V-Ray 5 is a game changer. It is not often that I update my software right away and immediately integrate it into my workflow, but occasionally a software adds some features that I just can't live without. V-Ray 5 is that update for me. The day it came out me and my whole team upgraded, updated all of our plugins, and made it happen. It has not disappointed.
Here is a video I did when V-Ray 5 just barely came out in Beta (the actual version looks just like this too) looking at the new features:
My enthusiasm in the video for the light mixer has remained, and I can verify that I can't live without it now. It saves me a TON of time, and gives me major creative freedom. Just this week I was working on a scene with about 40 different types of light instances -- an entire chunk of a city -- and the light mixer was essential for the getting the light balances just right.
There are other things about V-Ray 5 that I love as well. The way that it handles materials has some very nice new things about it. For example:
High quality V-Ray materials included with V-Ray 5. These materials are very realistic and ready to drop onto any surface and look great right out of the box. There is a wide array of different material types that are common to arch viz.
There is a new workflow for the common bitmap using a the VrayBitmap. The VrayBitmap gives you more control over your maps, and most importantly, there is a "mapping source" slot which enables you to use the mapping of one map as the source for any other map. This means that changing the tiling on your diffuse no longer means you have to go and do it on your reflection, glossiness and bump maps as well. They will all be looking to one source for their mapping.
The same mapping source can be linked to a VrayUVWRandomizer map which will randomly apply UVW changes to different parts of an object, including by element and other options. This negates the need for setting up many variations of the same material then using a Material By Element modifier. It is another huge time saver.
These are just a few of the many little items that have been added. For my particular workflow that I outline in my courses, they are extremely helpful and useful.
Speaking of that, I am currently in the process of completely updating and upgrading my original course, 3ds Max PRO in 6 Hrs. It has been wildly successful, so I have just continued to add onto it, but it is time to do a complete refresh. It is being redone with 3ds Max 2021 and V-Ray 5. Check out the original course here, and once it is refreshed, you will have access to the new content as well (the old content will still be there too). Also, I am excited to announce that the new finished course will also be available on my new course platform for the first time (and still Udemy as well), where I can have full control of the pricing and make it super cheap for you all.
Overall, there are lots of exciting things happening in the world of architectural visualization. Stay tuned here and on my various channels, especially for my many upcoming V-Ray 5 tutorial videos.