This page provides information on the Spherical Harmonics GI rollout in the Render Settings.


Page Contents



Spherical Harmonics GI Engine is used to very quickly render SH, baked by the Spherical Harmonics Baking Engine.

Click here for a tutorial on the Spherical Harmonics process.


UI Path: ||Render Settings window|| > GI tab > Spherical Harmonics GI tab
(When Spherical Harmonics is selected as a GI engine) 

Basic Parameters

File name – The name of the .vrsh file or one of the sequence *XXXX.vrsh of files which contain the precomputed SH for this scene.

Use single vrsh – This option should be enabled when you render one frame or animation from single .vrsh file. If you render animation from a sequence of .vrsh files, disable this option.

Precalc light per frame – This option is reasonable when rendering animations. Depending on this option, V-Ray calculates the lighting either once at the beginning of the rendering or precalculates it before every frame.

Sample Environment

On – Turns on environment sampling to add environment light contribution.

Upper hemisphere only – Depending on this option, V-Ray samples either the whole environment sphere or only the upper hemisphere of the environment. 

Subdivs – The square of this parameter is proportional to the number of rays sampled in the environment.

Apply Filtering

On – Turns on the filtering of the spherical harmonics. This is useful to reduce the ringing artifacts (known as Gibbs phenomena in signal processing) by suppressing the high frequencies. This produces blurred SH which result in a smoother image.

Filter Strength – The strength of high frequencies' suppression. Values near 0.0 slightly change the image while values near 1.0 smooth it a lot.





  • Currently spherical harmonics can be rendered in V-Ray using V-Ray Sun and Sky, Maya directional lights and environment only.