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