This page is about render elements and their basic usage.


Section Contents

 Page Contents


Render Elements are a way to break out renders into their component parts such as diffuse color, reflections, shadows, mattes, etc. This gives fine control over the final image when using compositing or image editing applications when re-assembling the final image from its component elements. Render elements are also sometimes known as render passes.

Render Elements are generated at render time based on the ones you choose before rendering. Most render elements have parameters that can be set to customize the render element or its later use in compositing software. These parameters are described on each render element's individual page, along with common uses and any notes on their generation and usage.

V-Ray supports the built-in 3ds Max Render elements user interface. However, V-Ray provides its own render elements and does not support the standard render elements implemented in 3ds Max. Therefore standard 3ds Max render elements will not work with V-Ray, and vice-versa.

For a complete list of render elements, see the List of Supported Render Elements. All render elements support native V-Ray materials. Some render elements also support standard 3ds Max materials.




When using the V-Ray frame buffer, V-Ray will write render elements only if you specify either one of the V-Ray raw image file output or the Separate render channels options. If want to specify the render elements outputs using the 3ds Max Render Output field or using the output options of the various render elements, then you have to disable the V-Ray frame buffer.




UI Path: ||Render Setup window|| > Render Elements tab






To use render elements, click the Add button to add the render elements you wish to generate at render time. When you render the scene, the added render elements will also render. The exception is the RGB color Render Element, which renders automatically without needing to be added.

Render Elements Sub-groups

Render Elements in V-Ray break down into four major groups: 

Beauty Render Elements

The Beauty Render Elements are the primary render elements that form V-Ray's
pre-composited final render pass 
Beauty RGB_ColorThese Include the
Lighting, Global Illumination, Reflection, Refraction, Specular, etc.

Matte Render Elements

The Matte Render Element aid selection masking in the compositing process. 
These include the Material IDMultimatte, Object ID, and Render ID render elements.



Geometry Render Elements

The Geometry Render Elements rely on geometry to generate geometry data for the compositing
 These include the Velocity, Z-Depth, Wire Color, and Normals render elements.



Utility Render Elements

The Utility Render Elements give insight into how V-Ray is running and extra functionalityfor compositing.
These include the Distributed Render ID, Sample Rate, Denoiser, Extra texture, Sampler Info, etc






  • When the V-Ray VFB is enabled, all V-Ray render elements will appear switched off in the Render Elements tab inside the Render Scene dialog. This is a work-around so that 3ds Max does not create its own render elements bitmaps - this is not required as the elements are stored in the V-Ray VFB itself. If the V-Ray VFB is used, the render elements can be enabled or disabled by using their own V-Ray VFB parameter.
  • V-Ray always antialiases with respect to the RGB color channel. Therefore, other channels may appear jagged or noisy in areas where V-Ray has placed fewer samples.
  • Render elements will render in Distributed Rendering mode, both in the V-Ray frame buffer and the 3ds Max frame buffer.
  • Render elements require additional storage when rendering and thus increase the amount of RAM taken during the rendering. When rendering to the V-Ray VFB, you can reduce this memory by rendering directly to a .vrimg file on disk and not storing the final image in memory.
  • Render elements may slow down the final image rendering a little bit, depending on the number of elements that the user has selected. They have no effect on GI/reflection, etc. calculations.