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

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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. For more specifics on V-Ray, see V-Ray in 3ds Max.
  • V-Ray GPU is a separate render engine introduced by Chaos Group. It utilizes GPU devices and also provides a Hybrid Rendering (both CPU and GPU) option. V-Ray GPU renders most V-Ray and 3ds Max features, but not all. For more specifics on V-Ray GPU, see V-Ray GPU in 3ds Max.

As of V-Ray Next, V-Ray and V-Ray GPU work only in Production Rendering Mode. Both renderers can still be used interactively in IPR mode.


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.


V-Ray or V-Ray GPU needs to be assigned 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 comes with toolbar that includes 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.

 If the V-Ray Toolbar is not visible, check to make sure floating toolbars are set to display in 3ds Max by going to 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

To use V-Ray or V-Ray GPU, you must first select one the renderers as your Production renderer.

  1. Open the Render Setup window.

  2. At the top of the Render Setup window, choose Production Rendering Mode as the Target.

  3. For Renderer, choose V-Ray or V-Ray GPU.

V-Ray Next and V-Ray GPU Next are not available renderer options for ActiveShade in 3ds max. Scenes saved with older versions of V-Ray with ActiveShade mode can still be opened in V-Ray Next in order to convert them to Production Rendering Mode.