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PRESS RELEASES

May 23, 2018
Chaos Group Launches V-Ray Next for 3ds Max
Photorealistic Ray Tracer Enters Next Stage with the Help of Scene Intelligence, AI and 2x Faster GPU Rendering

Photorealistic Ray Tracer Enters Next Stage with the Help of Scene Intelligence, AI and 2x Faster GPU Rendering

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – May 18, 2018 – Today, Chaos Group released V-Ray Next for 3ds Max, aligning the world’s most popular renderer with the benefits of smart tech. With automatic scene analysis, artists and designers can produce faster, cleaner renders with little to no input, removing unnecessary set-up time from the creative equation. 

“Our latest R&D has helped boost overall rendering performance by up to 25 percent, giving users a much faster baseline,” said Vlado Koylazov, CTO of Chaos Group. “The speed gains from scene intelligence and a new GPU architecture make it even faster.”

A Smart Start
In the same way that machine learning makes choices based on what is learned about a specific problem, V-Ray has been adopting learning techniques for analyzing a scene as it is rendering. V-Ray Next builds on previous smart features with two new breakthroughs.

The new Adaptive Dome Light (ADL) automatically produces cleaner, more accurate image-based environment lighting that’s up to 7x faster. The ADL also removes the need to set up skylight portals at windows and openings, making it especially helpful for architectural interiors.

Scene intelligence also comes to the V-Ray Physical Camera, via point-and-shoot-style timesavers like Automatic Exposure, Automatic White Balance and a simplified UI. Now, a perfect render will be as easy as taking a snapshot.

"With 22 years in the business, V-Ray is still DBOX's core renderer,” said Neil Griffiths, partner at DBOX. “With so many smart features coming to V-Ray Next, it’s safe to say that won't be changing."

Faster GPU Rendering
V-Ray Next marks the debut of Chaos Group’s fast new V-Ray GPU rendering architecture, which effectively doubles the speed of production rendering. Through a redesign of its kernel structure, V-Ray GPU offers a dual blend of high-performance speed and accuracy across interactive and production renders. The redesign has also prepared V-Ray for new improvements in GPU hardware, which will allow developers to incorporate new features without impacting performance. For instance, V-Ray GPU already tops previous generations of NVIDIA’s Quadro cards, running 47 percent faster on the new Quadro GV100.

Production artists will also enjoy GPU-accelerated support for:
●    Environment fog
●    Volumetric effects
●    VRscans materials

A Stylist’s Dream
The new Physical Hair Material produces more realistic-looking hair with accurate highlights. Building off a paper produced by Disney Research, Chaos Group has reduced look development down to a few sliders, giving artists full control over glossiness, softness, randomness and more. Easy-to-use melanin controls can quickly dial in any color from blonde to redhead. Hair dye sliders have also been added, so characters can rock a green mohawk, when the brief allows.

Other New Features in V-Ray Next Include: 

●    NVIDIA AI Denoiser – Fast, real-time denoising based on NVIDIA OptiX AI-accelerated technology.

●    Denoise Render Elements – Artists can now denoise any render element used on a still or animation project, ensuring more control for compositors.

●    Lighting Analysis – Accurately analyze and measure the light levels in a scene with the help of heat maps and data overlays.

●    Layered Alembic Workflows – Supports Alembic 1.7 with layering, for faster, more efficient handling and updating of Alembic data.

●    V-Ray Switch Material – Easily switch between the multiple materials applied to an object for faster look dev and variation decisions. 

●    V-Ray Plugin and Texture – Load any texture or material from any version of V-Ray into 3ds Max, including procedural textures and PBR materials for Unity and Unreal. 

For a full feature tour, please visit the V-Ray Next for 3ds Max product page.

Pricing and Availability
V-Ray Next will be available very soon for Windows. Every purchase of V-Ray 3.x made from today until launch will result in an automatic upgrade. A full Workstation license is priced at $1,180, with upgrades priced at $580. Annual rentals can be purchased for $470; monthly options are available as well. For full pricing information, including additional render nodes, please visit the product page.

About Chaos Group
Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photorealistic imagery and animation for architecture, design, and visual effects. Chaos Group’s award-winning physically-based rendering and simulation software is used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies, and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning, and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Seoul, and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

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Press Contacts:

Chaos Group
David Tracy, david.tracy@chaosgroup.com
www.chaosgroup.com

Liaison Inc.
Colin McLaughlin, (503) 796-9822, colin@liaisonpr.com
www.liaisonpr.com 

Mar 27, 2018
Chaos Group Launches V-Ray for Unreal Beta
Seamless Import of V-Ray Scenes into Real-Time; Ray Traced Rendering Now Available in Unreal for Architecture, Automotive and Design

Seamless Import of V-Ray Scenes into Real-Time; Ray Traced Rendering Now Available in Unreal for Architecture, Automotive and Design

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – March 27, 2018 – Today, Chaos Group introduces the beta for V-Ray for Unreal, joining real-time and ray tracing in a single, unified pipeline. Instead of doing double the work, artists and designers can now bring V-Ray scenes directly into the Unreal Editor, facilitating the fast and simple creation of immersive experiences. V-Ray for Unreal also introduces the first ray-tracer designed for Unreal, a new development that brings true photorealistic rendering to the popular game engine.

The rise in popularity of real-time applications for configurators, design reviews, virtual production and VR has presented an opportunity to bind ray tracing – the most realistic style of rendering – to this emerging toolset. In the past, bridging the two has been challenging, requiring users familiar with 3ds Max and SketchUp to recreate their key design choices like lighting and materials in Unreal. With V-Ray for Unreal, artists and designers can transfer the entirety of their scene directly into real-time.

“Transitioning from offline to real-time used to be a lot of work, prohibitively so for most of our users,” said Simeon Balabanov, V-Ray for Unreal Product Manager at Chaos Group. “Now with V-Ray for Unreal, users can not only build assets in a familiar way, but they can bring them into real-time without losing the ability to render out ray-traced versions later. It’s a big change.”

V-Ray for Unreal is designed to be simple, acting as a natural extension of the visualization workflow. Using the V-Ray for Unreal importer, artists can bring every part of their V-Ray scene file into the game engine, automatically converting lights and materials into their real-time equivalents. V-Ray for Unreal also maintains a smart connection to the original V-Ray materials to ensure the highest fidelity renders. At render time, V-Ray leverages the combined power of GPUs and CPUs for ultrafast ray tracing.

“As an architectural visualization studio, we create a wide range of visuals from ray traced imagery and animation, to fully-immersive, interactive VR experiences,” said Jackson Doherty, VR Engineer at Kilograph. “Until now, there’s been a great divide between the two worlds. Now with V-Ray for Unreal, we can offer our full suite of services using a single, simplified workflow. And all of our artists can jump in, which is a massive benefit for us.”

V-Ray for Unreal can also be applied to CAD workflows, bringing the power of V-Ray to new users. As geometry is imported from programs like Solidworks, designers will be able to apply V-Ray lighting and materials to their assets, preparing them for a photorealistic result.

The V-Ray for Unreal beta is open to all artists and designers. Sign up now.

About Chaos Group
Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photorealistic imagery and animation for architecture, design, and visual effects. Chaos Group’s award-winning physically-based rendering and simulation software is used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies, and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning, and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Seoul, and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

Mar 22, 2018
Chaos Group Unveils New GPU Rendering Architecture at GTC 2018
Advances in V-Ray to Double the Speed of GPU Production Rendering

Advances in V-Ray to Double the Speed of GPU Production Rendering

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – March 22, 2018 – At the GPU Technology Conference (GTC) 2018, Chaos Group will debut its fast new V-Ray GPU rendering architecture, effectively doubling the speed of production rendering for film, broadcast and design artists. The new architecture is a redesign of V-Ray’s kernel structure, ensuring a dual-blend of high-performance speed and accuracy. Chaos Group’s lead GPU developers will run through all of the new features, as part of a special session at GTC on March 28 in room 230B of the San Jose Convention Center.

The improvements are so significant that V-Ray RT has been renamed V-Ray GPU, establishing the latter as a professional production renderer, now capable of supporting volumetrics, advanced shading and other smart tech coming to V-Ray Next. Current tests have V-Ray GPU running 80 percent faster on the NVIDIA’s TITAN V, a remarkable gain from previous benchmarks on the TITAN Xp, and up to 10-15x faster than an Intel Core i7-7700K, with the same high level of accuracy across interactive and production renders.

“V-Ray GPU might be the biggest speed leap we’ve ever made,” said Blagovest Taskov, V-Ray GPU lead developer at Chaos Group. “Redesigning V-Ray GPU to be modular makes it much easier for us to exploit the latest GPU architectures and to add functionality without impacting performance. With our greatly expanded feature set, V-Ray GPU can be used in many more production scenarios, from big-budget films to data-heavy architecture projects, while providing more speed than ever before.”

Representing over two years of dedicated R&D, V-Ray GPU builds on nine years of GPU-driven development in V-Ray. New gains for production artists include:

●     Volume Rendering – Fog, smoke and fire can be rendered with the speed of V-Ray GPU. Compatible with V-Ray Volume Grid which supports OpenVDB, Field3D and Phoenix FD volume caches.

●     Adaptive Dome Light – Cleaner image-based lighting is now faster and even more accurate.

●     V-Ray Denoising – GPU-accelerated denoising across render elements and animations.

●     NVIDIA AI Denoiser – Fast, real-time denoising based on NVIDIA OptiX AI-accelerated denoising technology.

●     Interface Support – Instant filtering of GPU-supported features always lets artists know what’s available in V-Ray GPU (starting within 3ds Max).

As part of the GTC announcement, Chaos Group developers will be participating in a series of talks to discuss the future of GPU rendering and interactive and production rendering with V-Ray GPU. Both talks will be held on March 28, in room 230B, with the former beginning at 9:00 a.m. and the latter starting at 11:00 a.m.

V-Ray GPU will be made available as part of the next update of V-Ray Next for 3ds Max beta – coming soon.

About Chaos Group
Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photorealistic imagery and animation for architecture, design, and visual effects. Chaos Group’s award-winning physically-based rendering and simulation software is used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies, and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning, and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Seoul, and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

Mar 19, 2018
Chaos Group Lines Up Star Trek, Games and Animated TV for FMX 2018
Pixomondo, Cube Creative and RealtimeUK Among V-Ray Day Speakers; New Mars Design Contest with HP

Pixomondo, Cube Creative and RealtimeUK Among V-Ray Day Speakers; New Mars Design Contest with HP

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – March 19, 2018 – Today, Chaos Group announced its V-Ray Day line-up for FMX 2018, its annual presentation series that brings exclusive production talks to show attendees. This year, the talented artists at Pixomondo, Cube Creative and RealtimeUK will be delivering breakdowns of everything from Star Trek to game trailers, before Chaos Group announces a new partnership with HP that is set to award big prizes for designing a habitable future on Mars.

The one-day event will be held in Stuttgart, Germany at Haus der Wirtschaft in the Mannheim Room; presentations begin Wednesday, April 25 at 2:00 p.m. While V-Ray Day sessions are open to all FMX attendees, seating is limited. Due to the exclusive content being shown, recording is not permitted.

The premier presentation features Max Reiss, VFX Supervisor at Pixomondo, who will offer an exclusive look at how the studio created 3D assets and complex environments for “Star Trek: Discovery.” Reiss will not only dissect the workflows, but will show how to take a shot from concept to final render using V-Ray.

The presentations continue with a talk by Stuart Bayley, Art Director at RealtimeUK, who will explain how his studio designs game trailers, from a creative and time management sense, using multiple projects and stunning cinematic environments as a guide. Animation fans will also be treated to a talk from Cube Creative, showing the inner workings behind TV shows like "Kaeloo" and "Athleticus."

Complete Presentation and Activity Schedule

●     Chaos Group will be hosting software demonstrations throughout the conference at booth 1.1 in the FMX Marketplace.

●     “Chaos Group Education Team & HP Mars Home Planet: Visualize Your Future,” by Albena Ivanova, Education Specialist & Barbara Marshall, Global Industry Manager – 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

●     “Cube Creative: From Cartoon to Photorealistic – Using V-Ray for Animated TV Series,” by Tanguy Weyland, 3D Supervisor & Sylvain Grain, Producer – 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

●     “RealtimeUK: Cinematic Worlds – A Holistic Overview of Creating Game Trailers,” by Stuart Bayley, Art Director –  4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

●     “Pixomondo: Creating a Universe – Star Trek: Discovery,” by Max Reiss, VFX Supervisor –  5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

For more information on what Chaos Group will be doing at FMX, please visit https://www.chaosgroup.com/fmx2018 and watch for updates on Twitter (@ChaosGroup). If you are interested in a meeting with Chaos Group at FMX, please contact: david.tracy@chaosgroup.com.

About Chaos Group
Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photorealistic imagery and animation for architecture, design, and visual effects. Chaos Group’s award-winning physically-based rendering and simulation software is used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies, and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning, and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Seoul, and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

Feb 27, 2018
Chaos Group Initiates Total Chaos — New Two-day Event for 3D Artists & Developers
V-Ray Developers Organize Event Dedicated to the Future of Rendering; Blur, Method Studios, Nurulize and Intel on as Speakers

SOFIA, Bulgaria — February 27, 2018 — This May, Chaos Group invites rendering enthusiasts from around the world to Total Chaos - a new event dedicated to the art, science & technology of computer graphics. Total Chaos will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria on May 18-19 and brings together experts from architectural visualization, automotive design, games and visual effects for two days of tech previews, product launches and masterclasses. Early bird tickets are available now.

Born from Chaos Group's yearly CG² events, Total Chaos provides a shared space for 3D artists and developers to connect and grow, as they explore rendering from a variety of angles. Using the event’s three tracks (Art, Craft, Code), attendees can build a schedule that reflects their interests, whether that means learning from their peers, trying out new tech or watching an exclusive presentation.

Total Chaos launches with 25 speakers, including renowned artists and technology experts from Porsche, Brick Visual, Blur, Method Studios and Nurulize (with more on the way). In addition to an inspiring series of presentations, Total Chaos is set to host several hands-on workshops and masterclasses, taught by creatives who can dive deep into their production workflows and teach their tricks to a select audience. Class sizes are limited, so interested parties are encouraged to act quickly.

During a series of special talks, the teams behind V-Ray and Corona will show off their latest innovations, including new features and technology. With recent advances to AI, GPU, cloud and real-time rendering, lead developers Vlado Koylazov and Ondřej Karlik will present their ideas on the future of rendering.

“We’re excited to host Total Chaos and open it to a worldwide audience. Bringing artists and developers together in one place will provide a unique opportunity to talk about the art and technology of computer graphics. It’s a chance to share ideas and get inspired,” said Vlado Koylazov, CTO and co-founder of Chaos Group.

For more information, please visit: the Total Chaos event page.

Pricing/Availability
Total Chaos tickets are available now and can be purchased on the event page in either Student, Professional or Masterclass form. Until March 10, early bird rates are in effect with reduced prices between 30-50 percent.

About Chaos Group
Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photorealistic imagery and animation for architecture, design, and visual effects. Chaos Group’s award-winning physically-based rendering and simulation software is used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies, and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning, and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Seoul, and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

Dec 18, 2017
5,700 AEC Professionals Weight in on Future of the Industry in New Chaos Group Technology Report
Architects and Architectural Visualization Experts from Over 70 Countries Respond to Questions about Virtual Reality, Cloud Rendering and Other Industry Changes

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – December 18, 2017 – 2018 will be a big year for VR and cloud rendering, according to a new report released by Chaos Group today. Featuring insights from 5,769 industry professionals, this free report looks at how technology trends like VR, cloud rendering and an increased need for 3D visuals are affecting architects and visualization teams in 2017, with new data on potential changes in the year to come.

Changes & Challenges
The most noticeable change in the last few years, for employees working at companies of all sizes, is the increased reliance on recently introduced technologies like BIM and VR. 70% confirmed this feeling, overtaking sustainable design – another hot topic – by nearly 2:1.

While tight deadlines and limited budgets are always top concerns, 43% of participants noted that the increased demand for high-end and photorealistic content is a major challenge. This corresponds with other responses that suggest that 85% felt that 3D rendered imagery was either “very important” or “critical” to winning projects.

Virtual Reality
Over two-thirds of architecture and architectural visualization professionals plan to use VR in 2018. 28% already are, with another 28% currently experimenting. This lends credence to the idea that while 3D tools have been mainstream for architects and visualization artists for some time, the introduction of virtual reality offers new ways for them experience and communicate unbuilt designs, leading to increased use and interest.  

Of the adopters, 80% are using it on multiple projects, suggesting that VR is beginning to play a more significant role in architectural design and visualization workflows. Large architecture firms (classified as companies with over 100 architects) have embraced VR at a much higher rate than smaller firms and freelancers. 62% of large firms are currently using VR, and more than half of those have already used VR on five or more projects.

In terms of toolsets, V-Ray is the most used software for VR creation in architecture and architectural visualization, followed by the Unreal and Unity game engines.

Cloud Rendering
According to the survey, cloud rendering demand could increase significantly in 2018, with the potential for 233% growth by mid-year, and up to 367% growth by the end of 2018. These numbers could grow even further if any undecided participants try cloud rendering in 2018.

Right now, the majority of the rendering workflow remains in-house, though 34% of participants currently use external render farms and cloud services to complete their projects. While security is a discussion point for firms, it is not perceived as a barrier for cloud rendering adoption at this point. Cost is. Based on industry trends and more cloud companies entering the marketplace, Chaos Group projects that prices will fall in upcoming years, opening up more avenues for cost-conscious firms.

In general, most AEC cloud rendering applications are currently being budgeted on a per project basis. A third, however, consist of the unplanned, ad-hoc usage that often coincides with rush orders and/or hardware limitations. For considering firms, the increased speed and the ability to do more iterations on a project are the most appealing aspects of cloud rendering.

These findings come from a survey conducted in September of 2017. Architecture and architectural visualization professionals responded from over 70 countries, with backgrounds ranging from individual freelancers to employees in large multinational firms.

To see the full report, please visit: https://www.chaosgroup.com/arch-viz-survey.

About Chaos Group
Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photorealistic imagery and animation for architecture, design, and visual effects. Chaos Group’s award-winning physically-based rendering and simulation software is used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies, and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning, and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Seoul, and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

Dec 15, 2017
The Making of 'The Ningyo,' How Two VFX Artists Created an Award-winning Short Sci-fi/ Fantasy Film in Their Living Room
Filmmakers Miguel Ortega and Tran Ma Spent Three Years Making Their Crowdfunded Indie Short; Realized with Support from Chaos Group’s Partners in Art Program

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – December 14, 2017 – Indie filmmakers are frequently forced to use anything and everything they can get their hands on in order to realize their vision, but artist couple Miguel Ortega and Tran Ma have taken that concept further than most. Relying on VFX skills the duo earned through years of working on big budget Hollywood films, the pair turned their home into a movie set. Three years later, the result is The Ningyo, an award-winning short film that has attracted the attention of some of Hollywood’s biggest players. 

Set in 1911, The Ningyo follows a professor who specializes in “cryptozoology,” the search for mythological creatures. The title stems from a Japanese myth about a fish-like creature known as the ningyo that can curse a person with immortality. When a map leading to one is discovered, it sets off a globe-spanning hunt that takes our protagonist from his university office to a secret cryptozoo and the bottom of the sea.

The 27-minute film may take audiences on an incredible voyage, but behind-the-scenes the production was surprisingly humble. Where practical photography was possible, they used it. Everything else was created in 3D using industry-standard software like Maya, Nuke and V-Ray.

The Ningyo began in 2013 as a Kickstarter campaign seeking $50,000, and thanks to the donations of 1,025 contributors, the project went on to far surpass its goal and receive over $80,000. One of the largest contributors was Chaos Group, which supported the project as part of its “Partners in Art” program, an initiative designed to help independent filmmakers by providing financial backing, software licenses and custom tools.

“When Miguel showed me what they were working on, I knew we had to help,” said Lon Grohs, Chief Commercial Officer at Chaos Group. “Talent and technology are breaking down barriers, allowing artists to create blockbuster-quality productions at home. Miguel and Tran’s work is living proof.”

To create The Ningyo, Ortega and Ma turned their living room into the primary sound stage, while their bedroom doubled as a Victorian-style college professor’s office. Even the stairway played a role, transforming into a cavern’s sloping entrance. Each set consisted of physical objects paired with black screens rather than green, in order to help establish the Lovecraftian tone while honoring the look and feel of films like The Godfather, which is famous for using darkness to help create atmosphere. Once the sets were ready, the 3D part of the environments were lit in the Academy Award-winning rendering software V-Ray, using up to 80 CG stand-ins for the characters.

“We started by getting the environments to look good in CG first, so the lighting was already perfect when the actor hit the set,” recalled Ortega. “If you think about it, it's kind of crazy to light a guy in front of a green screen first, and then make all of the environment work for a person that's only taking up 10-percent of the screen. So we did it in reverse using V-Ray, resulting in a seamless blend of practical and digital.”

Once each scene was filmed, Ortega and Ma would break down the set and begin creating the next. The process could take months, as each new scene needed to first be populated with real-world objects that fit with the film’s turn-of-the-century look and feel. Some were created by altering modern objects, while others were vintage items purchased online. Once filming was complete, Ortega and Ma began digitally enhancing the scenes, which included the creation of several studio-quality creatures that were meticulously sculpted in 3D before being photorealistically rendered with V-Ray.

“By jumping back and forth between camera trickery and then just straight up visual effects, people are kind of thrown off balance, they’re not sure,” said Ortega. “They can't say ‘oh, that's a CG shot’ or ‘oh that's a practical shot’ because it's jumping back and forth.” 

Ortega and Ma came to the project with more than 20 years of VFX experience between them, having worked on blockbuster films such as Marvel’s Thor, Transformers 3, The Mist and more. The Ningyo, however, challenged them to use tools and processes they had never needed to learn until now. The two had worked with V-Ray and Nuke on their previous short, the award-winning The Green Ruby Pumpkin, but with nearly 90-percent of the CG coming from just the two of them, the process was at times slow going. 

“It has been a learning experience,” said Ortega. “For a lot of this stuff, we just had no idea how to do it. We didn't know how to do cloth simulations, we didn't know how to do fur, we didn't know how to do volumetrics, and this is the stuff that we learned as went. We would render it and it would be like ‘yeah, that looks good, now we need to do 80 digital doubles for the lecture hall. Can V-Ray handle that?’ Bam, it handled it. We kept throwing more and more at V-Ray, and it was great.” 

Once the short film – subtitled “Episode One” – was complete, Ortega and Ma began to submit their project to film festivals in March 2017. Initially, the film met with resistance, as some festival directors didn’t believe The Ningyo should qualify as an indie film because the visual effects appeared to be “too good” to originate outside of the Hollywood studio system, while others didn’t realize they were effects at all.

“What’s funny about it is we didn’t win one single visual effects award until we won at FilmQuest, because a lot of people thought that most of the stuff in the film wasn’t digital, or they thought we spent millions of dollars,” said Ortega. “The irony is that we didn’t have anything. There’s one shot where the actor shuts the camera off himself, because we didn’t have a cinematographer that day. We’re making this at home — you can’t get more indie than that. We just happen to know visual effects.” 

The Ningyo has since gone on to earn over 30 festival nominations, including winning Best Fantastic Short at FilmQuest US, Best Sci-Fi Fantasy Short Film and Best Fantasy Film at the GenreBlast Film Festival, Best Cinematography at the HollyShorts Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Something Wicked Film Festival and more. 

Following the success of The Ningyo on the festival circuit, Ortega and Ma signed a deal with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the largest entertainment agencies in the world. Soon after, the team confirmed that they had struck a deal with an as yet unnamed studio to adapt the short into a major motion picture. Details on The Ningyo’s next act will be announced in the near future. 

The Ningyo (Episode One) is available to stream online.

About V-Ray
From architecture and design to visual effects in film and television, V-Ray is the most widely used rendering solution in the world. Whether used to showcase products at IKEA or bring the “Game of Thrones” dragons to life, V-Ray has helped artists and designers visualize their best work for over 20 years, pushing the boundaries of imagery, animation, and virtual reality. In 2017, V-Ray was honored with an Academy Award for helping to facilitate the “widespread adoption of fully ray-traced rendering [in] motion pictures.”

About Chaos Group
Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photorealistic imagery and animation for design, television and feature films. Chaos Group specializes in physically-based rendering and simulation software used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Seoul and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

Dec 15, 2017
Neoscape Visualizes Revitalized Shanghai Waterfront in Futuristic 4K Video
Stereoscopic 3D Film Blends V-Ray Visual Effects with Live Action to Highlight John Portman & Associates’ Design for Yangpu Ba Dai Tou

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – December 14, 2017 – Visualizing a major development is a lot of work, long before the client requests an 8-minute video. Add in 4K animation, live footage, and stereoscopic 3D and you better call the best. To help everything run smoothly on their latest film, Neoscape put their trust in V-Ray, turning a massive project into a futuristic CGI visit to Yangpu Ba Dai Tou, John Portman & Associates’ latest plan for the Shanghai riverfront.

The Yangpu Ba Dai Tou plan seeks to turn an aging industrial area into a “vital and vibrant residential district.” Mixed-use construction will combine offices, hotels, retail spaces, parks and repurposed historical structures, creating an environment that is both modern and friendly to pedestrians. To convey this idea, architects at John Portman & Associates needed a powerful visual that would walk people through key site components like the “Pearl Necklace” (a pedestrian circle) and the “Dragon Spine” (the retail and project connector). When a video highlighting the development became necessary, they turned to Neoscape, one of the world’s leading visualization studios.

“When we put together the creative treatment, we knew that we didn’t want it to be a simple programmatic study,” said Carlos Cristerna, Principal and Director of Visualization at Neoscape. “We wanted to create a more interesting visual style without overcomplicating the production, so we devised a more abstract approach to the story.”

Since the Dragon Spine was already part of the architect’s design, Neoscape used it as a narrative device, taking the audience through Shanghai, up the river, and back to the site. This potent cultural symbol allowed the firm to reference both the history of Yangpu, and the original point of entry into Asia. Colorful graphics inspired by long exposures, Chinese paintings, and films like Tron provided the final touch, helping Neoscape incorporate the traditional dragon from Chinese New Year, with a few modern flourishes.

While 3D animation played an essential role in the production, Neoscape also saw an opportunity to combine their visualizations with live video, shot on location in Shanghai. The brief called for multiple aspect ratios, meaning the final video would live both online (16:9) and out in the world (19:4), mainly on a 55’ x 11’ projection screen in Yangpu Ba Dai Tou’s marketing center.

“We had to be very deliberate in our selection of camera moves and framing, so whatever we shot would work for multiple ratios,” noted Cristerna. “You’ll notice that in the video, most of the cameras pan from bottom to top, top to bottom, or use a subtle move that reveals the subject. This was done so no matter what ratio you are viewing it on, you’ll be able to see the totality of the shot, as it was intended. It was kind of like a moving Ken Burns approach.”

The next challenge was producing a version with stereoscopic depth. A common way to produce 3D movies, stereoscopy creates the illusion of depth in images. A useful trick, but also a time-consuming process that doubles the rendering load for visualization projects, as it creates a need for an image for both the right and left eyes. With 4K visual effects already in production and only 20 weeks to deliver an 8-minute film, twice the render load meant that Neoscape would have to put their rendering software into overdrive. The team put their faith in V-Ray for 3ds Max, the AEC industry’s most popular renderer, as it could be trusted for both quality and speed.

“At one point on the project, we calculated that we would need 17.5 days of non-stop rendering for the 3D work alone; one computer would have taken 1,010 days, and this was when we only had 12 days left!” said Cristerna. “Luckily, because of V-Ray, our average times were very good, and most frames rendered a lot faster than we anticipated.”

Excluding the neon sequence, 32,500 frames were rendered by Neoscape. The 4K production, however, continued to loom over the project. Because client reviews were conducted live via video conference between Boston, Atlanta and Shanghai (including two translators), video reviews couldn’t be done in 4K or stereo 3D, resulting in Neoscape’s big rush at the end of the production.

“One of our biggest challenges was that you can’t see the film in stereo while you’re working on it, so we needed to adjust our pipeline to review those shots,” added Cristerna. “After the stereo reviews, we realized that we had to re-render a few shots with wider interocular distances to increase the depth, so we could use them to greater effect as a device that impacts viewers’ emotions. We adjusted about half of our cameras that day.”

The hard work paid off. Instead of a linear walkthrough, Neoscape has created an abstract visual story. Viewers teleport around the development, taking in new sights that have been augmented by timelapses, animations and video footage that depicts residents and visitors engaging with all aspects of the area - commercial, residential and public. As cars cruise and buildings shimmer, that “vital and vibrant” look its creators hoped for quickly takes form.

Today, the film is running high up in the air in Yangpu Ba Dai Tou’s marketing center in 4K stereoscopic 3D. Ironically, Cristerna is the only Neoscape team member that’s seen it on location.

“When we wrapped, I hand delivered the film to Jack Portman in person, and since his client was there, we had a private screening. After the lights came on, one thing was clear: Jack was happy, his client was happy, and so were we. It was a good feeling.”

See the full film now.

About Chaos Group
Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photorealistic imagery and animation for architecture, design, and visual effects. Chaos Group’s award-winning physically-based rendering and simulation software is used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies, and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning, and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Seoul, and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

About Neoscape
Established in 1995 as a visualization firm, Neoscape has evolved into a full service creative consultancy with studios in Boston, New York, and San Francisco. Over the years, our team of passionate and curious problem solvers has created integrated visual campaigns for some of the biggest companies in commercial and residential real estate and design. Our objective is to create immersive storytelling experiences for our clients that spark understanding, kindle vision, and ignite buy-in.

Nov 15, 2017
Chaos Group Releases V-Ray 3.6 for SketchUp
Streamlined UI and Faster GPU Rendering in Latest Update to Most Popular Professional Renderer for SketchUp

Streamlined UI and Faster GPU Rendering in Latest Update to Most Popular Professional Renderer for SketchUp

LOS ANGELES, Calif., Nov. 15, 2017 -- Today, Chaos Group released V-Ray 3.6 for SketchUp, the latest update to their professional rendering plugin. Built on Chaos Group’s industry-leading technology, V-Ray 3.6 for SketchUp simplifies the design process for architects and designers, offering photorealistic visuals and easy-to-use controls from concept to construction. This latest update brings a streamlined interface, enhanced GPU rendering and support for SketchUp 2018.

Powerful GPU & new hybrid rendering
The speed improvements long associated with the GPU are now even easier to access, including added support for aerial perspective, displacement, subsurface scattering, and matte/shadows. The addition of a new GPU + CPU hybrid rendering mode will also maximize all existing hardware for NVIDIA CUDA users, ensuring that designers can use any and all computing power, whenever they need it.

Viewport rendering (VPR)
Users are no longer limited to the frame buffer, as they can now render live directly in the SketchUp viewport. With new Viewport rendering, users can easily select and render multiple regions at once, quickly blending between V-Ray render and the SketchUp model using their +/- hotkeys to control opacity.

User interface
Building on V-Ray 3 for SketchUp’s massive UI overhaul, the new, smarter UI is now cleaner and easier to navigate, with better support for 4K monitors. Other UI updates include:

File manager – All scene files can now be managed in one place using the first file manager for SketchUp. Users can set file paths, create scene archives, and keep track of assets like textures, IES files, and proxy objects, bringing a convenient organization tool to their design and visualization process.

New V-Ray color picker – Simple, yet powerful, the new color picker allows users to select color values in Screen sRGB (0–255) or Rendering (0.0–1.0) color space, enabling even more accurate color selections.

Better viewport materials – V-Ray materials will now display more accurately in the SketchUp viewport, so users know what they’ll get when it’s time to render. 

Additional new tools and improvements include:

Adaptive Lights – For scenes with many lights, the new Adaptive Lights mode can help cut render times by up to 700%.

Sunlight studies – Create sunlight & shadow studies with SketchUp sun animation.

Fog – Add depth to scenes with realistic 3D fog and light scattering effects.

V-Ray Scene import – Import and render V-Ray scenes (.vrscene) from other applications such as 3ds Max, Rhino, and Revit.

Animated proxy objects – Easily add pre-animated 3D objects like walking people and trees blowing in the wind as animated V-Ray proxies.

Proxy previews – Control the look of V-Ray proxies in the SketchUp viewport. Select from Whole mesh, Bounding box, Point (Origin), and a new low poly Proxy preview mode.

New texture maps – Fine-tune the look of a scene with new gradient, color temperature and procedural noise texture maps.

2D Displacement – Quickly add surface detail without extra modeling using optimized 2D displacement. Perfect for architectural materials like brick and stone.

Improved denoising – V-Ray Denoiser is now easier to set up and you can refine settings even after you render.

VRscans materials – Now compatible with real world scanned materials from VRscans, a subscription service that provides access to a library of over 500 photorealistic, drag-and-drop materials. 

Learn more at the V-Ray for SketchUp product page.

Pricing/Availability

V-Ray 3.6 for SketchUp is a free update for all V-Ray 3.x for SketchUp customers. Login at chaosgroup.com to download. For a free trial or pricing information, please visit the V-Ray for SketchUp product page. V-Ray 3.6 for SketchUp is available for Windows & Mac OS, and is compatible with SketchUp versions 8–2018.

About Chaos Group

Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photorealistic imagery and animation for design, television and feature films. Chaos Group specializes in physically-based rendering and simulation software used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Seoul and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

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Press Contacts:
Chaos Group

David Tracy, david.tracy@chaosgroup.com
www.chaosgroup.com

Liaison Inc.
Colin McLaughlin, (503) 796-9822, colin@liaisonpr.com
www.liaisonpr.com

Sep 12, 2017
Chaos Group Brings GPU+CPU Hybrid Rendering to V-Ray 3.6 for Maya
New Technology Breaks Hardware Barrier, Ensuring Fast, Consistent Rendering; Support for Maya 2018

New Technology Breaks Hardware Barrier, Ensuring Fast, Consistent Rendering; Support for Maya 2018

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – September 12, 2017 – Today, Chaos Group released V-Ray 3.6 for Maya, a major update to its Academy Award-winning production renderer. Used on television and film projects like Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Stranger Things, this update introduces a new hybrid rendering system that maximizes GPUs and CPUs on high-end VFX productions.  

“High-performance CPUs and GPUs can be limiting if they don’t work together,” said Vlado Koylavoz, Chaos Group co-founder. “With V-Ray Hybrid, artists can maximize their GPUs and CPUs in studio or in the cloud, putting their entire machine to use, so everything you pay for is always working to your advantage.”

V-Ray’s new hybrid rendering technology adds CPU support to its NVIDIA CUDA-powered GPU renderer. Now, with V-Ray Hybrid artists will have greater flexibility to render a scene using GPUs, CPUs or a combination of both. The rendered images will be identical, regardless of hardware. This allows artists to use any and all computing power, from high-performance GPU workstations to CPU render nodes.

For more information on V-Ray Hybrid, please visit the Chaos Group Labs blog.

Other Features Include:

Maya 2018 compatibility – Support for the recent updates to Autodesk Maya.
  
Full Light Select Render Element – Render individual lights or groups of lights as separate render elements, with full support for global illumination, reflections and refractions for accurate light mixing in post.
 
Cryptomatte – Automatically generate ID mattes with support for transparency, depth of field and motion blur. This will speed up workflows for compositors working in Fusion or Nuke.
 
NVIDIA NVLink – Supports shared GPU memory across NVLink compatible graphics cards.
 
MDL materials – NVIDIA’s universal material format is now supported in V-Ray for Maya, allowing designers to apply MDL materials authored in programs like Substance Designer to their assets and scenes.
 
Viewport 2.0 improvements – V-Ray lights can now illuminate objects in Viewport 2.0, making light setup much easier. Direct support for environmental reflections and V-Ray materials have also been added. 

To see the new features in action, please visit: chaosgroup.com/vray/maya#new.

Pricing/Availability
V-Ray 3.6 for Maya is a free update for all V-Ray 3.x customers. Login at chaosgroup.com to download. For full pricing information, please visit the V-Ray for Maya product page.
 
About Chaos Group
Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photorealistic imagery and animation for design, television and feature films. Chaos Group specializes in physically-based rendering and simulation software used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Seoul and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

######

Press Contacts:
Chaos Group

David Tracy, david.tracy@chaosgroup.com
www.chaosgroup.com

Liaison Inc.
Colin McLaughlin, (503) 796-9822, colin@liaisonpr.com
www.liaisonpr.com

Aug 30, 2017
Chaos Group Acquires Render Legion and Corona Renderer
Market Leading Architectural Visualization Rendering Companies Join Forces; Joint Development Already in Process

Market Leading Architectural Visualization Rendering Companies Join Forces; Joint Development Already in Process

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — July 28, 2017 — Today, Chaos Group, a world leader in computer graphics technology, announced the acquisition of Prague-based Render Legion, creator of the fast-growing Corona Renderer. With this acquisition, combined with its leading renderer V-Ray, Chaos Group now strengthens its position as the top provider of professional rendering software for the architectural visualization market.

Known for its ease of use, the Corona Renderer has become a popular choice for architectural visualization, building a loyal user base in just a few years. The Render Legion team, including its founders and developers, will join Chaos Group as they continue to develop Corona using additional support and resources provided through the deal.

“Our mission has always been to help all artists and designers visualize anything they can imagine,” said Peter Mitev, CEO of Chaos Group. “This is something we have in common with the Render Legion team. Now that we can share ideas and resources, we'll be able to address the needs of this growing market and develop the future of rendering faster than we ever could before.”

Chaos Group’s Academy Award-winning renderer, V-Ray will continue to be a core component of the company’s portfolio. Both V-Ray and Corona will benefit from joint collaborations, bringing complementary features and optimizations to each product.

“We were looking for a strategic partner who could help us grow and shared the same vision. Chaos Group was able to offer us important knowledge, resources and expertise that will help us achieve our goals,” said Ondřej Karlik, Co-founder of Render Legion. “We believe that Corona and our other projects will be further developed with the greatest care and intention.”

The Render Legion acquisition is Chaos Group’s largest investment to date. It is the third investment in a visualization company in the last two years, including interactive presentation platform, CL3VER and virtual reality pioneer, Nurulize. Expected to reach $112 billion in 2019, the computer graphics industry, fueled by a rise in the demand for 3D visuals, has presented a prime opportunity for companies who make the creation of photorealistic imagery more accessible. As the world’s leading rendering and visualization company, Chaos Group is now perfectly positioned to address the wider market demand in the coming years.

About Chaos Group

Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photorealistic imagery and animation for design, television and feature films. Chaos Group specializes in physically-based rendering and simulation software used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Seoul and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

About Render Legion

Render Legion is a dynamically growing, innovative company specialising in development of powerful, intuitive and easy-to-use graphics software. Founded in 2014 in Prague, Render Legion makes the Corona Renderer, an architectural and design visualization tool used by top studios around the world. For more information, visit: corona-renderer.com.

Jun 26, 2017
Chaos Group Introduces GPU+CPU Hybrid Rendering in V-Ray 3.6 for 3ds Max
Major Update Includes Improved Compositing Output and Support for 3ds Max 2018

Major Update Includes Improved Compositing Output and Support for 3ds Max 2018

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – June 20, 2017 – Today, Chaos Group releases V-Ray 3.6 for 3ds Max, an update to its leading renderer that introduces new hybrid rendering technology, improved compositing output, and compatibility with Autodesk 3ds Max 2018.

V-Ray’s new hybrid rendering technology adds CPU support to its NVIDIA CUDA-powered GPU renderer. Now, with V-Ray Hybrid artists will have greater flexibility to render a scene using GPUs, CPUs or a combination of both. The rendered images will be identical, regardless of hardware. This allows artists to use any and all hardware, from high-powered GPU workstations to CPU render nodes.

“GPU rendering is on the rise, and V-Ray Hybrid solves two important issues that could make it even more popular,” said Vlado Koylazov, Chaos Group co-founder. “It lets artists use all of their existing hardware, and it gives them a fallback solution if they run into GPU RAM limitations. This makes GPU rendering a more practical solution for a much wider audience.”

For more information on V-Ray Hybrid, please visit the Chaos Group Labs blog.

Other Features Include:

Full Light Select Render Element – Render individual lights or groups of lights as separate render elements, with full support for global illumination, reflections and refractions for accurate light mixing in post.

Cryptomatte – Automatically generate ID mattes with support for transparency, depth of field and motion blur. This will speed up workflows for compositors working in NUKE or Fusion.

NVIDIA NVLink – Supports shared GPU memory across NVLink compatible graphics cards.

Pricing/Availability
V-Ray 3.6 for 3ds Max is a free update for all V-Ray 3.x customers. Login at chaosgroup.com to download. For full pricing information, please visit the V-Ray for 3ds Max product page.

About Chaos Group

Chaos Group is a worldwide leader in computer graphics technology, helping artists and designers create photorealistic imagery and animation for design, television and feature films. Chaos Group specializes in physically-based rendering and simulation software used daily by top design studios, architectural firms, advertising agencies and visual effects companies around the globe. Today, the company's research and development in cloud rendering, material scanning and virtual reality is shaping the future of creative storytelling and digital design. Founded in 1997, Chaos Group is privately owned with offices in Sofia, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Seoul and Tokyo. For more information, visit: chaosgroup.com.

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Press Contacts:

Chaos Group
David Tracy, david.tracy@chaosgroup.com
www.chaosgroup.com

Liaison Inc.
Colin McLaughlin, (503) 796-9822, colin@liaisonpr.com
www.liaisonpr.com