Unlock the many powerful features available in V-Ray Next for Maya in this comprehensive series of video tutorials packed with tips by VFX artist Rusty Hazelden.
In The Art of V-Ray Vol. 1 training by VFX artist Rusty Hazelden, you’ll discover an in-depth series of free video tutorials on just about every aspect of V-Ray Next for Maya. In the first, Rusty guides viewers through V-Ray’s frame buffer, real-time light and material adjustment via V-Ray IPR, and a comparison of progressive and bucket rendering modes.
Rusty uses a paint commercial as the basis for the project, with animated colorful splashes created using Phoenix FD for Maya, Chaos Group’s fluid dynamics simulator.
Check out the first tutorial in this four-part practical guide and unlock the powerful features available in V-Ray Next for Maya. Plus, read more below about Rusty and the making of these essential guides.
Rusty’s paint splash is a great basis for this tutorial series with its interesting materials, including colorful paint, shiny metal, and a paintbrush with a plastic handle and bristles rendered with the V-Ray Next Hair shader.
V-Ray Next for Maya has brought a whole new level of photorealism to my training videos. When I look back at my early 3D rendered images, it's amazing to see how far rendering technologies have progressed.
Rusty Hazelden, Visual Effects Artist
What inspired you to create this series of V-Ray for Maya tutorials?
I started learning Maya in the late 90s just after it was developed by Alias Wavefront. In those days, Maya shipped with a user manual the size of a phone book and it took me several years to master the skills required to model and render 3D images that looked photorealistic.
I already had experience as a video editor, so I figured I’d try to make the learning process a little simpler for others by taking all of my notes and making them into video tutorials.
I made my first Maya training DVD in December 2003 and artists around the world started ordering it. Before long, I was busy putting DVDs in mailers and sending them across the globe. That was an exciting time, but the downside to learning from DVDs was the shipping time. I still remember stories from customers in far corners of the world that had to wait weeks for DVDs to arrive. Back then, learning Maya still required a lot of patience!
Fast forward to today and now I'm releasing V-Ray for Maya tutorials on YouTube. I love the fact that anyone in the world can now learn with the click of a button, instantly.
V-Ray Next for Maya has brought a whole new level of photorealism to my training videos. When I look back at my early 3D-rendered images, it's amazing to see how far rendering technologies have progressed.
Using V-Ray to create photorealistic renders has never been easier. Artists getting started today can create amazing images right out of the box without having to spend hours tweaking settings.
Rusty Hazelden, Visual Effects Artist
What are the key skills/takeaways that you're aiming for watchers to learn from your tutorials?
In this tutorial series, my objective is to give new artists a solid understanding of the many powerful features available in V-Ray Next for Maya.
Using V-Ray Next to create photorealistic renders has never been easier. Artists getting started today can create amazing images right out of the box without having to spend hours tweaking settings.
I chose to use the paint splash project as the basis for the tutorial as it involves lots of interesting materials including colorful paint splashes, shiny metal paint cans, and a paintbrush featuring a plastic handle with a sub-surface shader and bristles rendered with the V-Ray Next Hair shader.
By the end of the project, artists will have a good understanding of the basic workflow used to light and render a television commercial using V-Ray Next for Maya. Along the way, they will also learn numerous tips and tricks that will come in handy when they start using V-Ray on their next project.
How has V-Ray's distributed rendering improved your workflow, and what hardware do you use it with?
In this tutorial, I wanted to see what was possible with distributed rendering in V-Ray Next. This mode is built right into the V-Ray core and can be used to accelerate IPR rendering in both the Maya viewport and the VFB.
The V-Ray distributed rendering feature truly shines when it's time to produce a final render in the VFB. If the render time on my workstation will be over an hour, I simply power up a few Linux render nodes in my studio, enable the distributed rendering feature and click render. With distributed rendering active, I see hundreds of buckets come to life in the VFB and most renders only take a few minutes!
My main workstation is Linux-based with 64 cores. I use it to model assets and develop animations in Maya. When I start the lighting and rendering phase on a project, I power up a few Linux render nodes via DR and that allows me to harness an extra 704 cores.This makes my workstation feel like it has 1.83 THz (1830 GHz) of combined rendering capacity by tapping into all those extra V-Ray render nodes.
Now that I have used DR on this project I just can't imagine life without it!
Rusty's superfast distributed rendering in action.
Which topics will you cover next?
I recently started a YouTube Channel with a focus on visual effects techniques using Maya and V-Ray.
Right now I have several exciting tutorials on modeling and rendering skills. In the next few months, I will be adding new tutorials that explore more advanced lighting and rendering concepts.