List of Questions


What is Scans?   

Scans is a scanning technology which converts real-world materials such as textiles, plastic, paint and metal into digital materials. These can be used in 3D software tools to create photorealistic computer-generated images and animation.


Why should I use Scans?

Recreating materials from the real world in 3D software can be a painstaking process, especially if they exhibit complex behaviors under certain lighting conditions. Scans solves this issue by capturing photorealistic, tileable materials with an unmatched level of quality and accuracy. Scans can be used by anyone who wants to bring new levels of realism to their imagery and animation, from freelance artists to large studios. At the moment, it works with V-Ray for 3ds Max, V-Ray for Maya, V-Ray for SketchUp, V-Ray for Rhino and V-Ray for Revit (within limitations).


How are Scans materials different?

Scans are more than just texture maps or map packs.

Chaos Group’s unique hardware and software setup captures thousands of images of a material sample under different camera and lighting angles.

A proprietary software tool compiles the image data into a seamlessly tileable .vrscan material file. This file can be read by V-Ray for 3ds Max, V-Ray for Maya,V-Ray for SketchUp, V-Ray for Rhino and V-Ray for Revit (within limitations) in the same way as traditional V-Ray materials.

Scans materials can be dragged and dropped onto geometry. They automatically resolve their behavior under different lighting conditions, without any customization.


Can I modify Scans materials?

Parameters such as color, UV tiling and bump strength can be adjusted, and you can blend Scans materials with V-Ray materials. These parameters can be found on the respective V-Ray Scan material page.

Since Scans is aimed at accurately reproducing reality, they do not allow the same level of control as a custom-built material. The .vrscans file contains a complete data set, so there are no separate texture maps.


Do Scans materials support render elements?

V-Ray NEXT supports some Render Elements. For a list of supported Render Elements in V-Ray for 3ds Max, follow the link.

What kind of materials can be scanned?

Any flat, opaque, or translucent surface is scannable, provided that the size of the sample is between the required parameters (see below).

For natural materials such as stone, wood and dirt Scans is not particularly useful, because these materials typically don’t lend themselves to tiling. However, this limitation is not relevant if the scanned material will be used on a 3D object which has dimensions equal to or smaller than the sample size, so no tiling is required.

Material sample requirements: 

  • Flat opaque material samples are optimal. Translucent materials are supported but fully transparent materials, such as glass, are not. 
  • Texture depth ≤ 1mm The materials should have a flat surface, or irregularities such as bumps, pits or grain no higher/deeper than 1mm. 
  • Samples no smaller than 40x40mm, and no larger than 400x300mm. 
  • Maximum scan resolution is .06mm/ pixel.

What is the Scans Service?

If you are working with tight deadlines and need to create many complex 3D materials for automotive, product design or fashion projects, then the Scans service is the perfect match for you. We scan your physical material samples to create a highly accurate, ultra-photorealistic digital material for use in 3D projects.


How does the Scans Scanning Service work?

Step 1. Send materials to be scanned

Clients provide Chaos Group with one or more physical material samples. We ensure that all samples are dealt with securely and confidentially.

Step 2. Materials are evaluated for scanning

Our lab techs evaluate each material to determine if it's suitable for scanning. If not, the material is returned at no charge.

Step 3. Materials are scanned

Each material is carefully scanned by one of our lab techs. Once the scan is complete, the resulting images are transformed into a seamless, tileable file. After passing inspection and quality control, the material scans are ready for delivery.

Step 4. Scanned files are delivered

Files are delivered via private FTP link or physical drive*.

Step 5. Material samples are returned

We understand that materials may be proprietary or copyrighted, so all samples are promptly returned to the client.


*Additional courier fees may apply

Can you provide a texture and maps pack with my VRscan?

We are currently working to provide textures with every Scans material.  There are ways to work around this, though ­– get in touch and we’ll be happy to suggest a solution.


What is the Scans plugin?

The Scans plugin is the part of V-Ray (versions 3.5 and above) which provides the UI for importing, modifying, and using the Scans materials in V-Ray for 3ds Max, V-Ray for Maya, V-Ray for SketchUp, V-Ray for Rhino, V-Ray for Modo, V-Ray for Katana, V-Ray for Houdini. There is no additional installation required. When a user purchases a Scans Plugin license, they receive the license file updates for their dongle, or their licenses are added to their Online Licensing account. After restarting the platform, the user should be able to see the interface for the Scans materials within the V-Ray Material/Asset Editor.

When a client purchases a license for the Scans Plugin, they automatically receive a one-year subscription for the Scans library.

To continue using the Scans materials and the Scans Library, the user will have to maintain their subscription on an annual basis.


What is the Scans Library?

The Scans library is a repository of ready-made scans of different materials created by Chaos with the Scans hardware. The library currently contains around 650 materials broken down into categories such as wood, leather, plastic, metal, paint; or color or manufacturer. The library supports material filter/search based on these parameters.

For some materials, the manufacturer has given us permission to scan and upload their samples for people to use. Other materials are generic samples from the world around us.

The library is accessible to all Scans license holders.


How much does the Scans Plugin and Library Subscription cost?

The cost of the plugin and subscription varies depending on the type of subscription. Here is a table with the subscriptions you can choose from:


Chaos ScansOrder TypeDuration USDEURGBP
 New/RenewalMonthly $210€190£160
 New/RenewalAnnual $420€380£325
 New/Renewal3-year $1.079€975£830


Each workstation license provides access to the library for one user.

Each workstation license allows the user to render Scans materials on 11 additional Scans-specific Render Nodes, provided they are covered by the requisite number of V-Ray Render Node licenses.

How much does the Scans Scanning Service Cost?

Pricing starts at 300 EUR / 420 USD / 260 GBP per material scan. Contact us for a custom quote.

The Scans plugin is also required. It is available on an annual or monthly basis.

For more information please visit

Can I buy a scanner? How much does it cost?

Chaos is planning production of the scanning hardware. Contact us for more information.