As one of the world’s most popular physically-based renderers, V-Ray is used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies, and visual effects companies around the globe. Chaos Group also noticed the rapid adoption of Unreal Engine by many of these firms to create interactive or immersive experiences, so for them to produce V-Ray for Unreal was a logical step. Having been in beta since March, the full product launch came one week before Autodesk University 2018.
“We’re always listening to our customers, and we’re fortunate in that we get to work with creatives in multiple industries,” says Chaos Group’s Communications Director David Tracy, who unveiled the software publically at the show. “Whether it’s architectural visualization, automotive, or visual effects, every industry has its own challenges. The one common need for any artist or designer, though, is a smooth workflow, and reliable results across all their entire toolset. That, and excellent results.”
In this case, that smooth workflow means being able to easily repurpose V-Ray scenes created in 3ds Max, Maya, Rhino, or SketchUp in Unreal Engine, without needing to learn new rendering paradigms. With V-Ray for Unreal, lights and materials are automatically converted into their real-time equivalents for UE workflows, but they maintain a smart connection to the originals—so you can continue to create full-quality ray-traced renders directly from the Unreal Editor with the same content. “With V-Ray for Unreal we wanted to create the fastest, simplest way to bring V-Ray scenes into a real-time environment, and give artists the ability to render V-Ray ray-traced images directly from Unreal,” says Tracy. “Now, artists can achieve great-looking real time and great-looking physically-based renders with a workflow that they already know.”
Importantly, the software also introduces V-Ray Light Baking, enabling artists and designers to bake V-Ray lights (including IES) directly into Unreal with full GPU acceleration, for the highest-quality real-time illumination. This ensures that the lighting in the V-Ray rendering is well matched to the real-time experience in Unreal Engine.
“We’re excited to bring our Academy Award-winning ray-tracing technology to Unreal Engine and see what amazing content artists come up with, and make their lives a little easier in the process,” says Tracy. “Working with Epic has been great, and from a development standpoint, it helps that UE4 is an open platform. I think the combination of V-Ray and Unreal Engine is a natural fit for any studio that has V-Ray in their pipeline and is interested in using Unreal.” V-Ray for Unreal is available now. For pricing and availability, or to download a trial version, visit the Chaos Group website.
“If fidelity to V-Ray rendering and the V-Ray workflow is most important to customers, then this is a great solution for our joint customers. No one is going to match a V-Ray scene to Unreal Engine better than the creators of V-Ray,” says Pierre-Felix Breton, Technical Product Manager for Epic Games. “It’s also the only solution if you want to bring V-Ray scenes from Maya, SketchUp, and Rhino into Unreal Engine, since Unreal Studio doesn’t support reading V-Ray scene data from those tools. Unreal Engine is the only real-time engine Chaos Group supports, so this is a great endorsement.”
Now, customers can retain their investment in V-Ray knowledge as they transition to real time, while they explore what’s possible with Unreal Studio. Where V-Ray for Unreal is all about fidelity to V-Ray and V-Ray rendering, Unreal Studio is more focused on scene structure, metadata, and the ability to optimize assets for interactive experiences.
With support for 3ds Max, Revit, and SketchUp Pro (not to mention a wide range of CAD formats), Unreal Studio is an ideal partner to V-Ray for Unreal. Its Datasmith feature set not only provides import capabilities but also data optimization tools, which can be used in parallel with V-Ray for Unreal. Along with Datasmith, it offers one-to-one ticketed support, targeted learning, and industry-relevant templates and assets. Why not download the free beta today?