Feeling ready to take on the Rolls-Royce of render engines? This epic course from CG specialist Stephen DeLalla will help
Chaos Group’s V-Ray is arguably the Rolls-Royce of third-party render engines, software you can bolt onto your existing CG software to generate superior results. Its superb renderings are achieved via no small amount of settings, custom materials and lights. This puts the challenge of creating an accessible introduction to V-Ray on about the same plane as writing an introduction to quantum physics.
So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Stephen DeLalla’s Introduction to V-Ray video runs for over 10 hours and requires both prior knowledge of CG principles and a readiness to revisit. In this respect, ‘Introduction’ is a little misleading – those new to the principles of 3D software are best off looking elsewhere for guidance.
Stephen starts with a half-hour tour of how the software integrates with Maya: some details will be different if you’re using another host program, such as 3ds Max, but the bulk of the video is applicable to V-Ray with any host. Then it’s time to dive in, with overviews of linear workflow, Adaptive DMC (the system V-Ray uses to calculate the render) and materials. Stephen moves on to topics including V-Ray’s own lights, using Global Illumination and Render Elements. The final hour brings everything together as Stephen explains how to create and render a single image, to help your understanding of how to start with the end-stage of V-Ray in mind.
Nearly 2GB of Maya files are supplied if you want to study any settings in even more detail than Stephen’s offered. It adds up to a monumental endeavour that’s worth the time of anyone who works with V-Ray.
In common with other Gnomon Workshop releases, Introduction to V-Ray is available only in a monthly or annual subscription to Gnomon’s training library, and not as a standalone download.
Stephen DaLalla’s exhaustive video reveals how to achieve top results in V-Ray, but you’ll need to have some prior 3D knowledge. With its semitranslucent qualities and complex textures, skin is one of the most difficult surfaces for artists to depict. Early chapters cover some of the basics of working with V-Ray materials and shaders. The final hour sees Stephen guiding you through the process of creating the video’s promo image.