Photoreal mode; bringing the real-world to your renders

 In this month’s feature we focus on the most physically accurate render mode available in Iray+, Photoreal.

Iray+ is a physically based ray tracing renderer with materials based on NVIDIAs material definition language (MDL); allowing delivery of extremely precise results across all render modes, thanks to the physical accuracy of materials and lighting ( This focus on physical accuracy allows you to create the highest quality images and animations with a real world approach to materials, cameras and lighting.

With the gap between the level of realism found in digitally captured images and renders constantly closing, the accuracy of a render has never been more important. This is why Photoreal mode is so important as it’s  specifically designed to produce the highest quality results with ease.


(Render created by Lightworks with Iray+ for 3ds Max. Image distributed by NVIDIA)

By choosing to create photorealistic renders, designers give themselves much smoother workflows and are able to bring their designs to life at a much faster rate; closing the gap between design and reality. This has a positive effect on every stage of the product development and marketing process:

- presenting ideas to clients and senior management can be achieved effectively, long before the product exists and any concrete decisions have been made

- manufacturers are able to estimate costs more efficiently by gaining a deeper understanding of the materials required and how they will work with in the design

- different design techniques can be tested to help understand the pros and cons of particular development processes, including assembly and use

- being able to modify and visualise your designs in various lighting set-ups, scenes and settings without having to physically create them helps identify potential problems much earlier, massively reducing the risk of making mistakes, saving both time and money

- marketing can be achieved much more efficiently; once a design is finalised, marketing can properly begin without having to wait for production to finish or for an expensive prototype or demo model to be created. By not having to rely on photographing products, not only will your consumers be exposed to your product earlier, but costs and effort will be reduced significantly

- 3D visualisations have very flexible usability on a number of platforms. These can include walkthroughs, snapshots, 3D navigation and infinite angle views; which brings the design to life and increases how engaging and interactive marketing collateral can be

- the control can be placed in your customer’s hands by offering them customisable options, which they can configure with interactive 3D visualisation applications. This will add a unique modern twist to their experience, giving a personal feel and therefore increasing the potential of making the sale

- Client approvals are generally made more rapidly as they are able to see designs in photo-realistic forms that can easily be altered to fit their needs.

Iray+ render modes produce different degrees of photorealism in physically-based images. Each render mode takes full advantage of the current GPU technologies and can fallback onto CPU where appropriate. All render modes operate on scene data, which is stored in memory in the scenes database; creating a seamless user experience when switching between render modes. 

 iray photoreal

(Image created by NVIDIA)

This high-performance mode generates photorealistic imagery, full global illumination, caustics and luminance distribution through progressive refinements for the highest quality final frame output, ideal for final image production. It takes full advantage of the fact that all materials within Iray+ are physically accurate, allowing the renders to represent how objects would appear in the real-world. This is achieved by Iray+ understanding precisely how lighting behaves when exposed to different real-world materials, taking into consideration refractions and reflections to produce an honest representation of the object and its surroundings.


(Image created by Lightworks with Iray+ for 3ds Max)

If you’d like to try or buy Iray+ or find out more about our services, just contact one of our team at



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