    PS
    Hope my previous comment will be checked by moderator soon =)

  12. @Alvaro: yep! And there'll be many, many more mentions of proprietary and commercial applications and services here as long as I have anything to say about it ;-)

    @bdancer: done! Any comment with three or more links in it is automatically flagged for moderation.

  13. The more softwares will be able to communicate with each other, the more useful tool we'll have to work with.

    Thank you very much Andrey for this excellent tool !

    This said, "the Standalone Version of Maya for V-Ray" doesn't seems to exist on Autodesk site, and Autodesk doesn't display any price.

    On the link at Evermotion.org, they say that a Dongle key must be purchased (35 Euros) to use the standalone version, but they don't say where we can purchase it.

  14. It's a really good news and I'm waiting for professionnal renderers to be integrated as plugins in Blender for a long time. So prefessionals won't have any excuse for not using it :)

  15. Well, After reading better the posts I found the link at Evermotion, but they say that a Dongle key must be purchased (35 Euros) to use the standalone version, but they don't say where we can purchase it.

    Strangely, my previous message has been declare as a SPAM and disappeared. I also wanted to say that this "standalone "version seems to be unknown on Autodesk site, so I wonder if it is a legal version...

  16. well yes that sounds good, but if im going to spend nearly 300 dlls i would like to have something more "oficial"

    is just a psicological thing maybe but it would be cool to make this exporter somehow a bit more safe.

    is just my opinion.

  17. absolutely out of topic:congratulations algeria for worldcup qualification!!!!
    i am the only blenderhead around!!!!!thanks

  18. 'And there'll be many, many more mentions of proprietary and commercial applications and services here as long as I have anything to say about it ;-)'

    As long as they are related to Blender I suppose. Would you post here news about Silo or Modo releases and pitch them against Blender as you pitch Vray against YafaRay and Luxrender in this piece of news.

    Those small FOSS raytracing projects also hope to become a real alternative to proprietary engines like Vray or Maxwell, just like our beloved Blender is becoming a real alternative to 3D packages.

    Maybe those engines are not as fast, reliable, tested and solid GI-Renderer as Vray, but they are open source, and that should be an important factor here.

    Well Vray is better, but I don't need a Blendernation piece of news to know that.

    PD: I hope those of you Vray owners that discover YafaRay or Luxrender through Blender, loose a bit of your time to know how they work (they implement really innovative stuff in some areas), use them along you beloved copy of Vray and collaborate with their communities to make these open source altenatives stronger. We need expertise from professional users as well to improve those engines.

  19. Tweaking knobs, the real irony is that you're worried about the secure future development of an open source script... for Blender.

    The security is, that you wouldn't have to spend that 300$ on V-Ray when you later buy Maya, because they quit working on Blender.

    (I know that'd never happen, just commenting on the irony, please no flames.)

  20. hum...
    $200...
    Blender is free...
    I will wait for a genius to come along and enhance the internal blender render,
    that will suit me better.

  21. @Alvaro: Come on, there is no need to turn this into a App vs. App war. V-Ray is just another option. By the way, I in fact lost some time with Luxrender. I love it, it has a lot potential and has definitely awesome features. For example the Lightgroups and the ease of Distributed Rendering are simply fantastic.
    There have been numerous posts about Luxrender and Yafaray. What's wrong in posting something about a generous guy who is developing an Open-Source-Script that works really good and just happens to export to a commercial (ouhh, the evil word...) renderer?
    Let's be a bit more open-minded in open-source-land...

  22. I use Linux, and thought of buying the Standalone version. However, at bdancer's forum a user says it won't work on Linux unless the VRay server is installed on a Mac or Windows machine accessible on the network -- > http://vray.cgdo.ru/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=263&sid=d9db552d7b88abe1565ed4341ee946b2. Anyone here know whether that is true or not?

    Also, installation of VRay for Maya demo on Ubuntu 9.10 failed (Modifying /usr/autodesk/maya2010-x64/scripts/others/createMayaSoftwareCommonGlobalsTab.mel), so... grrrr.

  23. @Alvaro:
    I believe BlenderNations tagline is "Fresh Blender News, Every Day" not "Yet Another Free Software Advocacy Site" :)

  24. Lucas da Costa Dantas on

    I just saw on CG Cookie the video about the (Search Menu) and
    some pin thing stuff ...

    !!!!!!! what? its that a....
    Nice going there ,Blender .

  25. Good job, though I have to agree in part with pixnolve - I would have preferred to see the same or similar effort go into improving the support of open-source renderers instead, and there are many brilliant ones, such as Povray (stable production version exists for a very very long time), Yafaray (it's developing very quickly and looks promising - given enough support by the open-source community it might actually challenge Povray and potentially even stuff like V-Ray in the future ;)), Luxrender, etc., or some effort could have been put into the improvement of the internal Blender renderer instead. It's funny, but many people seem to dislike the internal renderer because it doesn't have something or can't do something, but think of it - the internal renderer is still lagging behind the commercial solutions and behind standalone open-source renderers like Povray *only* because no one so far has found it interesting or worthy enough, or perhaps simply didn't have the necessary time (or didn't want to take as much time) to develop the photorealistic rendering capabilities - because, as we know, open-source is free thinking and a possibility of adding something to the software by virtually anyone who has the necessary knowledge - so if someone knows how to code, knows a lot about 3D and, let's say, global illumination algorithms, and sees that the internal Blender renderer is lacking some features, such as the global illumination, why not try to add it there? - but this hasn't happened before, and it hasn't happened for a long long time, and the real reason here is not because "the developers of Blender didn't do it", but because *no one in the world with knowledge and skill to try it* did it so far - I know there have been some experiments with GI in the internal Blender renderer a few months ago, and there were some unstable test versions on GraphicAll that supported that, but the project has since disappeared off-scene (at least seemingly), and personally I haven't heard of it since.

    Of course, supporting a commercial renderer is a not a bad thing and it might as well be a good thing in the long run for the status of Blender in the production pipeline, especially the commercial production pipeline, but still, as a long-time advocate of the FSF philosophy I can say that the same effort could have gone into supporting an open-source product or the continuation of the development of photorealistic rendering capabilities of the internal Blender renderer.

    But at any rate, there's no questioning that the script itself is awesome, a job well done, and for whoever might find it useful (and whoever is willing to spend $200+ on a commercial renderer that would render for the *free* Blender - and of course we don't count here the number of people who might just pirate V-Ray, which unfortunately happens as well), I'm sure it's going to be a great thing to try and use.

  26. Great news !
    I'm working in a firm that uses max and V-Ray. I love V-Ray but I hate max, max gets slower with every new version and it's GUI is a pain in the ass.
    blender works so smooth, and developper concentrate on the essential things. no tlike max developper do, they seems to be paid for crap.

    Hopefully I soon can do a hole architecture visualization with blender and v-ray :-)

    Keep on going Andrey, fantastic work !

    Kind regards
    Alain

  27. FSF_forever whithout arguing with you the devellopement of open source software is due to people that want to work on some projects because they find that interesting. So you can't ask, or regret, that someone work on a paying renderer for free becauses, it s not a free one. Vray is fast and not to hard to tweak. so it s a great tool to have. I got no problem with paying a software because, 1 i pay my hardware, 2 my clients pay me. And i like the blender renderer too that is usefull for big render, because you can find it on some render farm.
    I regret myself that blender did not got better nurbs. But one day maybe... that s the mysteries of open source devellopement. and i find that great because it s like a present that someone give you whithout knowing you.

    By the way open source need donation and a lot of projects are diyng without money. So when you install a free software, and you use it, give what you can.

  28. Hey. This is something that I have waited for.
    When I started stalking the developemend of blender about 6 months ago I didnt realize how fast its going to be better.
    Nearly every week here in blendernation is some news about the new better features in blender or optimization of the old ones.
    Now i am just waiting that when the first professional hight quality full lenght movie will be relased out where the blender have been used in production.
    This kind of news makes me some weird ways to be proud to be one of them who uses blender.. Lol. :D

  29. I think it's a great combination...blender and vray. I used to work with max and Vray before, and now I'm learning Blender for architectural visualisation, so the script andreymi is developing is really great!

    Thanks a lot

  30. tyrant monkey on

    @FSF_Forever

    I don't understand your point at all. the article is about a FOSS V-ray export script that exports blender files so that you can render them with Vray, something that didn't exist until Andrey took the time to write it. And for that he should be commened. People have the right to use whatever tools the want with blender from commerical ones to FOSS. BlenderNation is always I fair place where I see news on FOSS and commerical tools that you can use with Blender and that is a good thing.

    This fanatisms where all things FOSS are good and anything commerical is bad is really tiring and boring at the same time.

    I have seen the same arguments break out whenever there is any mention of a commerical closed source tool been used with Blender its kind of sad really. Widening the number of render engines one can use with Blender is a good thing.

    People want to see a Blender that the can slip into any pipeline they have. lets not shoot ourselves in the foot by been pigheaded about this - professional pipelines are built around proven render engines usually the big three of V-ray, Mental Ray and PRMan. Blender needs to work seemlessly with those three in particular.

    There is a lot of support already for FOSS render engines and I do use them myselfbut it shouldn't be my way or the highway commerical render engines are just as important

  31. @nixy

    About your doubts about the mix "vray+blender+Linux", that is the ChaosGroup team reply of a mail I sent them.

    "So far we do not have V-Ray for Maya build that have a license server for Linux, but we are working on it and it will be soon available.
    Therefore, you will need to point V-Ray Standalone to look for the license server on another Windows or Mac OS machine with the dongle and the license server running."

    Best regards.

  32. FSF_Forver, you say you are a long-time advocate of the Free Software Foundation (the FSF), but it seems to me that you don't really know much about them.

    First of all, the FSF are not against commercial software. They do not care whether someone is making money from selling software. They are against non-free/proprietary software. The "free" in "free software", does not stand for "no money", it stands for "freedom".

    They are against non-free software, because you are treated as a criminal when you share it and you are not allowed to know how it works or change the way it works. With non-free software, you are divided from your community and you are kept helpless.

    When you see software this way — as they see do — you come to conclusion that non-free software is never a solution and you should not use it. It does not matter whether a non-free software is more functional or even if non-free software is the only way to do a certain thing.

    They also do not support open-source, because open-source "misses the point". The open-source movement does not share their values. The idea behind open-source is, that when a certain software is "open", the development of that software will be faster and cheaper than a "closed" counterpart. To the free software movement, that's a secondary issue. Open-source software and free software are generally the same software, but the ideology of the two movements differs.

    You can check this lecture by Richard Stallman, concerning free software, it is 2 hours long:
    http://audio-video.gnu.org/video/Richard_Stallman/en/Free_Software_in_Ethics_and_in_Practice/20080501-rms-manchester.ogg

    Or check this short, 15 min, speech of his:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:051118-WSIS.2005-Richard.Stallman.ogg

  33. @tyrant monkey: Well, you're the one who mentioned that there's an "all good things are FOSS and all bad things are commercial" argument, I didn't say that, I merely commented that personally I prefer to use open-source software and personally again I won't use a commercial renderer with Blender - so yeah, if you really want me to say this, for me such an export script is useless. And yes, I'd better pay $200 to BSF, which I probably will do with time, too (and yeah, I've bought all the DVDs and many books from the Blender e-shop to support them, and I don't see anything bad with that). But I don't argue that tastes differ, preferences differ, and goals differ indeed, and I don't intend to argue that a V-Ray export script is a useful thing for those who might find use for it. It's good to have a difference of opinions, so let's just agree to disagree. It's good that I have something that's useful for me (that is, Blender as a free 3D package, and Povray/Yafaray as freeware 3D renderers), and you have just gotten something that's useful for you (that is, a V-ray export script). Everyone is happy, I guess. :)

  34. Well, nobody has answered to my question... maybe I wasn't clear enough.

    I don't want to enter in the battle proprietary angainst open source. Tools are tools, and everyone is free to chose his tools accordingly to his budjet and personal needs.

    Whant I want is just complementary informations. The Exporter to VRay is intersting, but There is a lack of informations in my opinion about how to get Vray standalone and the required Dongle... VRay seems to be available to purchase at Evermotion, but I can't find where to buy the Dongle key. Also, I'd want to be sure that the Vray standalone version sold at Evermotion is legal, because it seems to not exist on Vray original site.

    I also want to say that I have read (on Autodesk site, I believe) that using the software outside of the country where it is sold is a licence violation... weird !

    Thanks in advance.

  35. @ROUBAL: You should contact Chaosgroup directly for all question about buying V-Ray. They will redirect you to most close reseller to your location (Evermotion is legal and not the only one reseller).

  36. I did buy my vray standalone and the dongle keys. so you buy the vray standalone. then you buy the dongle. you will have to reprogramme the dongle. but chaos group will help you to do so. usually dongle are preprogrammed for vray for maya license.
    But contact you reseller. I did work with http://www.agirhe.fr/ so if you are fRench they know the process.

  37. FSF_Forever, you say you are a FSF activist, but it seems you don't really know much about the Free Software Foundation and what they stand for.

    The FSF are not against commercial software, they are not against making money by selling software. The "free" in "free software" does not stand for "no money", it stands for "freedom". They are against non-free/proprietary software.

    They and the free software movement are against non-free software, because the developers of non-free software treat you as a criminal when you share it, and you are not allowed know how it works or change the way it works. You are kept helpless and divided from your community, when you use non-free software.

    When you see software this way — as the FSF does — then you come to the conclusion that non-free software is never a solution and non-free software is in fact "a bad thing". Even if the non-free software is more functional, more stable or maybe even the only way to do a certain thing — this will still not justify using it.

    The FSF also does not support open-source, because "open source misses the point". The idea behind open-source is, that if you "open" your program, that program will be developed faster and cheaper than a "closed" counterpart. To the free software movement, that is a secondary issue. Open-source software and free software is basically the same software, but the ideology — the reasons because of the software is developed — differs.

  38. VRay standalone costs indeed around 290€ including dongle, but it doesn't include 10 rendernodes. For VRay including 10 rendernodes you would pay around 600€, which still is less than V-Ray for Maya or Max.

    Also, note that there isn't a 64-bit version of V-Ray for the Mac, so if you want to use your full memory, you better go for the 64-bit windows version.

    That said, this is one of the coolest features ever added to Blender, and it will open Blender up more easily for archviz and feature film.

  39. @Willem: Yeah, it is a bit confusing. But the Standalone does include 10 licenses for Distributed Rendering, which I meant by "rendernodes". But you can only start the rendering from 1 node. So you can use 10 computers to render your images or animations, but you cannot start a different render from one of these computers simultaneously.
    Unfortunately it is indeed just 32bit on mac. But you don't purchase per platform, you purchase just the license for the Standalone. You can download any version of VRay, be it Mac, Linux or Windows, 32- or 64bit and use it with your license.

  40. Sebastian,

    That's right. You can use whatever platform is best at a given time, and that is just fabulous.
    Thanks for the info on the rendernodes. I didn't know it was possible to use multiple computers with 1 license. Great news actually!

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