This page introduces shadow options for standard lights in V-Ray for 3ds Max.


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When standard lights are used instead of V-ray lights, there are two options to control shadows correctly for these, Ray Traced Shadows and Shadow Maps.


Shadow Options

V-Ray offers the following options for controlling shadows:

  • Ray Traced Shadows - Used to achieve raytraced shadows with standard 3ds Max lights and V-Ray. As well as supporting blurry (or area) shadows, they will also cast the correct shadows from any objects with V-Ray displacement, as well as from any transparent objects.
  • Shadow Maps - Achieves mapped shadows with standard 3ds Max lights and V-Ray and will cast correct shadows from all V-Ray geometric objects, including Proxy Objects | VRayProxyProcedural Fur | VRayFur, and objects with V-Ray displacement. It can be useful to avoid flickering on objects like VRayFur  in cases where true area shadows are too slow to calculate.

In most cases, the standard 3ds Max Ray Traced Shadows will not work with V-Ray. You must use the VRayShadow shadow generator instead.

For Shadow Maps, the actual shadows are still calculated with ray tracing, but the results are cached in a rectangular shadow buffer that is used to speed up the calculations.