Realising a Vision - Iray+ for 3ds Max

In 2013 we became resellers of the most advanced, physically accurate ray tracing technology on the market today, NVIDIA’s Iray. Development started immediately and using our renowned integration expertise we made Iray more accessible to developers by simplifying the integration process. Iray+ was born.

After simplifying the Iray code with our own easy to integrate API layer, we set about demonstrating how Iray+ could be successfully integrated within existing workflows and applications. And so work began on creating a plug-in for the world-leading 3D design application, Autodesk 3ds Max.

First, we assessed the functionality of the Iray version that is currently available inside 3ds Max. This version provides limited functionality to users; this informed the creation of our plug-in that gives users the full benefits of Iray, including remote rendering capabilities and Iray’s Interactive mode. 

Not only did we aim to expose the full functionality of Iray, but we also wanted to enhance the user experience, providing visualisation technology that was both advanced and easy-to-use. We’ve built a plug-in that is intuitive and presents lighting, materials and camera settings using real-world concepts with the minimum necessary parameters needed to create stunning images and animations.

Having enhanced the features and functionality, we did not want to disrupt the existing user workflow; Iray+ for 3ds Max slots seamlessly into 3ds Max, with formatting that is clear and familiar to 3ds Max users and very few Iray+ specific interfaces.

The end result is an incredibly advanced and easy-to-use plug-in which allows designers using 3ds Max to produce unbeatable, photorealistic images. We’ve successfully proven our integration expertise and made the Iray SDK more accessible to developers.

“The biggest advantage for us as a creative visualization agency is that this plug-in means we don’t have to wait as long for updates as we currently do and we’ll always have access to the most advanced version of Iray available. As designers the ability to create new materials and update existing ones with the intuitive real-world process Lightworks have developed helps us create better results for our clients; the ability to create a greater variety of complex materials allows us to create a better finished product.”

 George Matos, CEO of Blue Marble 3D, USA & 3ds Max Power User


Who is the plug-in for?

Lightworks Iray+ for 3ds Max plug-in is suitable for all 3ds Max users that need to create stunning, photorealistic images of their designs. NVIDIA’s Iray is used by design professionals in many industries including automotive, jewellery, architectural, product design and interior design and many more. An expansive material library provides the basis for creating virtually any material allowing users total creative freedom, no matter what they’re designing.

What is Iray’s Interactive mode?

Iray+ has different render modes which are tailored for performing specific rendering tasks. Iray+ Interactive mode allows navigation of rendered models in real-time (that are almost indistinguishable in quality from Photorealistic mode) using advanced approximation algorithms to mimic realism while minimizing unwanted noise.

Iray+ Photorealistic mode is a production render with full global illumination support. With the ability to use both modes simultaneously you can quickly preview your scene in Interactive mode on your workstation whilst rendering remotely in Photorealistic mode for your production renders. This ‘Unified Rendering Model’ means all modes share a common representation of your scene and materials in 3ds Max, ensuring consistent imagery is produced across your full workflow.

What are the remote rendering options?

It’s easy to distribute rendering tasks to a variety of batch rendering tools including clusters or render farms. Cloud rendering support is extremely simple to set up too. Iray+ for 3ds Max allows users to take advantage of infinite local or remote resource ensuring the most incredibly efficient workflow yet.

Is Iray+ for 3ds Max a scalable solution?

Iray+ is designed to take full advantage of NVIDIA GPUs, offering near linear render speed performance enhancements when you add additional hardware.

What do we mean by real-world concepts?

Iray+ materials, lighting and camera settings are designed to represent real-world processes found in manufacturing and nature. This means that anyone familiar with the creative processes behind material creation, lighting set up and photography will be able to follow similar processes in 3ds Max, for a fantastic, intuitive user experience.

How do you create materials with Iray+?

The materials are based on NVIDIA’s MDL (Material Definition Language) which consist of building blocks that can be combined in flexible ways. They’re created in a top down structure, with the core geometry at the bottom of the layer order, and additional layers built on top as required. Multiple layers of each type can be added, allowing highly complex finishes, such as paint peel and rust, chips and scratches. The real-world approach to materials allows efficient reuse and sharing of each component between different materials.

What are the advantages of real-world lighting?

Because all the lighting systems in Iray+ for 3ds Max are physically correct, all real-world data input into a model, or simulation, is guaranteed to produce 100% accurate lighting output. This is perfect for studying light in simulation, and for creating realistic animation. Plus, the daylight sun and sky model is ideal for daylight studies and you can reliably measure luminance levels in any model.

We hope you’ve enjoyed finding out more about the benefits of our expert services and the advantages and features offered by Iray+ technology. Iray+ for 3ds Max will be on general sale in Q1 of 2015.


Iray+ for 3ds Max features:


*Autodesk, the Autodesk logo, Autodesk 3ds Max are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries.
*Iray is a registered trademark of NVIDIA ARC GmbH, licensed for use by Lightwork Design Ltd.
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