Making the Unreal Look Real: V-Ray’s Incredible Rendering Engine and Project Felix
Previously we caught up with the Project Felix product team to hear more about how the project began and where it’s going. In addition to the incredible human power behind the software, one key technical component proved essential to streamline the complex process of rendering, and let users like you pick up the skills immediately.
Say hello to Academy Award winner, Chaos Group. Their incredible V-Ray core technology has been a staple of the cinematic visual effects and architecture industries for over a decade, and now, graphic design.
Let’s start with rendering. What exactly does that term mean for graphic designers?
David Tracy, Chaos Group communications director: It’s actually always a challenge to explain what rendering is, and what it does. Rendering is what makes an object or image look real. Whether it’s the car in the Audi commercial, or the huge battles and settings in Game of Thrones. Rendering recreates the lighting, the look of the material, and even the depth of field from the camera. V-Ray takes into account the actual physical qualities of light, and how surfaces look in different settings. We pride ourselves on the visual effects that people don’t notice, the effects so realistic that your brain doesn’t question it.
The Chaos Group’s annual V-Ray showreel offers highlights from the year’s most impressive VFX–in movies, TV shows, games, architecture, automotive, and more made all around the globe–all powered by the V-Ray core technology.
How does V-Ray fit in and address those ?
David: The V-Ray core is the rendering technology, or code base, that makes up the foundation of all V-Ray products. Every flavor of V-Ray starts there, including the V-Ray engine inside of Felix. Our idea from the very beginning was to make integration into different products as easy as possible, in order to help creatives experiment with and communicate their ideas more quickly and more efficiently.
How has V-Ray enabled Felix to do something different than other 3D applications out there?
Charles Piña, Project Felix lead engineer: A lot of programs are like Swiss Army Knives. They do a lot of different jobs, but mastering each is very involved and complex, so you might only be trained in a very particular workflow; you know what to do when you only press certain buttons in a specific way, basically. It’s crazy hard. Project Felix, on the other hand, is like a spoon. We’ve simplified things such that it’s obvious how you use it. We’re trying to empower users of the spoon to do what the spoon does best.
What do you feel is the coolest thing about this collaboration between V-Ray and Adobe?
Slavka Stankova, Chaos Group project marketing manager, integration technologies: We have a technology that is high end for visual effects, architecture and design. With Project Felix, our technology will reach more artists with broader creative backgrounds and perspectives .
David: One of our main motivations was to have the opportunity to give everyone a chance to use this technology, for any purpose they could think of. It can be a benefit for so many people—in this case, specifically graphic designers. There’s nothing more exciting than providing someone a creative tool, a new means to create, and then seeing what they do with it.
We’ve got more Project Felix insights coming your way next week, with a look at how designer Allison House makes 3D magic.