This page discusses render elements in general, with links to sub-groups of render elements.

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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 to re-assemble the component elements. Render elements are also sometimes known as render passes.

Render elements appear in the V-Ray Frame Buffer (VFB) and can be viewed from the drop-down at the upper left corner of the VFB. They can also be saved out of the VFB as many common file formats.

Render elements are generated at render time based on the user's selection before rendering. Most render elements have parameters that can be customized to further assist the composting process. 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 Maya Render Elements User Interface. However, V-Ray provides its own render elements and does not support the standard render elements implemented in Maya. Therefore standard Maya render elements will not work with V-Ray, and vice-versa.


The list of render elements that are supported by V-Ray can be found on the List of Supported Render Elements section below. All render elements support native V-Ray materials. Some render elements also support standard Maya materials, and these are noted on the Supported Render Elements page as well.

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 outputs or the Separate render channels options. If you want to specify the render elements outputs using the Maya 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

||Display Render Settings button|| > Render Elements tab

||Display Render Settings button|| > Render Elements tab

Render (menu) > Render Settings...

To use render elements, select from the Available render elements column and click the Add button to add the passes you wish to generate at render time. When you render the scene, the added render elements listed in the column on the right, will also render, which can be viewed from the VFB window's channel drop-down menu.

For more information on the parameters on this dialog, see the Render Elements tab page.

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 known as Beauty or RGB Color. These include the
Lighting, Global Illumination, Reflection, Refraction, Specular, etc.



Matte Render Elements


The Matte Render Elements aid selection masking in the compositing process.
These include the Material IDMulti Matte, Object ID, and Render ID Render Elements.



Geometry Render Elements


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



Utility Render Elements


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


List of Supported Render Elements

The following render elements are supported by V-Ray. All render elements support native V-Ray materials while some render elements support standard Maya materials, as noted in the table below.

In order to render a correct Raw render pass, you need to also render the corresponding main element and filter. For example, Raw Reflection will require you to render Reflection and Reflection filter. For Raw GI, you need GI and Diffuse, etc.

Render elementMaya node nameDescription

Atmospheric Effects

vrayRE_Atmospheric_EffectsAtmospheric effects, such as Environment Fog.


vrayRE_BackgroundImage background, such as any Background Texture specified in the Environment overrides.
Bump Normals vrayRE_BumpNormalsNormals generated by bump maps, in screen space (which is not the same as camera space). Use the VRaySamplerInfo utility texture node to get the normals in camera, world or object space.


vrayRE_CausticsThe caustics on the material. These caustics are present only when the Caustics option of V-Ray is enabled. This channel does not include GI caustics.
CoveragevrayRE_CoverageFor each pixel, the final values for the render element are taken from the object that makes the largest contribution to that pixel.
CryptomattevrayRE_CryptomatteUses the Cryptomatte convention by Psypop to encode mattes into multichannel OpenEXRs.
Custom ColorvrayRE_Custom_ColorA generic render element container. Use the Alias value to specify which render element it should be used as.
DR BucketvrayRE_DR_BucketIdentifies the render node responsible for rendering a bucket during distributed rendering.
DiffusevrayRE_DiffusePure diffuse surface color.
Extra TexturevrayRE_Extra_TexRenders the entire scene with a single defined texture mapped on all objects.
Global Illumination (GI)


The diffuse surface global illumination. Only present if Global illumination is enabled.
Light Select vrayRE_Light_SelectExtracts the contribution of a user-defined light or a set of lights in the scene as a separate render element.


vrayRE_LightingDiffuse direct surface lighting.
Material ID vrayRE_Material_IDMaterial ID of scene objects.

Material Select


Renders only the object(s) assigned to a user-specified V-Ray compatible material. The material can be a top-level material or a sub-material of a VRayBlendMtl.

Matte Shadow vrayRE_Matte_shadowMatte shadow part of the image.
Multi Matte vrayRE_Multi_MatteCreates selection masks based on an object ID or material ID.
Multi Matte IDvrayRE_Multi_Matte_IDReturns an integer value in the image that corresponds to the value of the object's multiMatte ID #.
NormalsvrayRE_NormalsSurface normals in screen space (which is not the same as camera space). To output the normals in camera/object/world space, use Maya's Sampler Info utility texture node.

Object ID

vrayRE_Object_IDReturns solid un-shaded colors to represent a numerical identifiers set through that object's Attributes, Object Property, or assigned material. Useful for selection masks. EXRs and .vrimg formats store as integer values.
Object SelectvrayRE_Object_selectRenders only the object(s) called out with a specific Object or Material ID. This effect is reversible to create a render element that excludes a particular object or objects according to Object or Material ID.
Raw Diffuse FiltervrayRE_Raw_Diffuse_FilterA solid mask of raw diffuse surface color information not affected by fresnel falloff.
Raw GIvrayRE_Raw_GIRaw diffuse global illumination (not multiplied by the diffuse surface color). Only present if Global illumination is enabled.

Raw Light

vrayRE_Raw_LightRaw diffuse direct illumination before it's multiplied by the diffuse surface color.
Raw ReflectionvrayRE_Raw_ReflectionPure surface reflection before it is multiplied by the reflection filter color.
Raw Reflection FiltervrayRE_Raw_Reflection_FilterA solid mask of raw reflection information not affected by fresnel falloff.

Raw Refraction

vrayRE_Raw_RefractionPure surface refraction before it is multiplied by the refraction filter color.
Raw Refraction FiltervrayRE_Raw_Refraction_FilterA solid mask of raw refraction information not affected by fresnel falloff.
Raw ShadowvrayRE_Raw_ShadowRaw light blocked by other objects.
Raw Total LightvrayRE_Raw_Total_LightSum of all raw lighting, both direct and indirect.
Reflect IORvrayRE_Reflect_IORStores floating-point information that corresponds to the Fresnel IOR values of scene objects' materials.
ReflectionvrayRE_ReflectionReflections on the surface.
Reflection Filter vrayRE_Reflection_FilterReflection filter (the color by which the raw reflections are multiplied to give the final surface reflection). This may be considered an alpha channel for reflections.
Reflection GlossinessvrayRE_Reflection_glossinessReturns a float value that corresponds with the Reflection Glossiness value of an object's material.
Reflection Highlight GlossinessvrayRE_Reflection_hilight_glossinessReturns a float value that corresponds with the Highlight Glossiness value of an object's material.
RefractionvrayRE_RefractionRefractions through a surface.
Refraction Filter vrayRE_Refraction_FilterThe refraction filter mitigates the raw refraction layer. This render element returns the color by which the raw refractions are multiplied to give the final surface refraction. This may be considered an alpha channel for refractions.
Refraction GlossinessvrayRE_Refraction_glossinessReturns a float value that corresponds to the Refraction Glossiness value of an object's material.
Render ID vrayRE_Render_IDNode render ID of the object that contributes most to the pixel value.
SSSvrayRE_SSSRenders just the subsurface part of the VRaySSS2 material on a separate layer.
Sample Rate vrayRE_Sample_RateShows an image where the pixel brightness is directly proportional to the number of samples taken at that pixel.
Sampler InfovrayRE_Sampler_InfoProvides information about various aspects of the shaded points - position, normal, bump normal, reflection/refraction vectors and UVW coordinates. Can be used f.e. for world position passes or normal passes.
Self Illumination vrayRE_Self_IlluminationSelf-illumination of the surface.
ShadowvrayRE_ShadowDiffuse light that is blocked by other objects.
SpecularvrayRE_SpecularSurface specular highlights.
ToonvrayRE_ToonStores results of V-Ray Toon rendering effect.
Total LightvrayRE_Total_LightTotal lighting in the scene, both direct and indirect.
Unclamped ColorvrayRE_Unclamped_ColorThe unclamped or adjusted image color before Color Mapping settings are applied.
VelocityvrayRE_VelocitySurface velocity of an object. This render element is useful for generating motion blur in post-production.
Z-depth vrayRE_Z_depthZ-depth of surfaces in the scene.


  • V-Ray always anti-aliases 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.
  • Render elements require additional storage when rendering and thus increase the amount of RAM used during rendering. When rendering to the V-Ray VFB, you can reduce this 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 are selected. They have no effect on GI/reflection, etc. calculations.