This page discusses render elements in general, with links to sub-groups of render elements.
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.
||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
Matte Render Elements
Geometry Render Elements
Utility 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 element||Maya node name||Description|
|vrayRE_Atmospheric_Effects||Atmospheric effects, such as Environment Fog.|
|vrayRE_Background||Image background, such as any Background Texture specified in the Environment overrides.|
|Bump Normals||vrayRE_BumpNormals||Normals 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_Caustics||The 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.|
|Coverage||vrayRE_Coverage||For each pixel, the final values for the render element are taken from the object that makes the largest contribution to that pixel.|
|Cryptomatte||vrayRE_Cryptomatte||Uses the Cryptomatte convention by Psypop to encode mattes into multichannel OpenEXRs.|
|Custom Color||vrayRE_Custom_Color||A generic render element container. Use the Alias value to specify which render element it should be used as.|
|DR Bucket||vrayRE_DR_Bucket||Identifies the render node responsible for rendering a bucket during distributed rendering.|
|Diffuse||vrayRE_Diffuse||Pure diffuse surface color.|
|Extra Texture||vrayRE_Extra_Tex||Renders 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_Select||Extracts the contribution of a user-defined light or a set of lights in the scene as a separate render element.|
|vrayRE_Lighting||Diffuse direct surface lighting.|
|Material ID||vrayRE_Material_ID||Material ID of scene objects.|
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_shadow||Matte shadow part of the image.|
|Multi Matte||vrayRE_Multi_Matte||Creates selection masks based on an object ID or material ID.|
|Multi Matte ID||vrayRE_Multi_Matte_ID||Returns an integer value in the image that corresponds to the value of the object's multiMatte ID #.|
|Normals||vrayRE_Normals||Surface 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.|
|vrayRE_Object_ID||Returns 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 Select||vrayRE_Object_select||Renders 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 Filter||vrayRE_Raw_Diffuse_Filter||A solid mask of raw diffuse surface color information not affected by fresnel falloff.|
|Raw GI||vrayRE_Raw_GI||Raw diffuse global illumination (not multiplied by the diffuse surface color). Only present if Global illumination is enabled.|
|vrayRE_Raw_Light||Raw diffuse direct illumination before it's multiplied by the diffuse surface color.|
|Raw Reflection||vrayRE_Raw_Reflection||Pure surface reflection before it is multiplied by the reflection filter color.|
|Raw Reflection Filter||vrayRE_Raw_Reflection_Filter||A solid mask of raw reflection information not affected by fresnel falloff.|
|vrayRE_Raw_Refraction||Pure surface refraction before it is multiplied by the refraction filter color.|
|Raw Refraction Filter||vrayRE_Raw_Refraction_Filter||A solid mask of raw refraction information not affected by fresnel falloff.|
|Raw Shadow||vrayRE_Raw_Shadow||Raw light blocked by other objects.|
|Raw Total Light||vrayRE_Raw_Total_Light||Sum of all raw lighting, both direct and indirect.|
|Reflect IOR||vrayRE_Reflect_IOR||Stores floating-point information that corresponds to the Fresnel IOR values of scene objects' materials.|
|Reflection||vrayRE_Reflection||Reflections on the surface.|
|Reflection Filter||vrayRE_Reflection_Filter||Reflection 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 Glossiness||vrayRE_Reflection_glossiness||Returns a float value that corresponds with the Reflection Glossiness value of an object's material.|
|Reflection Highlight Glossiness||vrayRE_Reflection_hilight_glossiness||Returns a float value that corresponds with the Highlight Glossiness value of an object's material.|
|Refraction||vrayRE_Refraction||Refractions through a surface.|
|Refraction Filter||vrayRE_Refraction_Filter||The 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 Glossiness||vrayRE_Refraction_glossiness||Returns a float value that corresponds to the Refraction Glossiness value of an object's material.|
|Render ID||vrayRE_Render_ID||Node render ID of the object that contributes most to the pixel value.|
|SSS||vrayRE_SSS||Renders just the subsurface part of the VRaySSS2 material on a separate layer.|
|Sample Rate||vrayRE_Sample_Rate||Shows an image where the pixel brightness is directly proportional to the number of samples taken at that pixel.|
|Sampler Info||vrayRE_Sampler_Info||Provides 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_Illumination||Self-illumination of the surface.|
|Shadow||vrayRE_Shadow||Diffuse light that is blocked by other objects.|
|Specular||vrayRE_Specular||Surface specular highlights.|
|Toon||vrayRE_Toon||Stores results of V-Ray Toon rendering effect.|
|Total Light||vrayRE_Total_Light||Total lighting in the scene, both direct and indirect.|
|Unclamped Color||vrayRE_Unclamped_Color||The unclamped or adjusted image color before Color Mapping settings are applied.|
|Velocity||vrayRE_Velocity||Surface velocity of an object. This render element is useful for generating motion blur in post-production.|
|Z-depth||vrayRE_Z_depth||Z-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.