This page provides a step-by-step introduction to V-Ray for Rhino for product designers.
This tutorial covers the basic workflow of rendering a simple scene with V-Ray for Rhino. It will introduce V-Ray's interactive renderer and provide steps to:
- Add and Edit materials
- Add a V-Ray Dome Light
- Add Depth of Field
- Set up the final render
To follow this tutorial, you will need to have the V-Ray for Rhino plugin installed. This tutorial is a companion to go along with the QuickStart video posted on our YouTube channel and available here:
To download the files used in this tutorial, please click on the button below.
Open the Example Scene
Begin by launching Rhino. Open the project file SingleEarphone_2.3dm, which can be downloaded from the Tutorial Assets section above.
Using the V-Ray Toolbar and Asset Editor
V-Ray provides a set of four toolbars that make up the V-Ray Toolbar. They are floating toolbars by default, but they can be docked as needed in the Rhino interface.
V-Ray Toolbar in floating mode (default)
These toolbars provide easy access to V-Ray features:
- V-Ray for Rhino Toolbar – The main toolbar which includes buttons for the Asset Editor, Rendering, and the V-Ray Frame Buffer (VFB) which displays renders.
- V-Ray Lights – The lighting toolbar which allows you to create and place a variety of V-Ray lights in the scene.
- V-Ray Objects – The geometry toolbar which creates objects specific to V-Ray such as an Infinite Ground Plane, Proxies, Clipper plane, and V-Ray Fur.
- V-Ray Extra – The toolbar which features additional tools such as Guess Lens Shift and Batch Render.
Click on the Asset Editor button on the toolbar to open the V-Ray Asset Editor.
The Asset Editor has four sections for managing V-Ray settings and scene objects which can be accessed by the tabs at the top of the editor:
- Materials editor – Allows you to preview and edit materials. The Material List tab displays all materials in the scene. The Quick Settings tab allows you to edit the currently selected material.
- Lights editor – Manages the lights in the scene. A V-Ray Sunlight is provided by default.
- Geometry editor – List any V-Ray specific geometry in the scene, such as V-Ray Fur.
- Settings section – Provides a multitude of settings for rendering the scene.
Asset Editor (Materials Editor view)
Additionally, the Asset Editor provides a Render button and VFB button, similar to the V-Ray Toolbar.
Working with Interactive Rendering
Interactive Rendering allows you to view a rendered version of your scene, and it will automatically update as adjustments to the scene are made. To start an Interactive Render, navigate to the Settings section of the V-Ray Asset Editor and enable the Interactive option. Next, click the Render with V-Ray Interactive button.
The VFB will launch and start to render. The render will become clearer over time. Changes made via the Asset Editor will reflect in the Frame Buffer.
Assigning and Editing Materials
Next, we will go to the Materials Tab. Click the Add Material button to add a new material to the scene. Select Generic.
Rename the generic material by double-clicking it in the Material List. For this tutorial, we will name this material Cord. Materials can also be edited by right-clicking to expose a number of other options.
The right-click menu
In the viewport, select the cord geometry and right-click on the material in the Material List. Choose Apply Material to Selection and the Interactive Render will update.
Click on the Quick Settings tab to further adjust the Cord material. This tab shows core parameters, as well as a drop-down menu listing preset material types. In this menu, select Plastic.
In this case, we will make the Diffuse Color brighter gray, adjust the Reflection down a bit, and set the Glossiness to 0.85 to diffuse the reflections slightly.
V-Ray comes with a Material Library. To access this, open the left side of the Asset Editor.
Navigate to the Metals Category. Find and click Silver Blurry and drag it into the Material List. Select the ring geometry of the earbud, and right-click to apply the Silver Blurry material.
In the Quick Settings for the Silver Blurry material, reduce the Reflection slightly.
In the Material Library, scroll up in the Metal materials and select Metallic_Foil_Green. Drag it into the Material List.
Select the accent rings geometry in the viewport, and right-click to assign the Metallic_Foil_Green material to it.
Back in the Material Library, find the Plastic Category and drag Plastic_Simple_Shiny_Black into the Material List.
Select the front earbud geometry and assign the Plastic_Simple_Shiny_Black material to it.
Still in the Plastic category, scroll up and find Plastic_Simple_GrainS_Black. Drag this into the Material List.
Select the housing of the earbud in the viewport and apply the Plastic_Simple_GrainS_Black material.
Notice the frequency of this texture is too large for this model. Adjust this by clicking the Quick Settings tab, and scroll down to the Bump parameter. Click on the Map.
Go back to the Material List to find a material for the large part of the earbud. In the Material Library, still in the Plastic Category, scroll to find Plastic_SSS_03_Green. Drag this into the Material List. This material has subsurface scattering that gives a nice silicone look.
Select the large part of the earbud in the viewport and assign the Plastic_SSS_03_Green material.
Now all the materials have been applied.
Adding V-Ray Lights
Let's add a dome light to the scene. In the Asset Editor, collapse the Material Library and switch to the Lights section. There is only the basic Rhino Document Sun so far.
Click the Dome Light icon in the V-Ray Toolbar. In the scene, click on the ground plane to place the Dome Light. A window will appear asking you to choose a dome light texture. Choose Fer_Desk_Spherical.hdr included in the scene files.
The dome light texture will be visible in the Interactive Render.
To edit the light properties, expand the right panel of the Asset Editor with the right arrow.
Let's set the Intensity parameter to 2 to brighten the light.
Under Options, select Invisible to hide the dome light texture from the viewport. This does not change the lighting.
It is possible to adjust the lighting provided by the dome light by rotating the light in the viewport. Navigate to a top-down view and rotate the light until the lighting is to your liking.
The Interactive render will update as you rotate.
Exposure and Using Depth of Field
Before setting up the final render, we will change the exposure and set up depth of field.
Navigate to the Settings section in the Asset Editor, and click open the Camera section. Change the Exposure Value to 8 to allow more light into the camera. This will make the render brighter.
Enable Depth of Field, and you should notice the effect when the VFB updates.
Set the Focal Point. In the Camera Settings, click the Pick Focal Point button and select a point on the edge of the earphone. You can also manually input the values for Defocus and Focus Distance. For this tutorial the Focus Distance is around 118 and the Defocus will be set at 0.35.
Make sure to select a point on the geometry.
Right away the earphone will come into focus.
Setting up the Final Render
A square image would look better in this instance. Open the Render Output section and select the Aspect Ratio pulldown menu. Choose 1:1 Square. Increase the Height to 640. Changing the resolution will require a restart of the Interactive Render.
To add a backdrop that won't affect the illumination of the scene, expand the Environment rollout and select the Map icon.
By default, the path points to the default Rhino HDR image. Click here to select a new image, and choose Background.jpg, found in the downloaded assets for this tutorial.
The new image comes in as a UVWGenEnvironment with a Spherical mapping type. This is not ideal for flat backdrops. Under UVW, change the Mapping Type to Screen.
Now that the scene and camera settings are ready, let’s get this going for a final render. Stop the Interactive Render by clicking the Stop icon in the VFB.
If you have network rendering enabled with Swarm, enable that before starting the final render.
Under the Renderer section, turn off Interactive. This will automatically activate the Progressive option. Set your Quality to High, and begin the final render.
The result will look similar to the following image.
At the bottom left corner of the Frame Buffer is the button to expand the post processing tools. Select this and expand the Exposure section. With Exposure enabled, bring Highlight Burn down to 0.7 to control the highlights.
Expand Color Balance and enable it. Here we will cool the Shadows by setting Red to -0.02 and Yellow to 0.02.
Expand the Curve section and add a slight curve to enhance contrast by selecting each endpoint and adjusting its handle.