With V-Ray 5 Viewport IPR, building up a 3d scene has become a lot faster, as there's hardly a need to test render lights and materials.
Note: IPR(Interactive Production Rendering) in the Viewport works with CPU, GPU or both.
To start, ensure to setup your 3ds Max scene properly first:
1- Before starting to model and/or create lights in a scene, ensure to have these parameters set up properly and accordingly.
Units Setup toolbar
Units and System Unit Setup
2-Also, go to the Customize toolbar and choose the Preferences option.
3-Under Gamma and LUT tab, turn on the Enable Gamma/LUT Correction, and set it to 2.2.
Gamma and LUT tab
4-Under Files tab, if you happen to be working on a large file that's taking too long to save, you can increase the Backup Interval (minutes) to 30 or higher, and choose to Compress on Save.
Compressed Max files are automatically reduced to half or less of their original size, when saved.
5-Under General tab, increase the Scene Undo Levels to about 500. This will give you the flexibility to undo (Ctrl+Z) up to 500 levels, if required.
6-To configure the viewports, simply click on the + text and choose to Configure Viewports
7-Under the Layout tab, select a suitable viewport layout. Users can also right click on a specific layout and choose the viewport.
Note: When creating the sunlight object, it's best to choose a four viewport layout.
8-The Display Performance is frequently used to set the display quality of Textures in the viewport, etc.
Display Performance tab
10-Next, open the Render Setup dialog (F10). Under V-Ray tab, set the Image filter as VRayLanczosFilter.
Under Color mapping parameters, set its Type to Exponential. This will reduce overly burnt areas in the image, and give a more realistic look to the render.
Set, the Gamma value to 2.2.
Under Mode, set it to, Color mapping and gamma. This will ensure what is seen in the VFB is consistent with what is saved into your hard drive.
Note: If you choose another Color Mode type, your saved renders will look either darker or brighter from what is seen in your VFB.
Scenes saved in earlier versions of 3ds Max may require merging in a completely new 3ds Max scene with the above Color Mode type, in order to override the problem.
Image filter and Color mapping settings
While building and testing the scene enable the Progressive image Sampler.
Progressive image sampler
And set the Primary Engine as Brute Force, and the Secondary engine as Light cache.
Note: Light Mix and other new V-Ray 5 features only work with Brute Force as a Primary engine.
Brute force and Light cache
1-To create the sunlight, ensure to have all four viewports in display (zoomed out).
Go to the Create panel and select the Lights button.
Under Photometric list, choose the VRay type.
Choose VRay light
2-Next, select the VRaySun button, followed by clicking and dragging it in the Front viewport to create it.
Create VRaySun object
3-If prompted with the dialog to automatically add a VRaySky environment map, click Yes to accept it.
Automatically add a VRaySky environment map dialog
Also, go to the Modify panel and change the default Sky model to Improved.
Change the default Sky model to Improved
V-Ray Viewport IPR
4-Next, enable the V-Ray Viewport IPR option the camera viewport.
Enable the V-Ray Viewport IPR option
IPR rendered in the viewport , in 1:37 minutes
5-Begin moving the VRaySun object and its target around, until an appealing dusk shot with shadows is achieved.
The final sun head position was, X: 26841.133mm, Y: 108894.687mm, Z: 17662.906mm
VRaySun head position
6-It's final target position was, X: 7725.571mm, Y: -14757.275mm, Z: -681.522mm
VRaySun target position
Final VRaySun position in the V-Ray Viewport IPR
7-Next, go the Render Setup dialog (F10). Under Render Elements tab, click to Add the VRayLightMix element.
Add the VRayLightMix element
Note: By default, it is set to Group by Instanced lights. This option displays all instanced lights in the scene as one Layer in the VFB.
If you want the flexibility to manipulate the instanced lights individually, simply choose the option to Group by Individual lights.
LightMix with instanced lights displayed individually
V-Ray Frame Buffer layers
8-Open the V-Ray Frame Buffer dialog and add the Filmic tonemap Layer.
Add the Filmic tonemap Layer
9-Under its Properties Type, change it to Linear. You should also start seeing changes in the Viewport IPR.
Note: You may need to tweak some of its default Properties as materials are added in the scene.
Filmic tonemap: AMPAS Type
10-Also, add a Lookup Table Layer, and load the LUT file under the name of, 3DCollective_sRGB_Agfa_Futura_03Hard.cube .
Disable the function to, Convert sRGB Space first and enable the Save in image option.
Note: This LUT file worked well for this scene. However, feel free to use another LUT file, if desired.
Lookup Table Layer added
11-To add a bit of contrast to the render, select the camera. In its Modify panel, under Color & Exposure parameters, enable the Vignetting function.
Vignetting enabled in the camera
Final result with V-Ray Viewport IPR
12-To add a bit of haze to the sunlight, open the Environment dialog (8). Under the Atmosphere rollout parameters, add the VRayAerialPerspective shader.
Under its General parameters, set the Visibility range (in meters) to about 2000.0. The Atmosphere height to about 100 and enable the function to Affect environment rays.
These values worked well for this scene. However, feel free to try different values, if desired.
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