The courseware was created to deliver all necessary knowledge, while demonstrating the industry standard workflows for generating photo-realistic renders. This approach allows us to demonstrate what each feature does as well as teach how and when to use it.

Courseware Highlights 

  • Workflow based all the important features are explained in the context of a workflow for generating a certain type of image.
  • Essential class materials each module includes a video tutorial, lesson guide, scenes and assets.
  • Modular video lessons – each lesson comes with additional “Extra modules” section which allows you to extend the lesson with additional features.
  • Easy to learn and use the video tutorials ensure the knowledge is presented in an easy to follow way, providing concise guidance and explanations.
  • Created by industry experts students will learn industry standard workflows, created and presented by prominent industry professionals.

Scenes, assets, tutorials, lesson guides

  • Video tutorials 
  • Scenes and assets accompanying the tutorials
  • Lesson guides in the form of pdf files

The scenes and assets are packed into a project file. These must be downloaded together to ensure that all textures and other assets will load correctly. Once you download the zip file, extract it anywhere on your machine and make sure not to change the folder structure. Downloading the scenes and assets requires a free Chaos Group account

The video tutorials and accompanying pdf files can be found on each lesson page.


The courseware consists of five lessons with main and extra modules.

Lesson 1 - Lighting, shading and rendering

This lesson will guide us through the process of setting up a simple scene. It provides a base understanding of the V-Ray Interface and where to find the most commonly used parameters.

Main Modules:

Lesson 1 Main modules section has three main parts: UI Overview, Rendering Modes and VFB (V-Ray Frame Buffer). It introduces the features of V-Ray and the basic workflow for lighting, shading and rendering a scene:

  • V-Ray features in the SketchUp interface
  • V-Ray Asset Editor
  • Basic Illumination
  • Basic Shading
  • Render Settings overview
  • V-Ray Frame Buffer

Extra Modules:

Lesson 1 comes with 8 Extra modules: Light Plane, Light Sphere, Spot Light, Light IES, Light Omni, Batch Render, Animations and Advanced VFB. The Extra modules cover:

  • All V-Ray light sources – Plane, Sphere, Spot, IES and Omni Lights
  • Rendering of animations and Batch Rendering of multiple views
  • Advanced color corrections and saving and reusing color corrections with VFB

Lesson 2 - Exterior Rendering

This lesson will guide us through the workflow for creating realistic exterior renderings. We will add some high polygon vegetation like trees, bushes and grass, create both day-time and night-time illumination and adjust the camera exposure appropriately.

Main Modules:

Lesson 2 Main modules demonstrates how to create an exterior rendering in both daytime and night time setups. The covered topics are:

  • V-Ray Proxies and Instancing - adding high poly count geometry lie trees, bushes, gravel etc.
  • V-Ray Fur - simple settings for creating grass
  • Using the Material Override to speed up the lighting process
  • V-Ray Sun and Sky system for day time illumination
  • V-Ray Camera for exposure control and white balance
  • V-Ray Dome light for day time illumination
  • V-Ray Dome light for night time illumination
  • V-Ray Frame Buffer Lens effects

Extra Modules:

Lesson 2 comes with 8 Extra modulesAerial PerspectiveAdvanced Sun and Sky ParametersEnvironment OverridesAdvanced CameraMesh LightAdvanced Lens EffectsProxy Shading and Advanced Fur. The Extra modules cover:

  • V-Ray Aerial Perspective to add fog
  • Advanced settings of the V-Ray Sun and Sky systems
  • Environment overrides - using different HDR images when calculating GI, Reflections and Refractions
  • V-Ray Physical Camera settings - ISO / Aperture / Shutter speed
  • V-Ray Mesh Light - creating light sources from geometry
  • Advanced Lens Effects - a more in depth look into the lens effects - using masks to limit the effect over specific areas in the image
  • Shading of V-Ray Proxies
  • V-Ray Fur - using textures to control the V-Ray Fur

Lesson 3 - Interior Rendering 

In this lesson we go over the workflow for generating realistic interior renderings.

Main Modules:

We start by setting up the Sun and Sky system and adjusting the Camera Exposure. In the next step we use Portal Lights to make it easier for V-Ray to calculate the illumination coming through the windows. Next we discuss the different Global Illumination engines that we could use in this case. We use the materials in the V-Ray Material Library to shade our scene. Finally we set-up V-Ray for High Quality rendering, using the Denoiser render element.

Lesson 3 demonstrates how to create a day time interior rendering. The topics covered are:

  • Setting up the V-Ray Sun for an interior rendering
  • Portal lights - using V-Ray Plane light to improve interior illumination and speed up rendering
  • Global Illumination engines selection for interiors
  • Using the materials in the V-Ray Materials Library and adjusting them according to our needs
  • Rendering a high-quality image

Extra Modules:

This lesson has three extra modulesNight Time SetupRender Elements and Compositing. For each module you can find a scene file with the same name. The Extra Modules cover:

  • Night time setup for an interior scene
  • Splitting the image into render elements and generating custom render elements
  • Using render elements to composite the beauty pass and applying color corrections in Photoshop

Lesson 4 - Materials

This lesson covers the subject of creating realistic shaders. 

Main Modules:

We start with using and fine tuning the materials in the V-Ray Material Library. Next we will build some of the most commonly used materials starting from scratch. We will also delve into procedural textures, bump and displacement mapping. Finally we will see how to save materials in the Material Library for later use.

Lesson 4 demonstrates the different materials in V-Ray. It covers:

  • Using Library Materials
  • Creating materials from scratch using the Generic V-Ray Material including paint, wood, metal and glass
  • Emissive material - used to simulate self-illuminating materials
  • Two-Sided material - used to simulate thin translucent materials like leaves, paper or cloth
  • Procedural textures - using procedural textures like Noise to control different material settings like bump mapping
  • Using displacement mapping to add fine detail to the scene.
  • Saving materials to a custom user library

Extra Modules:

This lesson comes with two extra modules - Advanced Materials and Advanced Textures.

  • Advanced Materials
    • Car Paint material
    • Blend material - used to create more complex layered shaders
    • Bump Material - used to add bump mapping to any material that doesn't have a bump maps slot
    • Hair Material - used to shade hair and fur
  • Advanced Textures
    • V-Ray Dirt Map - mainly used to create ambient occlusion pass
    • V-Ray Curvature Map - used to shade a surface based on its curvature - allows you to simulate the effect of wear and tear on edges or dirt in crevices
    • TriPlanar - a map used to shade objects which do not have proper UV coordinates

Lesson 5 - Caustics, Clipper, Diagrammatic Materials, Material Wrapper

Lesson 5 has four separate modules:

  • Caustics - covers the workflow for creating high quality caustics
  • Clipper - covers the workflow for creating cuts in our geometry on render time
  • Diagrammatic Materials - shading approach to create wire frame renderings of our scene.
  • Material Wrapper - allows us to insert a CG object into a real-world photo or video with proper shadows