Over the last handful of years, the popularity of Unreal Engine has gone through the roof. Some renderer vendors which once overlooked the engine have suddenly begun to put a ton of effort into porting theirs over. We’re not sure Chaos Group particularly ignored Unreal Engine at any point ever, but it’s at least taken this long to see its popular physically-based V-Ray renderer hit the software. Some might call that a “GODLIKE!” move.
When Chaos Group released the first V-Ray for Unreal beta earlier this year, it was geared towards existing users who were already well-versed in how to use the software, and had the right workflows in place for materials. With a brand-new release, dubbed Update 1, the company now caters the renderer to all users. As CG puts it, “The secret is support for native Unreal materials”.
Just as it sounds, current Unreal Engine users will be able to test out V-Ray with minimal inconvenience, without dealing with a serious break in workflow. This means that every material in a scene will be ray traced, which is rather important when the goal is accuracy. Users will be able to take current projects and move over to V-Ray much easier.
Unreal Engine has long been synonymous with gaming, and it’s pretty easy to understand when the engine was used to build the legendary first-person shooter series of the same name. Nowadays, though, its use has greatly expanded, proving itself to be a ridiculously versatile application. It’s now used by some FX studios for movies, and even architects looking to see their creations with unbiased ray tracing. It might have helped that Epic made its pricing scheme hugely attractive four years ago – free for those earning less than $3,000/quarter, and 5% for those making above it.
Native material support isn’t the only thing new here, so too is viewport rendering. With it, users can keep a renderered version of their scene right inside of the main interface which will continually render and instantly reflect changes made to the scene. The faster your GPU and CPU, the more you will enjoy this kind of workflow.
Chaos Group has also said that it’s offering 1:1 support for Datasmith, allowing you to translate your materials without worry. In particular, the company says this will aid CAD designers who yearn for unbiased lighting in their projects.
For pricing, Chaos Group charges $80/month, or $470/year. If you’re a student, you will be able to score a license for a greatly reduced $99 flat fee. You can read more on the official site.