This page provides a step-by-step introduction to V-Ray for Modo.
In this tutorial we are going to render a Modo scene with V-Ray. Getting started with V-Ray for Modo is extremely easy. Due to the tight integration of the V-Ray plugin with Modo’s native lighting and shading, all of your existing lighting and shading settings are converted for V-Ray behind the scenes. This allows you to have a workflow where you begin a scene using Modo’s standard features, including the native lighting and shading and Modo’s Preview renderer, and then simply add a V-Ray render package to render the scene in V-Ray with almost all of your settings being translated without any additional work.
To follow this tutorial, you will need to have the V-Ray for Modo plugin installed. This tutorial is a companion to go along with the QuickStart video posted on our YouTube channel.
To download the files used in this tutorial, please click on the button below.
In this tutorial, you will start with one of the downloaded files. In Modo, load the .lxo file that contains the word "start".
1) Set up your preferences:
When you install V-Ray for Modo, it is set up to add V-Ray render packages automatically to any new scenes you create. This is convenient as it saves you from having to add packages manually, but be aware that if you need to share your scenes with others (who might not have V-Ray for Modo installed) they might see error messages warning about the missing plug-in when they open your files.
Later in this tutorial we will add a package manually. If you regularly need to share your scenes with others, it is worth setting the preferences so that the packages have to be added manually. To do this, go to System > Preferences > V-Ray and disable all the options under V-Ray Packages.
2) Add the V-Ray render package and enable GI:
In the Shader Tree, select the Render Item and go to V-Ray > Add Package > Add V-Ray Render Settings to selected Render Item.
Once you add a V-Ray render package, all you need to do is to enable GI in the V-Ray render properties. Select the Render Item, go to the V-Ray GI tab, and under Global Illumination enable the On option to enable GI.
3) Do a test render with V-Ray RT.
Next you can test your scene using V-Ray RT, which is similar to Modo’s Preview renderer. Switch to the Render V-Ray layout, and in the V-Ray toolbar click the Play icon to start V-Ray RT. Let V-Ray RT render for a couple of minutes. If everything looks as it should, click the Stop icon on the V-Ray toolbar and proceed to the next step.
4) Set up the V-Ray Frame Buffer:
At the bottom of the V-Ray Frame Buffer locate the icon with the H symbol, and click it to open the Frame Buffer History. Click the menu icon at the top of the History and select the History Settings.
In the History Settings, define a path on disk for your Frame Buffer History to be stored. Assign a maximum size for the overall frame buffer and enable Auto Save. Then click OK to save your settings and exit.
5) Render with V-Ray’s production renderer
Now it’s time to do a render test with the main V-Ray renderer using the default settings. To do this, click the Teapot icon on the V-Ray toolbar.
6) Clean up the noise
You will probably have a little noise in your scene since the default settings are geared for speed over quality. Go to the main V-Ray properties panel on the Render Item, and in the Adaptive Sampling area increase the Max subdivs value.
In V-Ray, the number of samples for a variety of actions are set by a parameter called subdivs (subdivisions). The subdivs value is the square root of the number of samples. So for example, if you want to have a maximum of 64 samples, you would set Max subdivs to 8 because 8x8 = 64.
Set Max subdivs to 16 for a maximum of 256 samples. Then you can set the Min shading rate according to the needs of your particular scene. If the noise is mostly caused by antialiasing from geometry, sharp reflections and refractions, or depth-of-field (DOF) effects, you should set a low value such as 2. If however the noise in your scene is mostly a result from sampling GI, blurry reflections, or soft shadows, then you should use a higher value such as 16.
In our scene the noise seems to be mostly caused by reflection sampling, so increase Min shading rate to 16.
Do a test render and note that the result is now much cleaner.
Using the Adaptive Sampler in V-Ray allows you to create clean renders without having to tweak a lot of settings, so by using these two values (Max subdivs and Min shading rate) you should get good results quickly without having to adjust your scene on a per-material basis.