Chaos Group’s first service pack adds a lot of new features to V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max, including support for hair and SSS in V-Ray RT GPU.

Improvements to V-Ray RT GPU, better BRDF support

The headline changes in SP1 affect V-Ray RT GPU, the GPU implementation of V-Ray’s interactive renderer. The feature gap between it and the CPU version has narrowed further with support for hair, SSS and Light Caches.

On the CPU, you get support for Microfacet GTR/GGX BRDFs; opacity-mapped vegetation now has Clip opacity and Stochastic opacity options; and two-sided materials and volume rendering have been improved.

Better instancing and support for point clouds
There is also a new VRayInstancer geometric plugin for instancing objects using 3ds Max’s native Particle Flow systems; support for rendering point clouds; and a new disc area light.

SP1 also brings a lot of smaller new features, performance improvements, and updates to third-party technologies, such as Intel’s Embree raytracing kernels and OpenEXR. You can read the full list below.

Pricing and availability
V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max Service Pack 1 is available now. The pack is free to registered users. New licences of V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max cost $1,040, including one render node; individual render nodes cost $350 each.

Read more about V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max on the product website

New features in V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max Service Pack 1 (taken from press release)

V-Ray RT GPU

V-Ray RT GPU now supports rendering hair and subsurface scattering, making it perfect for advanced character work. Improved refresh speeds enable greater interactivity for look development and faster iterations. Light Cache support now makes it possible to render architectural interiors using the GPU.

Microfacet GTR / GGX and Shader Improvements

V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max Service Pack 1 adds support for Microfacet GTR / GGX BRDF, ideal for hard surfaces such as metal. In addition, many shaders have been refined for faster rendering and added functionality. There are now Clip opacity and Stochastic opacity material options for faster rendering of opacity-mapped trees and vegetation, improved translucency of two-sided materials, and optimized volume rendering with Light Cache support.

Geometry

Updated to Embree 2.3; Embree can now accelerate VRayProxy objects, instances and Ornatrix/HairFarm hair
New VRayInstancer geometric plugin for instancing objects using ParticleFlow systems
Improved cutaway and section rendering with VRayClipper
Automatic instancing of identical proxy objects
Added support for subdivision objects in Alembic files through OpenSubdiv
Added support for point cloud rendering in 3ds Max 2015
New vrmesh/Alembic viewer for proxy objects

Lighting

New disc-shaped area light
Faster sampling of rectangular area lights
Ability to control diffuse and specular lighting contributions separately

Render Elements and Compositing

Support for OpenEXR 2.2 with new DWA compression options
Render out light contributions into separate components (raw, diffuse, specular, etc.)
New controls for object visibility in VRayVelocity render elements

V-Ray Frame Buffer

New dockable history and color correction tools in V-Ray Frame Buffer
New Reinhard highlight burn color correction
Save multi-channel OpenEXR and .vrimg files directly from VFB
Ability to load background image into VFB
New option for loading files into VFB for post processing
Improved anaglyph stereoscopic preview