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Table of Contents

This page gives some basic information about V-Ray in Houdini and its key features.



V-Ray is a rendering plugin for Houdini. V-Ray offers a number of materials, textures, lights, utility nodes, volumetrics, and render elements specifically designed for a smooth workflow.

V-Ray for Houdini includes two render engines: V-Ray and V-Ray GPU.

V-Ray is implemented in Houdini as a set of custom nodes, most notably the V-Ray Renderer node for Production rendering, and the V-Ray IPR node for Interactive rendering. V-Ray renderings display in the V-Ray Virtual Frame Buffer (VFB), which has a multitude of V-Ray specific tools for saving and comparing renderings, adding lens effects, and viewing render elements. For tools to adjust rendering quality and speed with V-Ray and V-Ray GPU, see the Renderer Node page.



Rendering with V-Ray

Both V-Ray and V-Ray GPU engines support Production and IPR Rendering modes. The Production Rendering mode utilizes all V-Ray's features and is intended to be used to create a clean production ready render. 

The IPR is a fast active renderer that can update the rendering as you make changes to the scene. The IPR Renderer allows for rendering in the Viewport. With Viewport rendering, the scene is rendered interactively and if changes are made, the rendered result is updated.

The IPR renderer always runs in Progressive mode, a progressive image sampling mode that refines the details over time. The Production rendering mode allows you to switch on/off the Progressive Rendering mode. Switching off the Progressive image sampler automatically activates the Bucket image sampler, which takes a variable number of samples per pixel depending on the difference in the intensity of the pixel.

In addition, rendering in Chaos Cloud is possible through interface integration in V-Ray for Houdini. 

You can have multiple cameras in a scene with different render settings. You can also have multiple V-Ray Renderer and V-Ray Renderer IPR nodes that are configured differently. Shift+Left-click the Render/IPR (VFB) and ROP Parm/IPR ROP Parm shelf buttons allows you to select different ROP settings. Alternatively, press Shift + Left-click the Show VFB shelf button to open a context menu of available ROP configurations in the scene.

To switch between different camera views, open the VFB and hold click on the Render button.

When rendering from the Render to Disk button in the V-Ray Renderer node, the camera specified in the Camera slot is used. When rendering from the Render/IPR (VFB) toolbar buttons or the VFB's Render button, you can override the specified camera.


Starting V-Ray Render

Make sure a camera is set. You can set several cameras in a scene and then switch between them.

Create a V-Ray Renderer node in the out Network using one of the following ways:

  • Go to Render menu > Create Render Node > V-Ray
  • ||out Network|| > V-Ray Renderer

To learn how to start Interactive Production Rendering (IPR), see the Interactive Rendering page.

Note that you can have multiple V-Ray Renderer and Renderer IPR nodes with different settings in a scene.


Start the rendering process in one of the following ways:

  • In the V-Ray Shelf, click the Render button. This initiates a render process in the VFB.
  • Go to V-Ray menu > Render > V-Ray ROP
  • In the V-Ray Shelf, click the Show VFB button. Then in the VFB, click the Render button.
  • Go to V-Ray Renderer node settings and click the Render to Disk button. 

If vray/vray_ipr nodes aren't created in the out Network, clicking the Render button or Show VFB button on the V-Ray Shelf automatically creates a vray node. If necessary, the render settings can be configured.


Viewport Rendering

Make sure vray and vray_ipr nodes are created in the out Network. Create a camera in the Scene View.

Select the Render Region button. 

Select a region in the Scene View that will automatically start rendering using V-Ray IPR. For more information, see the Interactive Rendering page.


Configuring V-Ray Render Settings

You can configure the render settings within the V-Ray Renderer node. To navigate to the specific tabs, do one of the following:

  • ||out Network|| > V-Ray Renderer node

  • Go to Render menu > Edit Render Node

  • Go to V-Ray menu > Render Settings

  • In the V-Ray Shelf, click the ROP Parm button.

For more detailed information on how to configure the IPR settings, see the Interactive Rendering page.



  • When rendering or exporting a .vrscene with a heavy geometry or volumes in it that are not cached in an external file, a warning displays that heavy uncashed objects may slow down the rendering till the first pixel appears.