News from Chaos: Cloud render, V-Ray Next

Cloud rendering and integrated support for Rhino and Grasshopper.

Recently, Chaos Group announced their new cloud-rendering service, which, they say, differs from competitive services with straightforward pricing that charges only for the rendering time and does not have surprise fees such as additional charges for uploading files. The company describes Chaos Cloud rendering as a single button click.

As with most rendering services, customers buy packages of credit. Their pricing is $100 for 100 credits with prices going down with volume. New users get 20 credits on sign up. The company also provides a gallery of samples to give customers an idea of how many credits they might need for a particular job.

The service has been available to customers through a six-month beta program, which has rendered six million frames and 500,000 jobs over six months. The Chaos systems includes a management layer that takes care of managing licenses, tracks assets. In addition, customers don’t have to package their scenes with all the associated bitmaps, scripts and plug-ins because the system is able to do that automatically.

The browser-based system enables progress to be monitored using any system including mobile phone and devices. In addition, customers can pause and cancel renders.
The Chaos system tracks all data uploaded by customers, so content does not have to be re-uploaded. The system also tracks changes made in a scene so only changes need to be resynched.

Sorta obviously, the system now supports V-Ray, but the company says they are adding support for Corona Renderer and Phoenix FD. Next up, the company will add distributed and GPU rendering for faster speeds in the future.

Chaos Cloud is available through V-Ray for 3ds Max, Maya, Rhino, Cinema 4D, Eveit, Modo, and for the Next and 3.6 editions of SketchUp. Support for Houdini is in beta.

V-Ray Next rollouts

Over the last few months, Chaos has been rolling out versions of its V-Ray Next for 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, SketchUp. It includes the asset management support that Chaos uses to improve the efficiency of its browser-based renderer. The asset management system acts as a central control center, giving designers the ability to manage all of their V-Ray scene assets. They can use live preview to work with the look of lights, textures, and materials. It is a project control center, making it easier to maintain a consistent look and style. But the main features for V-Ray Next center on speed.

The most recent announcement is for V-Ray Next for Rhino with support for Grasshopper.  V-Ray Next is Chaos’ latest iteration of its rendering technology that adds “smart” features. The company has been incorporating AI and ML techniques to make its renderer more efficient and faster.

Faster is the headline feature for V-Ray Next. The company says the use of optimized materials and overall performance gains makes V-Ray Next faster throughout the program. The company says rendering speeds are 50% faster than previous versions. Chaos says they’ve improved GPU rendering which can result in another 200% improvement, and V-Ray Scene Intelligence can also improve performance in some cases.

V-Ray Scene Intelligence is new to V-Ray Next. It includes several capabilities but starts with the analysis of a 3D scene and offers optimizations for designers. The Adaptive Dome Light (ADL) is a component of V-Ray Scene Intelligence and enables image-based environment lighting. Chaos says their system is more accurate and claims it can speed up environment lighting that can be as much as seven times faster. The example, Chaos, offers as the way this can be useful for interiors. The lighting tools in Scene Intelligence can identify sources of light such as windows and openings so that designers don’t have to add separate light portals to achieve a realistic effect.

The Scene Intelligence features also included the V-Ray camera which can set exposure and white balance automatically. The tools also take advantage of Nvidia’s AI denoiser, to get to a finished image faster by leapfrogging the noisy resolve of a typical ray-traced renderer. Getting to a finished look faster enables faster iteration to tweak controls and get to the desired effect.

V-Ray Next has enhanced GPU rendering in V-Ray with support for bucket rendering, volumetric effects, ad compatibility with VRscans. Chaos Group’s library of scanned materials. The ability to speed the rendering process through GPU acceleration provides a more accurate view of how the finished work will look including the reflections, refractions, bump maps, etc. The new lighting analysis tool can analyze a scene and create real-world illumination values (lux) using the lighting analysis render element.

V-Ray Batch provides access to V-Ray Swarm which enables snapshots and variations of a project for easier review and approval.

The most recent V-Ray Next release is for Rhino and McNeel’s Grasshopper for programmatic rendering. That new release will support RhinoSript or Python for V-Ray tasks and properties and access V-Ray features not present in the UI.

Support for Grasshopper is especially extensive. V-Ray can be accessed from within Grasshopper for renderings of abstract curves and repeating patterns generated by Grasshopper. Users also have access to Grasshopper features such as sunlight, cameras and Grasshopper definitions from within the V-Raytimeline.

V-Ray Next for Rhino is $790 or, annual licenses are available for $350 per year.