Michael McCarthy - Vray 2.0. New Features and Ornatrix
Since I´ve been struggling with hair&fur for so long, I was especially keen about this master class.
I have also struggled with my decision on wich renderer to start with in Max, but in the end I decided on mental ray. Mostly because it comes free with Max, but also because in the end everybody I asked told me the same thing: They all are incredibly capable and if you know one, its very easy to learn another one.
I won´t go into detail what new features Vray 2.0 brings, I´m pretty sure there are plenty of reviews out there yet. Instead I got an evaluation copy right there from the lovely lady from Vray and I´ll maybe write something about my experience with MR and Vray after I´ve actually tried it myself.Instead I´m just gonna say out loud, what I was thinking during the presentation of ornatrix:
This is fucking awsome.
I did´t play with the demo myself, and I haven´t tried Hair Farm yet (you can get a demo here), but from what I´ve seen so far it´s completely out of discussion now: Hair&Fur simply sucks.
Here are some of the things I saw, that I really liked:
1. Everything is modifier based! So you don´t have to be afraid to destroy your styling with one little click here or there and you´re way more flexible in creating the look you want.
2. The dymanics are simply amazing. McCarthy was using Max 2013, so he was definitely benefiting from MassFX and I´m not sure how well it´ll fare in previous versions of Max, but in Max 2013 dynamics were almost realtime. For frigging hair.
Also they looked way more reliable, without all the annoying mesh penetration.
But again, I haven´t tried it myself yet, the meshes and setups he used were pretty simple (spheres and not that many hairstrands), so I´ll have to do another review, after I got the demo...
3. Render times are crazy good.
Since the workshop was also about Vray 2.0, of course he showed off the rendering capabilities of Ornatrix in combination with Vray.
He quickly skimmed the fast raytracer in Ornatrix, wich is kind of like the buffer rendering option in hair&fur and produces similar results: Fast, smooth and ok looking, but without all of the raytracing possibilities (reflections and refractions).
Then he went into detail with the other rendering options.
How to set up Ornatrix to work with the VrayHairShader is explained in the demo you can watch on vimeo, so I won´t go into detail about that. (One tip though: set transparency rays in vray to 200, its actually faster and use brute force!)
But the results looked way better and rendered way faster, even with GI, than anything I´ve managed to achieve in mental ray with hair&fur yet (obviously without comparison to the buffer option in hair&fur).
I already mentioned Rune Spaans, and since I saw him do the fur for a sheep with Hair Farm, I also asked him for comparison of the two plugins.
He hadn´t tried the new version of Ornatrix yet and one reason he switched to Hair Farm was, that the dynamics at that time were pretty bad in his opinion - but that obviously changed dramatically
Ornatrix is also missing the option of mesh modeling based styling of the hair, but its a couple of hundred bucks cheaper than Hair farm.
You must have realized by now, that i´m a little obsessed with hair at the moment, so you can definitely expect more posts about hair in the future from me...;)