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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 Text Box

Since V-Ray Next Update 1, some of the render elements are rendered differently than before. The Lighting render element now contains all direct diffuse illumination and the GI element contains all indirect diffuse illumination. Similarly, all direct reflections of lights now go to the Specular element and all indirect reflections go to the Reflection element.

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Previously this behavior depended on the sampling of the lights and not just on the type of the contribution. Some of the direct contributions that should be in the Lighting and Specular elements were written to the GI and Reflection elements instead. In both cases they compose back to Beauty correctly but the different types of contributions are now split between the elements more consistently.

This change makes the elements more consistent but it's also needed for preventing artifacts in these elements with the adaptive dome light (and possibly in the future with other adaptive lights).

The raw elements are affected only when the corresponding normal and filter elements are available, otherwise they're rendered as before. This is because the raw elements have to be derived internally from the corresponding normal elements in order to work with the consistent elements (f.e. VRayRawGlobalIllumination = VRayGlobalIllumination / DiffuseFilter).

There's an option to enable or disable the new behavior in the Rendering rollout under the Overrides tab in the Render Settings window. The consistent elements are automatically enabled when the scene contains an adaptive dome light so they don't have artifacts. They are also enabled by default for new scenes. For V-Ray GPU they are always enabled without an option to disable them.

UI Path

UI Expand
title||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 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.
DenoiservrayRE_DenoiserApplies a denoising operation to the image after it is rendered (with the neccessary channels).
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.
Lightning AnalysisvrayRE_Lightning_AnalysisProvides visual representation of the lighting intensity within a rendered frame.
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.


Fancy Bullets
  • V-Ray always anti-aliases with respect to the RGB Color channelthe 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.
  • Since V-Ray Next, the Reflection Hilight Glossiness has been removed from the UI as it can no longer be controlled separately from the Reflection Glossiness in VRayMtl. As there will be no difference between the Reflection Hilight Glossiness Render Element and the Reflection Glossiness one, the Reflection Hilight Glossiness Render Element is no longer available.