Square Enix © Goodbye Kansas

Table of Contents

This page gives some basic details about the Raw Refraction Render Element and how it is used in compositing.


The Raw Refraction Render Element is a color image that stores refraction information calculated from materials' refraction values in the scene. Surfaces with no refraction values set in their materials will contain no information in the render element and therefore will render as black.

In comparison, the Refraction Filter Render Element (vrayRE_Refraction_Filter) is a render element that indicates varying degrees of refraction in the scene through brightness values in the image. Multiplying these two render elements together produces the Refraction Render Element (vrayRE_Refraction) .

 To properly calculate the Raw Refraction Render Element, the Refraction Render Element must also be added to the list of render elements being calculated during the rendering process to properly determine all the refraction information in the scene.

UI Path: ||Display Render Settings button|| > Render Elements tab > Raw Refraction




To use render elements, select from the Available render elements column and click the Add button to add the passes you wish to generate at render time. When you render the scene, the added render elements listed in the column on the right, will also render, which can be viewed from the VFB window's channel drop-down menu.

For more information on the parameters on this dialog, see the Render Elements tab page.



The parameters for this render element appear in the Attribute Editor under Extra V-Ray Attributes.

Enabled – When checked, the render element appears in the V-Ray Virtual Frame Buffer.

Deep output – Specifies whether to include this render element in deep images.

Filename suffix – The text added to the end of the rendered file, when saved as a separate file (e.g. myrender.rawRefraction.vrimg).

Apply color mapping – Applies the color mapping options specified in the Color mapping rollout of the V-Ray tab in the Render Setup window to this render element. This option is enabled by default.

Denoise – Enables the render element's denoising, provided the Denoiser render element is present.



Common Uses

The Raw Refraction Render Element is useful for changing the appearance of refractive elements after rendering in a compositing or image editing application. Below are examples of possible uses.



Raw Refraction Render Element


Original Beauty Composite




Raw Refraction Render Element with added contrast


Tinted Raw Refraction Render Element with added contrast




Refractions with more contrast


Tinted Refractions with more contrast




Underlying Compositing Equation

vrayRE_Raw_Refraction x Refraction Filter = Refraction





  • To properly calculate the refraction information in the Raw Refraction and Refraction Filter Render Elements, the Refraction Render Element must also be rendered at the same time, even if it's not going to be used in the compositing process. Doing so enables all the refraction information to be included in the rendering calculations.

  • There is initial support for Raw Refraction render element on V-Ray GPU.
Was this helpful?