Chaos Group has released V-Ray 3.3 for 3ds Max, another sizeable free update to the renderer, also referred to in some of the online documentation as Service Pack 3.

The update boosts render speed by up to 50% across the board, and adds an entire new sampling system.

Improved render speed, new sampling system
The most immediately obvious change in V-Ray 3.3 will probably be raw speed: Chaos Group is claiming a 20-50% speed increase when rendering “most scenes”.

The other big addition is the new variance-based adaptive sampler (VBAS), which promises better sampling of the lightest and darkest areas of an image, and more consistent noise removal.

According to Chaos Group, VBAS means that the final quality of a render is less dependent on materials and lighting settings, and that sampling of alpha channels is improved, especially with DoF or motion blur.

The new sampler works in both bucket and progressive rendering modes.

Over 25 more new features
However, there are also over 25 other new or updated features. They’re summarised well by Chaos Group’s official news release, so we’ve reproduced the relevant section here in full:

A. New features

New Global Defaults

  • Variance-based adaptive sampler enabled by default
  • Automatic sampling of lights and materials – removing the need to set subdivisions manually

Ray Traced Rounded Corners

  • Perfectly smooth edges at render time with no additional modeling – based on licensed technology from NVIDIA
  • Advanced edge detection with support for concave and convex surfaces simultaneously
  • Works with separate objects, VRayProxy objects, displaced objects, etc.

New Sky Model and Aerial Perspective

  • Hosek sky model to simulate more natural looking skies
  • Ground color option for VRaySun and VRaySky
  • Aerial perspective for efficient and realistic atmospheric depth

Triplanar Mapping

  • Fast, seamless textures without UVs
  • Control over edge blending and texture parameters, including randomization
  • Works on procedural geometry

Improved V-Ray Clipper with Render-Time Booleans

  • Supports cutaways using any arbitrary mesh

Stochastic Flakes

  • Ultra-realistic materials with sparkle effects like snow, sand, and car paints

B. Updated features

Global Illumination

  • More robust handling of reflective GI caustics, better light propagation, and more natural illumination of interior scenes
  • Distributed light cache for faster calculations with distributed rendering

GPU Rendering

  • More texture nodes – MultiTexture, VRayMultiSubTex, ColorCorrection, etc.
  • Proxy objects with hair and particles
  • VRayFur and VRayPlane objects
  • Light include/exclude lists

Progressive Sampler

  • Dynamic noise threshold leads to more uniform noise distribution
  • Improved sub-pixel filtering
  • Improved CPU utilization

Volume Rendering

  • Faster volume rendering with probabilistic sampling

Geometry

  • Faster rendering of proxy objects and instances

Pricing and availability
V-Ray 3.3 for 3ds Max is available now. The update is free to registered users. New licences of V-Ray 3.3 for 3ds Max cost $1,040, including one render node; individual render nodes cost $350 each.

Read more about the new features in V-Ray 3.3 for 3ds Max on the product website