VRay-like interior renders with mental ray???


These 3dsmax/vray interior renders are everywhere! You know the ones - beautiful bright sunlight streaming in from the windows. I mean, they look kind-of… standard. So I’m assuming it’s a pretty easy thing to setup provided you have VRay. So what’s so special about VRay and interior sunlit renders? What kind of lighting setups are used with VRay? Just one bright light outside the windows? or is it a bit more complex…

Anyway, is there a way I can get the same kind of results with Maya+mental ray?


Most of the artists that make those renders are just really good at lighting. They show their scenes sometimes and they have like 20 lights, so it’s not just a simple setup. VRay is just really fast and irradience mapping seems to do well for those kinds of renders.

You can definitely achieve results like that in Maya with Mental Ray.


It’s right what Joz says. There is no magic button at all. But I guess Vray has some cool features that makes life easy. However if you need more control on your renderings, most rendering softwares lets you add some extra work to achieve the exact look you’re after.
BTW, this morning I was setting up the lighting for this kitchen, it’s not finished yet, but I started setting the lights. I used here 5 lights to enhance the bounce and the fill lights. Nothing impressing though because we see such lighting everywhere :smiley:


Well, I’ve spotted a nice vray interior render over at threedy.com and asked the guy who created it. He said he just put a vray area light in front of each window and one directional as sunlight. Hate to crosspost this but if you want to see the image check this thread at threedy.com.


I guess you can make the same with MR if you dont care a lot about rendering time and control over the rendering. Using big area lights near the windows and turning on the Final Gathering will certainly give you similar results.


Some people that are newer to these forums may not know of a fantastic thread on interior rendering with Mental Ray called “Rendering: a test in interior lighting” here in this section. The results were images like these:

So the artist (zepedro) was able to get great results out of Maya and Mental Ray.


That kicks so much ass. Those are beautiful.

By the way i’ve just been adding my two cents all night baby.


Well… if you stop and look at the v-ray light, it is just a point light converted into an area light, after checking the Vray forum, i tried to recreate one of those renders, i create 1 pointlight converted into a mentalray area light with a square projection for each window, just as you do with v-ray, then i created a spotlight for the sun, you need to find the ritght settings with photons , GI, FG etc… and you can create some Beautiful images with Mentalray.In my opinion V-ray is just a copy of mentalray, just using some different implementations and names.
Oh and about the speed, depending on the scene V-ray can be slow, so all that thing about speed , its not exactly how ppl say.:slight_smile:


Harsh words! :stuck_out_tongue:
And as far as I know vray isnt that managable as mentalray is. But since I never used vray in ‘production’ this may be a biased opinion.
Below is an image I rendered few weeks before. I was testing the ‘area-light-in-each-window’ technique but ended up in using a photon emitting ibl node (standard emission) in conjunction with a directional light. Its a bit dark and needs some refining, but hey: its a test!


hi everyonee i’m a c4d user and just wanted to tell you yeah it IS that easy, vray has the “render photorealistic interior”-button. it excels at rendering blurry reflections and splotchfree GI. a lot of us tried to recreate that look, we came very near to it but not as good as an orignal vray render. vray is actually the best desktop GI solution you can get out there.


good to know Max sticks to its core of having a “make this or that” button with all their plugins. As good as VRay is, lots still use MR and even PRMan for rendering interiors (without the boring “make render” button), which goes to show you that VRay may not be the best GI solution or else everyone would be using it.


Ahh, thanks for the info, everyone.
@Jovex: Now THOSE renders are what I’m talking about!!! Absolutely beautiful!

I’m going to go off and try that area-lights-in-the-windows method :smiley:


Menatl ray is a powerful and versatile renderer with heaps of featuers that has a tremendous ammount of depth and can be customized far beyond its orginal structure. it has all the features required to do stunning work but in my opinion is nowhere as easy to setup as vray.

V-Ray is Superbly fast vesatile and better looking than anything I have ever seen. I had the pleasure of working with at a company on the Maya team, while a team of max artists was also there producing absolutely breathtaking work in vray. We were using mental ray, Prman and air and without exception every artist in the place looked at the max/vray work and jaw dropped at the quality and look of the work and the ease of setup for these scenes !

Vray for maya cannot come soon enough in my opinion.


So what’s the story with VRay for Maya? I thought there was a beta in circulation?

Has anyone had any experience with it?


I have used both extensively and I believe VRAY is a phenomenal renderer for quick and easy turnaround jobs like TVC’s and print work etc. MR is phenomenal for longform work and Movies, where you have time to tweak and tweak and tweak every little setting.

One of the biggest problems out there for MR is that because it is so complex, and there is no “render beautiful image” button, alot of newbies give up on it as there isnt really alot of dumbed down learning resources on the topic. That is why it is used so much in movies because they have the time sqeeze every little once out the renderer and they have seasoned professionals working with it. But remember it can do everything VRAY can do and a whole lot more, you’ve just got to know what you are doing, as Jozvex demonstrated with those images. Also dont forget the power of rendering in passes. Its amazing how fast MR can get when you split up your renders into an ambient occlusion (oh how i love theee), key light, rim light, shadow, reflection etc…

Vray on the other hand is sooooo user friendly in that you can setup a few options and there you have an amazingly beautiful image with relatively quick render times. But it isnt as deep as MR is. Plus VRAY isnt for Maya (YET…OMG HURRY THE F*#$ up) so it isnt as widely used.

Its going to be very interesting when VRAY,Final Render and Brazil come out for Maya. As all are in the making at the moment, if they have the same speed and ease of use that they have Max, then i think MR will be in a bit of trouble, simlpy because they are such great renderers.

Turtle is nice too, very speeeedy. Havent used it a whole, lot though just yet.


If it wasn’t for 3dsmax’s horrible interface, non-standard everything, outrageous licensing plans, and steep learning curve, i’d instantly make the switch, just for the sake of being able to use VRay :frowning:

Getting a bit offtopic, does anyone know of a good n00bs tutorial? I mean, I couldn’t even figure out the modifier keys to rotate/dolly the camera… Although I can use C4D and Maya quite comfortably, atm, i realy would like to learn max… any help would be appreciated.

btw, these people are aparently selling VRay for Maya…
hmm… O_o interesting


I think you will find that this is a early setup page as there is a big vfx tradeshow in sydney next week and they will probably have beta’s on demo. I am working just down the road from these guys and they haven’t dropped any hints about early availability.

I think they are just getting the pages ready for the official launch next year !
Alot of the stuff on the site is max stuff from some of the guys who were working at Animal Logic which has been on display on the vray site for a while.


Yeah StormFX have had that pages up for quite a while now. I ordered the quote just for fun and they just sent me Max info.

Are you going to the AEAF Aneks? I’m not going this year but have been to the last two and they were fantastic.



I’m just reading these nice things about rendering and lighting a room and have a few questions. I did a simple room in maya with mental-ray at 2600px x 1300 px. Used 1 directional light that emitted about 200,000 photons for the global illumination. The final gather rays are set to 4000. The room doesn’t have much detail and the render time was almost 4 hours.
Am i doing something wrong or should i use those area-lights? And what are the normal render times for those nice room-scenes?
Maybe someone can tell me how you should set your settings if you are using these area-lights?

I’ll try to post the image as soon as possible.
I’m a beginner by-the-way.



As for the render time, thats normal, if you check the V-ray forum, you will see that there are some renders, that can take more than 10 hours to render, specially if you are using Blurry reflections, is the same thing with Mentalray.I think that mentalray is much more faster than v-ray when you are using blurry reflections, v-ray is a good render, but its far from being the best GI solution.Well thats my opinion, and yes i would love to see v-ray for maya, 3d max is a good and powerfull software, the only problem its the interface, im so used to Maya that i think i will be really lost if i have to use max again…lol I started with 3D Studio R4 DOS version,which was a good software for that time, but now after work with maya for 3 years, im not sure if i will move back to max just because of a render software.I will wait for Maya 7 (or 6.5) to see how Alias will fix the problems with mentalray.:slight_smile: