This page give an overview of V-Ray's UI integration into 3ds Max.


Section Contents

 Page Contents



V-Ray is a rendering plug-in for 3ds Max. It includes two renderers:

  • V-Ray, the original full-featured, robust renderer for photorealism and special effects, which utilizes all V-Ray's features. V-Ray is sometimes referred to as V-Ray Adv (V-Ray Advanced) in the user interface to distinguish it from V-Ray RT. For more specifics on V-Ray, see V-Ray in 3ds Max.
  • V-Ray RT, a real-time renderer. When used with the V-Ray Frame Buffer or an ActiveShade viewport, V-Ray RT can update the rendering as you make changes to the scene. V-Ray RT renders most V-Ray and 3ds Max features, but not all. For more specifics on V-Ray RT, see V-Ray RT in 3ds Max.

A common workflow uses V-Ray Adv for Production Rendering Mode and V-Ray RT for ActiveShade Mode. In this way you can view the results of scene settings in real time in the ActiveShade view as you work, then render the final image with all the V-Ray features.

V-Ray integrates with the 3ds Max user interface in a variety of areas. Menu options, dialog windows, and parameters flow logically from your familiar 3ds Max tools to make using V-Ray a seamless experience.

Note: You must assign V-Ray as your renderer in the 3ds Max Render Setup window in order to get full use of these options.





V-Ray adds a number of items to the 3ds Max menus, they are added in particular, to the Tools, Create, Modifiers, and  Rendering menus. For more information, see Menu Integration.

V-Ray Toolbar

V-Ray includes a toolbar that includes easy shortcuts to some of the most commonly used V-Ray components.  By default the toolbar is docked vertically to the left of the 3ds Max window but it can be easily pulled from its left side docked position to a horizontal toolbar by pulling at the top end of the toolbar. For more information, see V-Ray Toolbar.

Note: If the V-Ray Toolbar is not visible, check to make sure floating toolbars are set to display in 3ds Max by checking  Customize menu > Show UI > Show Floating Toolbars.

Tool Windows

V-Ray Frame Buffer

V-Ray allows you as well as rendering to the 3ds Max Rendered Frame Window (RFW or VFB), to render to a V-Ray specific frame buffer, which has some additional capabilities. Including allowing viewing of all render elements in a single window; keeps the image in full 32 bit floating point format; allows simple color corrections on the rendered image; allows you to choose the order in which the buckets are rendered; Can store a list of recently rendered images and allow switch between them easily and also allows the application of lens effects to the rendered image. For more information, see V-Ray Frame Buffer.

V-Ray Light Lister

The V-Ray Light Lister window is a handy way that allows you to modify many common attributes of all of the lights in the scene, both V-Ray lights and standard 3ds Max lights in one UI.  In scenes with complex lighting using many lights this can make changing attributes far simpler. For more information, see V-Ray Light Lister.

V-Ray Quick Settings

The V-Ray Quick Settings dialog allows the control of some of the most common aspects of the renderer.  It is a handy way to quickly switch between different GI solutions and quality settings.  It gives the ability to set up working settings for a scene without having to consider all the V-Ray options available in the Render Setup dialog. For more information, see V-Ray Quick Settings.


Selecting a Renderer

In order to use V-Ray, you must first select one of its renderers as your Production and/or ActiveShade renderer.

  1. Open the Render Setup window.
  2. At the top of the Render Setup window, choose as the Target either Production Rendering Mode or ActiveShade Mode.
  3. For Renderer, choose V-Ray Adv (for Production Rendering Mode only) or V-Ray RT (for either mode).

For Production Rendering Mode, both V-Ray Adv and V-Ray RT are available. For ActiveShade Mode, only V-Ray RT is available.