Maxwell or Vray for Rhino?

I am still on a mission to purchase an educational verison of a great rendering engine and I have narrowed it down to Maxwell or Vray. They are about the same price range, but I’d like to get feedback from actual users. Any opinions on either one? Thanks guys.

I’ve used both, but honestly, Bunkspeed’s Shot is the easiest and probably the most cost effective. Not to mention it’s an all around amazing/ user friendly program. Food for thought.

Have you looked at Modo from Luxology?

not wanting to be the 3rd one to mention something not on your list, I’d recommend Random Control Fryrender.
I’ve used Maxwell, V-ray and Hypershot alot in the past but found the following:

V-ray: fast, but inevitably wasted alot of time running test renders and playing with options
Maxwell: Great quality but far too slow to be economically viable
Hypershot: great in many ways, but i was never happy with the final quality.

To be honest, I wouldnt even put any product from the whole Hypershot debacle in the same grouping as maxwell/vray/modo. I dont have any experience with fryrender, but I would also group it in with the last group. Shot has a very simple interface and is very intuitive, but it comes with its limitations. Although rendering is very efficient, it never really gave me the results I wanted. Everything came out a bit too ‘plastic-y’. There are not enough adjustments from the lighting side environment) of things either. I ended up with Vray due to the almost endless options (customization of materials/environment/lighting) that you have. Although, you pay a price by having to learn what all those options do. Also, it is very easy to add hours to a render time by having slight changes in some numbers. Zierlabs is completely right in that you will be spending a lot of time with test render tweaking things. One of the positives with vray is that it is a very common renderer for max, so many companies use it. This will allow for a faster transition into the workplace (although there are definately some differences). For my workflow, I will use Vray if I need final photorealistic renders. If I just need a form study or something dirty, I will just use NXT due to its speed and simplicity.

Keyshot - Amazing Renders (if the right environments/materials are applied) in a fraction of the time it would take Maxwell or Vray. If time isn’t an issue and you have hours to devote your machine to renderings then go with Maxwell. But for me, time is money.

Kershaw is right on, time is money. That being said, I still think Shot is the way to go.

Almost all the other programs, other than Shot, take quite a bit of time to nail lighting, etc. Shot’s special in the fact it has an unbiased rendering setup where it’s constantly rezzing up in real time. You’ll instantly be able to see if your scene is the way you want it or not. I’ve found it has a lot to do with the hdri you choose as well. Spend some time and find your “go to’s” and you’ll crank renders out like nothing.

Keyshot is essentially the old Hypershot by the way. The Luxion founder use to work for Bunkspeed, then bailed and took the software with him.

I would disagree with your lighting comment. In any package that allows you to create your own lights, you simple creat your base 3 point set up and use it as a template. In Modo which I am new too, I can create and set a rendering as fast as any of the drag and drop software like keyshot or hyper shot, with the advantage that if I or the client needs it to take it further I have the ability to tweak and adjust.

I probably should have been slightly more clear. I meant as a whole, from import of the model to final rendering, its been my experience that a lot of software becomes pretty labor intensive in terms of the steps taken to get a photoreal image. A lot of tweaking here and there.

Shot is also a stand alone whereas Modo you can also model in as well (a plus for some?). I suppose it comes down to what specifically you’re looking for at the end of the day…

You can also do animation in Modo and adjust your model if you have parts that articulate very easy. But like I mentioned I looked at a variety and if i want to drag and drop a model into a render package for a quick rendering without spending much if any set up time Modo in the end won. Mainly because of the lack of labor you refer to which I found in Alias.

But also knowing that Much of the time I would need to take the render to a higher and more refined level with custom shaders and light control that I did not find in hyper shot or others. Plus for 800 I couldn’t beat the price.

Now also keep in Mind one other driving factor for me was how modo could handle and support native Solid Works files.

Specific articulation of parts and native Solidworks file imports was huge in the latest Shot update. Having a model tree of all your parts is amazing now…

One thing I do wish Shot had was the ability to adjust lighting IF you wanted to go in and knit-pick. You’re basically left up to the mercy of the hdri. Still a solid package though.

As you can probably tell by all the responses, everyone has a different take on visualization. My only $.02 is that Vray will probably be the faster solution since it has a lot of options for scaling back on the precision for faster results. Maxwell is very very CPU intensive and I wouldn’t even consider it on anything less than a 4-8 core CPU.

Thats nice to hear that shot now has that, it was a large factor in not picking it.

I would agree about the info on Maxwell, unless you set up a render farm or have a 8,ooo machine the render times are crazy… And renders your computer useless during crunch time.

There’s a possibility to create simple geometry like planes in Shot, and then very easy to move/rotate/scale it. Then assign emitter material. I think that by checking the “faded” box it will disappear from the camera, but still emit light even.

It also imports sldasm files, meaning if I have an assembly with 200 parts I can email the asm file alone, and they will be able to render it without having all the parts. And if you assign different colors to different faces in SW, it will identify them as separate objects so that you can assign different materials (for example if you wanted to have different surface textures on 1 part).

Other cool features are scenebuilding. Easy to dublicate parts and array them quickly (example 5 cars in a circle, or a row of chairs). It also supports symmetry - only need to model half an object, which saves time if you make renders while WIP.

So uhm, I would get Shot. In fact, I did. Simply because I want to spend time designing and not rendering. All for $800.

PS. I can still work on my machine (i7, 8GB ram) with SW, PS or AI while rendering in the background. Not as smooth sure, but way better than you would expect.

Thanks guys for all the great feedback.

I have decided now to invest in the educational version of Vray, as it seems to be my best option- not to mention, it also doesn’t expire. I would like a rendering engine to use post graduation to tweak my portfolios and practice with (non-commercial use).

Keyshot’s educational version is not a perpetual licesnse, like Vray (you’d think Keyshot would at least offer it!!). Vray and Maxwell do. Go figure. I don’t get why some software companie decide to not offer perpetual licenses to students. Rhino does and they dont even mind students using it for commercial purposes. Solidworks has an “educational” version that expires after a year… then if you want a commercial version to practice on, you have to fork down 5K or whatever it costs. Unbelieveable. Alias (before the Autodesk takeover) used to offer an educational version you could buy and now they don’t (don’t remember if their student version was perpetual), but at least now they offer trial versions that last 2 years! It’s strictly for learning and that is what most ID students need, yet most of these software companies are so greedy. Maybe there is more behind the scenes to software development I don’t comprehend, but I wish Solidworks and other companies would think twice about not making versions available to those who eventually one day will want to own a commercial version or use it in their every day work environments.

As you can tell, when picking a rendering engine, perpetualness of license was THE deciding factor.

On a final note: it’s no wonder some of my ID peers pirate expensive software! Am I wrong to think that? How else are we supposed to learn these crucial softwares to compete for jobs? Oh, and I am not advocating piracy, as piracy for commercial usage is not ethical, in my opinion. But going by friends who do pirate software, they do it mostly to learn, not to make a profit.