Rendering parametric designs with V-Ray for Grasshopper
With V-Ray for Grasshopper, included in the latest version of V-Ray for Rhino, users can create photorealistic imagery from within Grasshopper. We asked Imago Design founder Jan Kokol to explain what’s new, and how it’s going to change his workflow.
V-Ray 3.6 for Rhino delivered major improvements in functionality, ease of use, rendering speed, seamless multi-platform communication, and support for Rhino 6. With VRscans material integration, it’s easy to add incredible realism in a few clicks. And V-Ray can now directly be used within Grasshopper for Rhino. Excited by this new integration, I took a dive into V-Ray for Grasshopper to see how it works, and what it can do.
V-Ray is a huge timesaver in the parametric design process
Why is this such a big deal? Before this integration existed, any geometry created in Grasshopper had to be baked (translated to Rhino geometry), before it could be rendered inside of Rhino. However, the real power of Grasshopper is its parametric environment, with real-time shape shifting and countless iterations.
Imagine that you have a very complex parametric model, and you’d like to visualize six different iterations of the design. That’s a lot of baking. With V-Ray for Grasshopper you no longer need to do that. Instead, you can render Grasshopper geometry directly inside Grasshopper, in full V-Ray quality.
Countless iterations can be rendered directly within Grasshopper for final showcase renderings, and progressive interactive real-time visual feedback can aid the design process.
If you’re familiar with Grasshopper, you’ll know that large Rhino scenes are often a combination of Rhino and Grasshopper geometry. Imagine that you are modeling a whole building within Rhino, and adding a parametric façade in Grasshopper. Now, all the Rhino geometry can be imported into Grasshopper via the Geometry node and connected to V-Ray within Grasshopper. The rendering inside Grasshopper will contain all the geometry, with the flexibility to carry out real-time parametric façade adaptations.
When I was working for UNStudio, we frequently had to present different design variations to Ben van Berkel, the company’s founder. All those options had to be baked and rendered, which was very time consuming. Now, countless iterations can be rendered directly within Grasshopper for final showcase renderings. And progressive interactive real-time visual feedback can aid the design process.
Using V-Ray in a Rhino and Grasshopper workflow
I created two designs to showcase the V-Ray and Grasshopper process in Rhino. The first design, “NOOK Suit,” references a 3D model of a woman and a space suit into Grasshopper via a Geometry node, with the outer chain layer on top of the suit generated directly in Grasshopper. Then, all the geometry is rendered inside of Grasshopper to test the coherent proportions of the fully parametric outer chain layer.