Ray Switching can save quite a bit of time on your renders. If you are using V-Ray however, there is no quick way to set up Ray Switching on loads of materials. This is why Richard Stevenson recently released a script for Autodesk Maya that will allow you to set up ray switching easily, especially if you are using many materials.
Ray switching is essentially a quick way to optomize your renders without much loss in visual quality while reducing render times
Ray switching is a great way to get better render times without really loosing any quality on your renders. The basic principle is to create a simplified version of your shaders for calculation intensive things in the render, such as global illumination, shadows, reflections and refractions.
If you think of it as having textures display using the full-on versions of the shaders, yet things like final gather lighting information, global illumination and reflections will be siphoned off to use a less calculation intensive version of the shaders in the scene. By doing this, it can get you in some cases up to 50% savings in render times.
Ray Switching using the VRay Ray Switcher Script
Creating simplified versions of all of your shaders sounds like an easy task, until you try to do in practically on an existing scene. When you are working with many shaders and textures, this can become quite cumbersome.
This is where Richard’s VRay Ray Switcher Script comes in where it can speed up the process of setting arty switching for V-Ray shaders.
All you have to do is select the V-Ray Shader that you want to override, enter the shader’s name and pick your settings for it, and then click “setup”.
The VRay Ray Switcher Script currently supports V-Ray materials such as the standard VRayMtl, VRayBlendMtl, VRayBumpMtl, VRayCarPaintMtl, VRay2SidedMtl.
Depending on which shader you have selected to override, more or less features will be available to you.
More information on Ray Switching in Rendering
Richard Stevenson has also put together an informative article detailing the argument as to why you would want to use Ray Switching, describing what it is and its use in rendering. Check out the article for Ray switching and why you should be using it here.
Get the VRay Ray Switcher Script
The VRay Ray Switcher Script is available as freeware – so be sure to check it out if you use ray switching in Maya with V-Ray, it can save you quite a bit of time, both in set up and render. Get the VRay Ray Switcher Script here.