Engineering Emmy Award 2021 goes to V-Ray and Arnold

The Television Academy has announced the recipients of the 73rd Engineering Emmy Awards honoring an individual, company, or organization for developments in broadcast technology. Arnold Global Illumination Rendering System and Chaos’ V-Ray are among the eight Engineering Emmy recipients selected this year. The awards will be presented by the Television Academy Engineering Committee at their annual event in Los Angeles on October 21.

The creator of Arnold, Marcos Fajardo, and co-recipients Alan King and Thiago Ize will be honored for creating and developing the software. Arnold is an advanced Monte Carlo ray tracing renderer. It simulates the light-transport equation at render time, without relying on problematic caching methods while being artist-friendly. Marcos Fajardo began developing Arnold in 1997 and founded Solid Angle in 2009 to promote the software. After the acquisition of Solid Angle by Autodesk in 2016, Fajardo worked at Autodesk till February 2020. Alan King and Thiago Ize are working as principal software engineers at Autodesk.

Frank Scherma, chairman and CEO of the Television Academy, said, “Engineers, scientists and technologists are a vital part of our industry and are key to the continuing evolution of television. These extraordinary pioneers and groundbreaking companies we are honoring have advanced the medium and elevate storytelling to a worldwide audience.”

Committee Chair John Leverence said, “This year a wide range of technologies are being recognized. They run the gamut from high-end, computer-generated special effects to lighting enhancements; audio tools; script-note technology; and systems that help maintain distancing protocols.”

“If V-Ray is the Swiss Army Knife of renderers, Arnold is the samurai sword,” said presenter Leslie Mann at the 2017 Scientific and Technical Achievement Award ceremony hosted by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 2017, both V-Ray from Chaos and Arnold renderer were honored with Scientific and Technical Achievement Award.

The press release by Chaos announcing Engineering Emmy for V-Ray is as follows:

V-Ray Wins 2021 Engineering Emmy for Advanced Ray-Tracing Tech

Photorealistic Production Renderer to be Honored for Advancing the Use of Fully Ray-Traced Rendering in Episodic Television

Today, Chaos announces that V-Ray has won an Engineering Emmy for ushering in new levels of photorealistic visual effects in episodic productions. The award honors technical developments that are “so innovative in nature that they materially affect the production, recording, transmission, or reception of television.” The award will be presented by the Television Academy Engineering Committee live at their annual event on October 21.

Used on hundreds of shows since 2003, including hits like Game of ThronesStranger Things and Star Trek: Discovery, V-Ray ensures a seamless blend of real and virtual elements on screen through the use of physically based rendering and adaptive ray tracing. Optimized to handle large production scenes, V-Ray is used to render digital environments, digidoubles, creatures, vehicles and more in a highly efficient way, helping it take hold at prestigious studios like Digital Domain, Zoic Studios, Scanline VFX, FuseFX, Mackevision, and more.

“We are very honored by this award, and are happy to have played even a small part in helping artists achieve their visions. It feels like every year we see something new and exciting happening in episodics, which gives our team the inspiration we need to push the software even more,” said Vlado Koylazov, CTO and co-founder of Chaos. “I am thankful for all the studios that have made V-Ray a part of their pipeline, and all the developers who work hard behind the scenes to make it even better. There’s more to come.”

V-Ray users weigh in:

“We use V-Ray every day to achieve the highest quality render output and iterate quickly on a very compressed delivery schedule,” said Matt Smith, digital effects supervisor at Digital Domain. “As we continue to bring film-quality VFX to episodics, V-Ray has become especially important to shows like Wandavision, where it helped us create over 300 shots for the season finale’s Witch and Vision battle scenes. Congratulations to Chaos, this is well deserved!”

“V-Ray has been at the core of Zoic’s CG render pipeline for the past 14 years, producing close to 75 million rendered frames for 1,893 episodes, for all the major studios including Disney, Netflix and Amazon,” said Saker Klippsten, CTO at Zoic Studios. “The support from Chaos is also first class. They’re always there to help implement new features and fixes to meet our needs, allowing us to focus on the creative and solve other pipeline issues.”