Ray tracing and cameras
When you want to create a photorealistic CG image, ray tracing has a clear advantage over rasterization. By its very nature, a ray tracer works just like a real work camera, where it not only simulates the way light travels inside a space, but also how that light enters the camera. With V-Ray’s Physical Camera you can imitate all the effects of a real-world camera including F-stop, shutter speed, depth of field, bokeh effects, lens distortion, tilt/ shift and more. But until now, this required a manual process to adjust the settings for exposure, white balance, etc.
For some pro photographers, adjusting camera settings is like second nature and they only shoot in manual mode. But for most of us, it’s nice to have the option to automate these settings. It makes it easier to just point and shoot (or render) without worrying about it. We've applied the same idea to V-Ray Next Beta 1 for 3ds Max, where we've added Automatic Exposure and Automatic White Balance controls.
Automation in V-Ray Next
Like many of the new smart features in V-Ray Next, the new Automatic Exposure and Automatic White Balance controls rely on our adaptive learning techniques to render the best result. By looking at the entire scene, V-Ray can automatically determine the proper exposure and white balance just as a modern camera would — but with one added advantage. V-Ray automatically adjusts the ISO value without changing the F-stop or shutter speed, which lets you control depth of field and motion blur separately.
Automation speeds up your workflow
Have you ever tried lighting a scene, and you find yourself tweaking light intensities to get the right exposure? Or you set your F-stop to a perfect depth of field, only to have your render come out overexposed? Maybe you used an HDR that was a bit too blue, and you had to manually fix the HDR or the camera’s white balance to compensate. No matter what tricks you used, that process can take up valuable time.
With the new automatic exposure in V-Ray Next, you no longer have to worry about dialing in your settings. You can simply pick your lens and aperture and V-Ray will create a neutral exposure for you. And with automatic white balance, you can use almost any HDR to light your scene without having to worry about the overall color cast.
How Automation can affect quality and speed
Manually setting up a camera can take a bit of guesswork and trial and error to prevent your renders from being under or overexposed. You may even adjust the exposure in post, but this can negatively impact both your image quality and your render times.
For example, if your rendering is too overexposed, it calculates extra samples in overly bright areas, and your render times may take longer as a result.