Entry: 12/09/2016

Testing Third Party Rendering Tools:

Rendering and presenting a piece a work can often be one of the most crucial

final stages when it comes to packaging up a set of assets.  This has lead me to

experiment with some other pieces of software to take over from what 3DS

Max can do itself. With one of the main reasons being because it can suffer from

slow ray-tracing times and the result can lack that extra realistic touch.

Ray-tracing is essentially the computer algorithm figuring out how light is

supposed to behave when it comes into contact with differing objects, how it

reflects, refracts and how it projects shadows. It is this process which takes

so very long when models are of High-Poly. I can foresee this problem occurring

when it comes to my models, as I’m planning on relatively large poly

spaceships.  It is this reason I wanted to find a third party tool which could help

improve on my rendering quality, but also decrease the time taken when

it comes to ray-tracing.


Due to the nature that I’m going to be modelling through 3DS Max, third party

tools which aren’t plugins and there for standalone pieces of software are not

going to be used. Resulting in the reduction in the number available to me.

However, I did find a selection of third party tools which on the surface were

able to improve on render times.


The one which I was able to test one was a plugin called VRay. It offered a demo

version allowing me to test out the quality of the renders it produced. Following

a tutorial on YouTube (Tara Arts Movie.  2016), I was able to create some

amazing effects on the most basic of models, the teapot. The scene looks rather

unimpressive Figure 1.(image), but most of the information about the model is

set in the material editor.


Figure 1 : Scene Setup

Selecting a VRayMtl (material) you were able to edit  features, not limited to

Reflection, Refraction and many others. Combined with an HDRI image as a

background Figure 2.(image), simple models are given that extra step in realism

and look so much greater as a presentation piece. That core benefit that I was

looking for in decreased render time was also improved with full HD images in

1080p being produced in a matter of seconds Figure 3.(image), which is



Figure 2: Material Editor



Figure 3: Tee-Pot Renders

I had also run some tests on the USS Enterprise model I had created in

preparation for my dissertation Figure 4.(image). Experimenting with different

camera positions, and model material types, I was able to create some

fascinating renders. When it comes to texturing and understanding more about

Vray, I can only expect to be able to produce higher quality renders. In the

meantime, I was impressed by the software, and I’m almost certainly going to

use it for my final renders.



Figure 4: USS Enterprise Renders


Tara Arts Movie. (2016). 3ds Max Tutorials – V-RAY for Beginner (With Bonus V-RAY HDRI Tutorial). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1ymrF4OGcI [Accessed 12 Sep. 2016].