This page provides information on how the latest version of V-Ray handles scenes saved with V-Ray 3.0 and what differences can be expected in the workflow with some features.


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Some features have been modified in V-Ray Next compared to previous versions of V-Ray. The sections below provide you with more details on what has been changed to help your transition to using the latest version.



  • The VRaySkinMtl and VRaySimbiontMtl are no longer available in V-Ray Next for 3ds Max. The VRayFastSSS2 and VRayALSurfaceMtl are recommended for producing translucent materials or subsurface scattering effects for rendering objects like skin.
  • The Prepass-based and Object-based multiple scattering modes of the VRayFastSSS2 material have been removed for causing compatibility issues. The material will render in purely raytraced mode for the multiple scattering effect, including when rendering scenes saved with previous versions of V-Ray. 
  • VRayMDLMtl is now equipped with a custom user Additional paths list that enables rendering MDL assets outside the system paths.
  • A new VRayHairNextMtl is added to V-Ray for rendering more realistic-looking hair with accurate highlights and melanin color controls.
  • A new VRaySwitchMtl can be used to apply several materials to the same object and select the one you want at render time.
  • A new Metalness parameter is added to the VRayMtl for use with PBR workflows.


  • The V-Ray Proxy now supports Alembic 1.7 and layers for efficient handling and updating of Alembic data.


  • The VFB History can now display Image Info for each image stored in history.
  • The VFB History allows to load the scene, which was used to render an image stored in history, given the scene location has not changed. See more details on how to Load Scene from History.


  • The Adaptive Dome light renders faster, cleaner and more accurate image-based environment lighting completely removing the need for light portals.
  • Since V-Ray Next, Update 2 Uniform Probabilistic Lights evaluation method is replaced with the enhanced Light Tree method.


V-Ray Denoiser

The V-Ray Denoiser now comes with some modifications and new features:

  • NVIDIA AI denoiser: The VRayDenoiser render element now comes with a denoising engine menu, which allows you to choose between the Default V-Ray Denoiser and V-Ray's integration of NVIDIA's AI-based denoising algorithm. The NVIDIA AI denoiser requires an NVIDIA GPU to work and has some advantages and drawbacks compared to the Default V-Ray Denoiser. For example, the NVIDIA AI denoiser performs the denoising faster, but is not consistent when denoising render elements. This means that there will be differences between the original RGB image and the one reconstructed from render elements that are denoised with the NVIDIA AI denoiser. It also doesn't support cross-frame denoising will likely produce flickering when used in animation.
  • The V-Ray Denoiser can now denoise render elements. To use this feature, enable the "denoise" checkbox for each render element in the scene that needs to be denoised.


  • A Scene Analyzer utility is added to V-Ray Next to scan the scene for compatibility with V-Ray Cloud.

GI Engines

The Global Photon Map is no longer available in V-Ray Next for 3ds Max. However, opening scenes saved with previous versions of V-Ray where the Global Photon Map has been set as a primary or secondary GI engine will still show the Global Photon Map setttings.


Renderers and Render modes

V-Ray Next for 3ds Max provides you with two choices of render engines, specified in the Renderer menu of the Render Setup window: V-Ray Next and V-Ray GPU Next. There are a few things worth mentioning:

  • Both V-Ray and V-Ray GPU can be used in Production Rendering mode or Interactive Production Rendering (IPR) mode.
  • The ActiveShade mode is no longer supported. V-Ray and V-Ray GPU can not be selected as renderers for the ActiveShade mode.
  • Some materials are not supported by V-Ray GPU, and are hidden from the UI when V-Ray GPU is selected as the current renderer.
  • Some materials are only partially supported by V-Ray GPU and the non-supported parameters will be grayed out when V-Ray GPU is selected as the current renderer.


Installation directories

The installation layout has changed. Now all V-Ray files that do not go into the 3ds Max directory, reside in a single directory (e.g. C:\Program Files\Chaos Group\V-Ray\3ds Max 2018). The shortcuts in the Windows Start Menu are grouped into a single directory per installation.


Environment variables

The environment variables used by V-Ray Next for 3ds Max no longer use the _x64 suffix. This means that an environment variable like VRAY_MDL_PATH_3DSMAX2018_x64 is now changed to VRAY_MDL_PATH_3DSMAX2018.

Environment variables no longer contain _RT_. Here's a list of what the environment variables for V-Ray Next for 3ds Max should look like, if V-Ray is installed in its default location:

VRAY4_FOR_3DSMAX2018_MAIN="C:\Program Files\Chaos Group\V-Ray\3ds Max 2018/bin"
VRAY4_FOR_3DSMAX2018_PLUGINS="C:\Program Files\Chaos Group\V-Ray\3ds Max 2018/bin/plugins"
VRAY_MDL_PATH_3DSMAX2018="C:\Program Files\Chaos Group\V-Ray\3ds Max 2018\mdl"
VRAY_OSL_PATH_3DSMAX2018="C:\Program Files\Chaos Group\V-Ray\3ds Max 2018\opensl"


VRmat Editor

The V-Ray VRmat Material Editor is no longer supported in V-Ray Next.


Render Elements

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.

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 Global Switches rollout under the V-Ray tab in the Render Setup 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.