This page provides some details on how to get V-Ray up and running.

 

Download V-Ray for Houdini

 

Overview


Setting up V-Ray for Houdini comprises of four steps: installing and licensing through your OS and then loading the V-Ray shelf and setting V-Ray as the renderer inside Houdini.

Installation can be done via a pretty straightforward and easy to follow installer as well as via a zip file. Follow the step-by-step guide below to set up the V-Ray installation.

 

 

Installing V-Ray via Installer


The V-Ray installer automatically removes any previous installations. This allows you to seamlessly upgrade from previous versions. If you experience problems you can manually uninstall the previous versions to perform a clean install.

 

 

Before running the installation, make sure your Windows account has administrative privileges.

Run the installer.

1. You will be presented with the V-Ray licensing agreement. Please take a moment to review the agreement. Check the I accept checkbox and click Next to proceed:

 

 

2. During the next step you can choose the installation type. The available installation types are:

Full – A full installation that includes V-Ray for Houdini, IPR for Houdini, V-Ray Standalone, V-Ray SDK, V-Ray Tools and Documentation. It allows you to use V-Ray in Houdini, do Distributed or Network Rendering, run IPR render server, use V-Ray SDK, and use the different V-Ray Tools.
Standalone only
 – An installation which includes V-Ray Standalone and IPR render server. Please choose this option if you plan to use this machine only for Distributed Rendering with V-Ray Standalone and an IPR render server.

 

 

3. After you choose the installation type you can click the “Customize” button and adjust the corresponding installation settings. If you have selected the Full installation, you will see the full list of customizable settings:

Uninstall previous installations - Leave enabled to automatically uninstall any previous versions.

Help us improve V-Ray – Specifies whether you agree to send anonymous information to us about the way you use V-Ray for Houdini. Click on More Info and then Install Now to learn more about our customer feedback program.

How are you going to connect to the V-Ray license server – Specifies whether the V-Ray license server will run locally or on another machine. If you select “Remote V-Ray license server on the network” you will be given fields to specify the IP address of the machine on which the V-Ray License server is running. Please leave the port 30304 unchanged.

Specify installation paths – Use to confirm the default folders are correct.

Add firewall exceptions – Automatically adds firewall exceptions so IPR for Houdini and V-Ray Standalone can run uninterrupted.

Install the Chaos Cloud client to access the Chaos Cloud rendering service – Enables the Chaos Cloud auxiliary installer which is bundled together with the V-Ray installer. Leave this disabled, if you are using a separate installer for Chaos Cloud from https://cloud.chaos.com/download-client-app.

Common settings for Full installation for Houdini with a local license server and default paths, should look like the screenshot below:

 

 

4. The installer will detect and list any applications that need to be closed. Please close them and click Install Now.

 

 

5. The installer will proceed to uninstall any previous versions and install V-Ray Next.

6. You will be presented with the Chaos Cloud licence agreement. Please click I Agree to proceed to install Chaos Cloud. For more information on the steps to install the Chaos Cloud, please see the Installation of Chaos Cloud Client App page.

7. You will be presented with the Chaos License Sever licence agreement. Please click I Agree to proceed to install Chaos License Server. For more information on the steps to install the Chaos License Server, please see the Installing the License Server page.

8. Press the Finish button to complete the installation of V-Ray for Houdini.

 

 

 

Before running the installation, make sure your macOS account has administrative privileges.

Run the installer.

1. You will be presented with the V-Ray licensing agreement. Please take a moment to review the agreement. Check the I accept checkbox and click Next to proceed:

 

 

2. During the next step you can choose the installation type. The available installation types are:

Full – A full installation that includes V-Ray for Houdini, IPR for Houdini, V-Ray Standalone, V-Ray SDK, V-Ray Tools and Documentation. It allows you to use V-Ray in Houdini, do Distributed or Network Rendering, run IPR render server, use V-Ray SDK, and use the different V-Ray Tools.
Standalone only
 – An installation which includes V-Ray Standalone and IPR render server. Please choose this option if you plan to use this machine only for Distributed Rendering with V-Ray Standalone and an IPR render server.

 

 

3. After you choose the installation type you can click the “Customize” button and adjust the corresponding installation settings. If you have selected the Full installation, you will see the full list of customizable settings:

Uninstall previous installations - Leave enabled to automatically uninstall any previous versions.

Help us improve V-Ray – Specifies whether you agree to send anonymous information to us about the way you use V-Ray for Houdini. Click on More Info and then Install Now to learn more about our customer feedback program.

How are you going to connect to the V-Ray license server – Specifies whether the V-Ray license server will run locally or on another machine. If you select “Remote V-Ray license server on the network” you will be given fields to specify the IP address of the machine on which the V-Ray License server is running. Please leave the port 30304 unchanged.

Specify installation paths – Use to confirm the default folders are correct.

Add firewall exceptions – Automatically adds firewall exceptions so IPR for Houdini and V-Ray Standalone can run uninterrupted.

Install the Chaos Cloud client to access the Chaos Cloud rendering service – Enables the Chaos Cloud auxiliary installer which is bundled together with the V-Ray installer. Leave this disabled, if you are using a separate installer for Chaos Cloud from https://cloud.chaos.com/download-client-app.

Common settings for Full installation for Houdini with a local license server and default paths, should look like the screenshot below:

 

 

4. The installer will detect and list any applications that need to be closed. Please close them and click Install Now.

 

 

5. The installer will proceed to uninstall any previous versions and install V-Ray Next.

6. You will be presented with the Chaos Cloud licence agreement. Please click I Agree to proceed to install Chaos Cloud. For more information on the steps to install the Chaos Cloud, please see the Installation of Chaos Cloud Client App page.

7. You will be presented with the Chaos License Sever licence agreement. Please click I Agree to proceed to install Chaos License Server. For more information on the steps to install the Chaos License Server, please see the Installing the License Server page.

8. Press the Finish button to complete the installation of V-Ray for Houdini.

 

 

 

Before running the installation, make sure your Linux account has administrative privileges.

Run the installer.

1. You will be presented with the V-Ray licensing agreement. Please take a moment to review the agreement. Check the I accept checkbox and click Next to proceed:

 

 

2. During the next step you can choose the installation type. The available installation types are:

Full – A full installation that includes V-Ray for Houdini, IPR for Houdini, V-Ray Standalone, V-Ray SDK, V-Ray Tools and Documentation. It allows you to use V-Ray in Houdini, do Distributed or Network Rendering, run IPR render server, use V-Ray SDK, and use the different V-Ray Tools.
Standalone only
 – An installation which includes V-Ray Standalone and IPR render server. Please choose this option if you plan to use this machine only for Distributed Rendering with V-Ray Standalone and an IPR render server.

 

 

3. After you choose the installation type you can click the “Customize” button and adjust the corresponding installation settings. If you have selected the Full installation, you will see the full list of customizable settings:

Help us improve V-Ray – Specifies whether you agree to send anonymous information to us about the way you use V-Ray for Houdini. Click on More Info and then Install Now to learn more about our customer feedback program.

How are you going to connect to the V-Ray license server – Specifies whether the V-Ray license server will run locally or on another machine. If you select “Remote V-Ray license server on the network” you will be given fields to specify the IP address of the machine on which the V-Ray License server is running. Please leave the port 30304 unchanged.

Specify installation paths – Use to confirm the default folders are correct.

Install the Chaos Cloud client to access the Chaos Cloud rendering service – Enables the Chaos Cloud auxiliary installer which is bundled together with the V-Ray installer. Leave this disabled, if you are using a separate installer for Chaos Cloud from https://cloud.chaos.com/download-client-app.

Common settings for Full installation for Houdini with a local license server and default paths, should look like the screenshot below:

 

 

4. The installer will detect and list any applications that need to be closed. Please close them and click Install Now.



5. The installer will proceed to uninstall any previous versions and install V-Ray Next.

6. You will be presented with the Chaos Cloud licence agreement. Please click I Agree to proceed to install Chaos Cloud. For more information on the steps to install the Chaos Cloud, please see the Installation of Chaos Cloud Client App page.

7. You will be presented with the Chaos License Sever licence agreement. Please click I Agree to proceed to install Chaos License Server. For more information on the steps to install the Chaos License Server, please see the Installing the License Server page.

8. Press the Finish button to complete the installation of V-Ray for Houdini.

 


Installing V-Ray from Zip


V-Ray for Houdini can be downloaded from the V-Ray | Downloads section of the Chaos Group website (please make sure you use your login credentials to ensure access to the download links). It's recommended that you make sure your computer meets the System Requirements for running Houdini with V-Ray before installing V-Ray.

Under the hood, the V-Ray installation relies on the Houdini 3-rd party plugins package system. Houdini's packages are .json files that specify the location of custom modules. For more information, please refer to the documentation on the SideFX website.

The "vray_for_houdini.json" package that is used to load V-Ray when Houdini is started is placed under "$HFS/packages" (e.g. "C:\Program Files\Side Effects Software\Houdini 18.0.532\packages" for Windows) when running the installer. You may set things up differently depending on your studio pipeline.

By default, when using the installer, the location of V-Ray itself is "C:\Program Files\Chaos Group\V-Ray". Just as with the "vray_for_houdini.json", V-Ray itself can be placed anywhere on disk. As long as the "INSTALL_ROOT" variable in the json file points to a valid location, Houdini should be able to find the required modules to load V-Ray.

Example JSON file for loading V-Ray
{
	"env": [
		{ "INSTALL_ROOT" : "C:\Program Files\Chaos Group\V-Ray\Houdini 18.0.532" },

		{ "VRAY_APPSDK"     : "${INSTALL_ROOT}/appsdk" },
		{ "VRAY_OSL_PATH"   : "${INSTALL_ROOT}/appsdk/bin" },
		{ "VRAY_UI_DS_PATH" : "${INSTALL_ROOT}/ui" },
		{ "VFH_HOME"        : "${INSTALL_ROOT}/vfh_home" },

		{ "PYTHONPATH" : "${INSTALL_ROOT}/appsdk/python27" },

		{ "PATH" : [
			"${HFS}/bin;${VRAY_APPSDK}/bin",
			"${VFH_HOME}/bin"
		] },

		{ "HOUDINI13_VOLUME_COMPATIBILITY" : 1 },
		{ "HDF5_DISABLE_VERSION_CHECK"     : 1 }
	],
	"path" : [
		"${VFH_HOME}"
	]
}

 

Windows

To deploy V-Ray using the ZIP archive instead of the installer:

  1. Unzip the V-Ray for Houdini archive
  2. Move it to a location of your choice (e.g. "D:/V-Ray")
  3. Place the "vray_for_houdini.json" file under "$HFS/packages"
  4. Edit the "vray_for_houdini.json" and set the "INSTALL_ROOT" variable to point to the location of the V-Ray files (e.g. "INSTALL_ROOT" : "D:/V-Ray")
  5. Start Houdini

Linux and Mac OS

In Linux or Mac envronment, the process is exactly the same.

 

For detailed information on how to run V-Ray for Houdini, see the QuickStart Guides Introduction tutorial. 

 

Licensing V-Ray


Once V-Ray is installed you will want to make sure that your V-Ray license is properly configured. The Licensing page includes everything you need to get V-Ray licensed and running properly. You can download the License server installation pack from Chaos Group's website > Downloads. 

 

Loading the V-Ray Shelf


When starting V-Ray for Houdini for the first time, you will need to manually load the V-Ray shelf. From the Houdini shelf, click the plus + icon, navigate to Shelves, and select V-Ray from the list.

 

 

Selecting a Renderer


To render with V-Ray, simply press the Render button from the V-Ray Shelf. This will automatically create a vray_renderer node in the Network Editor (if one is not already present) and launch the V-Ray Frame Buffer.


 

 

 

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