V-Ray Rhino or V-Ray 3ds Max?

Hello everyone,

I am a Rhino user and I currently use 3ds Max (Mental Ray) for my architectural renderings.

However I would like to switch to V-Ray, but I don’t know if the best solution for me is to stick to 3ds Max and learn V-Ray or to stay in Rhino for the renderings and learn V-Ray.

I know that V-Ray for 3ds Max is really powerful and has tons of free online materials, which V-Ray for Rhino is somewhat lacking. Yet I think it is also a good solution to stay within Rhino for both modeling and rendering, as exporting the model to 3ds Max can sometimes be tricky and problematic.

What do you think ? Is it better to export the model to 3ds Max to enjoy the full possibilities that V-Ray offers or to stay in Rhino, which may be handier, but where V-Ray is kind of less powerful or complete.

I have actually just stumbled upon the new release of Maxwell 4 which now has a GPU render option which, as far as I understood, allows to render faster images. Maxwell could also be a good solution, maybe some Maxwell users could give me their opinion on the subject.

Thanks for you advice !

1 Like

My personal opinion - if you go the vray route then stay with the Max version, no question.

1 Like

Like Maxwell, Thea Render does physically correct rendering, and it has CPU+GPU render.

im student in asia…
heres some reason why i would prefer rhino + vray

  1. Even though autodesk is providing license for free to students, i have to consider after the graduation. They would require monthly pay on everything… If i must use it, that would be because the firms provides the license and requires it, i think? until than, i would stick to rhino+vray as i have already bought it.

  2. I have tried v-ray 3.4 beta for rhino and it looks like vray for rhino is catching up the max version. 3dsmax seems to be industrial standard but rhino for vray is enough to render the qualities what i want.
    and also the vray UI is becoming more simple then before… it wouldn’t take that long to shift to Max or other platform in future.

  3. if both vray can provide same quality, it doesn’t seems reasonable to pay additional fee and doing export/import stuffs just for rendering since rhinoceros has other possibilities like Grashopper. Maybe its more powerful to expend pipeline on Revit+Dynamo+Vray

  4. i have tried maxwell ver.3 for exterior scene while internship. The quality was fantastic, but the render took so long…
    I have read some information that ver.4 is providing the gpu-render. but it looks like requires expensive gpu to accelerate a lot. otherwise it will slow down than before. And also, unlike the ver.3 they are selling the integrated plugins separately…! I thought it was nice to use it on cross-platform…

The next release of V-Ray for Rhino, due out soon, will have most features of V-Ray for Max.
What will be missing is Max tools like animation, access to more visualization tools like flow simulation, plant generation, etc.
We’ll be able to exchange materials, settings, etc from all V-Ray platforms.

From my experience, what is the most valuable is diminishing as much as possible going from one software to another.
If you create geometry in Rhino, stay in Rhino.
If you use Revit, buy V-Ray for Revit.

Thanks for all you advice.

Its seems so far that your advice is to stay in Rhino and use V-Ray for Rhino.

What about Maxwell ? The new version (Maxwell 4) has a GPU rendering option which, as far as I understood, decreases the render time as long as you don’t have too many or complex lights / scenes or for exterior scenes.
It also has a cross-platform for Rhino for Mac (I both have a Mac and a PC so I get to choose between my computers).

Do you have any comments or remarks about Maxwell 4 ?

I use Vray all days and think, all the progressive unbiased engines are good for product shots (for example Octane can be faster for product animations), but for interiors I like the speed of Vray, most the biased methods. So far I know Vray is the most used render engine for architecture. Quality and speed are great.

Do you use V-Ray in rhino or 3ds Max ?

What do you mean by “biased methods” ? (I am French so not sure about what you exactly mean).

In a biased renderer, the engine and / or the user makes assumptions about a number of variables (number of light bounces, adaptive sampling, …) so that the end result can be achieved faster.

An unbiased renderer does not introduce such systematic “error” [wikipedia] and no short-cuts (bias) are taken. To get a clean result they need a large amount of rays but the end result is often referred to as physically-correct. In the end, of course, everything will be an approximation…

For a biased renderer to be able to get to a good result, the user will need good knowledge of which “short-cuts” to take.

ok, that’s true in part, I mean, even vray can be used as unbiased, you can decide…

I chose to stay with Rhino and V-ray for rhino, I do mostly archviz and product visualization.

Vray 3.4 is a huge improvement.
It’s true, max has a lot of plug ins and plug and play stuff, repository free models ecc.

I think that if the user base of rhino + vray will grow, maybe we can ask for some porting of plug ins from max, as it is happening with sketchup ( lauwberk plants, skatter ecc)

Yes, I know. I never mentioned any specific rendering package as an example for one or the other…

I use 3ds max with Rhino 3d but fast using Octane render more and more. Maybe worth a look.

I use Rhino + Vray since a few years. I don’t own 3dsmax.

Unbiased engine are engines like Maxwell, Octane … . They work without shortcut in the calculations, so, the user doesn’t need to know special options. You don’t get so much speed, but stable quality, if you wait long enough.
On the other side biased engines like Vray allow to adjust calculation shortcuts (biased calculation) to get much more speed. This can cause a little bit less quality. The user decides what he want to get.

The big advantage of unbiased engines is, beginners get high quality renderings from the start, but the render times are not really fast. The problem I see is if you are a power user you can not enhance your render speed over the months. This is the big advantage of biased engines like Vray. Over the time you learn to better and better control the speed features.

The GI calculation of interiors is complex and need time. The light is bouncing around and fill the space. Vray is one of the best engines for interiors. A first light cache calculation is raw calculating the general GI, progessive like at the unbiased engines, but than fast biased calculations are finalizing the rendering. It’s no problem to calculate interiors in high resolution in short time.

Only I used Octane for a product animation, because Octane was very fast calculating all the metal surfaces of my scene. Product shot doesn’t need so much GI calculation, because there isn’t so much bouncing light. So I used Octane in a simple biased calculation mode (ambient occlusion), because I needed all speed for the full HD animation. Ambient occlusion shouldn’t be used for interiors, a photo realistic look isn’t possible.

Vray for Max or Rhino? I think it’s a question of money too. Do you like to spend several thousand dollar for your software per year to get 100% features or much less for less options? Can you live with the tools of Rhino or do you need the special stuff of 3dsmax? Also my impression is architects and designer like to work with NURBS data and Rhino is the right tool for this kind of models.

1 Like

I remember that managing textures and materials in vray for rhino was pain in the a** - mostly because of badly designed interface.

But new version of vray for rhino is coming out - I assume it will address usability issues - stick with vray for rhino then.


1 Like

Managing textures and material was ok, no problem in daily use. More I have a problem with the new version, the UI isn’t useful for power use - to much wasted space also on large 4k screens. I hope it will be changed. I stick on v2 - rocksolid and straight to use.

They are doing very interesting things at Flying Architecture in that regard.


I have been doing most of my architectural modelling using Rhino and the VisualARQ plug-in.
I find the Rhino modelling environment superior for modelling in general and for architecture in particular.

I have to render using Lumion because of its speed (GPU based render) and preset libraries.
I find this scheme the faster and most powerful way to turn over my ArchViz projects: www.daly2.com

If you want to go for higher quality still renderings I would suggest you to bypass V-Ray and go directly to Maxwell.
The difference in quality is subtle but the overall set up is more straight forward and for exterior scenes with lots of lights and geometry rendering times get closer to the ones achieved with V-Ray. You will also have the Multi Light feature that is a major asset for post production.

Yes, Maxwell is slower than V-Ray at the present time and you cannot tweak the settings to make it faster.
But if you can wait a couple of days to render a still and have a small render farm to increase production the quality of your outputs will be very impressive. Meanwhile, CPUs and GPUs will keep getting faster and faster.

My customer are changing things at the last minute and need several images within a short time. I’m glad to get high res interiors within a half hour. Several hours or a day per rendering would be my professional end. :wink:

1 Like

I understand mate, render processing time is a luxury and I suspect only a project with a loose deadline can be done comfortably with Maxwell.

Dear all. iam sorry for rerolling that topic. BUT
i work in an Interior Architectual Office and we would like to proceed in 3D renderings.
i’ll be the person who will work with it and i need a bit more pros and cons for Rhino w Vray against 3DS Max because my colleague prefers 3DS (its from Autdesk and we are also using AutoCAD at the moment in addition our Boss says it is the standard for rendering).
Iam not experienced with 3DS Max but i would learn it in the end even tho i would prefer Rhino, i think its more intuitive and the learning curve is better.

so can you help me with pros and cons?

is the import from dwg to 3DS easier than dwg to Rhino?

which one is easier to learn?

how is the compatibility to other software?

is a Workstation for 3.000.€ okay (Ryzen 7 1800x + Titan XP)?

thank you very much already!

with kind regards,