Interview Corey Rubadue - Product Manager for V-Ray for SketchUp

Interviewer : Rajib Dey - Editor-in-chief

Welcome to the arena of SketchUp-ur-Space. Make a brief introduction about yourself and Chaos Group.

My name is Corey Rubadue and I'm the Product Manager for V-Ray for SketchUp. I'm also an architect that has used V-Ray for architectural visualization either in practice, or by helping develop that part of the product line for over 10 years now.

Chaos Group is a leading provider of innovative render solutions for a broad range of industries: media, entertainment, architecture and design. Our main goal with V-Ray, our flagship rendering software, is to bring speed, quality, reliability and ease of use to an artist's workflow. We frequently partner with artists during our development process to ensure that every advance we make allows them to push their creativity even further.

V-ray 1.6 for SketchUp is just launched and it is in beta version. When can we expect to get the full version? Is Chaos group making any live presentation on this product?

We expect to release the final version of the product early this summer, and will be demonstrating live at the AIA conference on June 20-22. To coincide with the beta release, we have also created some great online demonstrations which can be found on our site and our YouTube Channel (please see below). More will be created in the future – so look for updates in our newsletter and via our Twitter and Facebook accounts.

What crucial enhancements are included in V-ray 1.6 in comparison with other versions?

The core goal of V-Ray for SketchUp is to give artists the tools to create powerful work on their very first try, and even more powerful work as they continue to refine and iterate. All of our new features directly respond to that goal.

For instance, in this version we have introduced one of the most important features to come out for SketchUp rendering: V-Ray Proxy. With it, users can share assets between applications and render them directly in SketchUp without size limitations. The new V-Ray Dome Light, on the other hand, dramatically improves the quality of lighting and shadows in visualizations through HDRI imagery. All someone has to do to create a real world lighting environment is add a Dome Light, position it, and you're done. Then there is V-Ray RT, our interactive rendering solution that brings real-time visual feedback into every artists' decision process. Seeing choices appear on the screen in real-time makes the whole creation process faster and more efficient, whether you are picking camera views or adjusting individual material settings.

What problems are arising from the users while testing the beta version?

One of the problems that has come up is that 64-bit rendering was not supported with V-Ray for SketchUp. We heard our customers loud and clear. In the second beta release we have introduced support for rendering to a local 64-bit process as well as rendering to 64-bit distributed rendering servers. This will allow our customers to break free of the 2GB RAM limit of x86 applications.

Another initial issue was that we found that even after doubling our server capacity in preparation of this beta release, the demand was so high that we needed to quadruple it to keep up with the download requests. Not a bad problem to have, and our users were incredibly gracious about it!

Do you provide any helping documents which will be useful to guide the users for testing this beta version?

Actually we've created several tutorial videos to cover the new features and updates. These will continue to evolve as we continually adapt to our user feedback, and are available at:

What will be the price and how users can access the product?

The suggested retail price of V-Ray 1.6 for SketchUp is $800 USD, and the upgrade price for existing users is $320 USD. It is now available on our website and through our great network of resellers, which customers can search for (by country) on our website

With this release, we are also moving the V-Ray 1.6 for SketchUp license to a hardware key. This is the standard for most V-Ray customers, and will unify our entire licensing system. It also means that everyone can now conveniently store all of their V-Ray licenses on one device, which will lead to greater efficiency and a much easier time for them when switching between design packages.

What types of works can be performed with V-ray for SketchUp?

Architects are using it to conceptually design their buildings, explore details, and present completed ideas to clients and decision makers. Sometimes that's a skyscraper, and sometimes it's a remodel of someone's kitchen. There are no limitations; artists can create a beautiful representation of whatever space or structure they want. Recently we saw it put to good use when Jorge Barrero from Genlser sent us renderings of a innovative interior space being designed for General Motors at Epcot.

Chaos Group has launched several version of V-ray for SketchUp users and among them which version is best for rendering work & why?

We know artists use different tools in their workflow, so we designed V-Ray to be a valuable force in every program an artist wants to work in. Sometimes a project starts in SketchUp and moves to 3ds Max. Our hope is that V-Ray can deliver brilliant results, easily and at high speeds for the entire time someone is iterating on an idea. We also believe that the work that you do in one package should be available to you in another. V-Ray lives by this ideal, which is one of the reasons we make it for so many design suites.

When Chaos Group first launch V-ray for SketchUp and how it is gradually developed?

After Chaos Group acquired ASGVIS, V-Ray for SketchUp officially became part of the Chaos Group product portfolio. With that acquisition, we also saw a chance to up V-Ray for SketchUp's core capabilities. Tools needed to become more efficient and easier for artists to use. The workflow had to become refined. With V-Ray 1.6 for SketchUp we have addressed all of these concerns, so now we are onto making it even better.

What up-gradations do you want to put in the future release of V-ray for SketchUp?

We are always in development on new ideas, and whatever comes next will always be a mix of customer suggestions and company insights into where the future of rendering needs to go.

That said, we are hoping to implement GPU support for V-Ray RT. And of course, we are always going to make sure V-Ray is compatible with all new versions of SketchUp.

Beside SketchUp, what other software will be compatible with V-Ray.

We proudly support the 3D community through our suite of software solutions:

  • V-Ray® for Autodesk® 3ds Max®
  • V-Ray® for Autodesk® Maya®
  • V-Ray® for Autodesk® Softimage®
  • V-Ray® for SketchUp®
  • Phoenix FD™ Autodesk® 3ds Max®
  • Phoenix FD™ for Autodesk® Maya®
  • Pdplayer™

Who knows what the future holds, but you can bet, if our customers want V-Ray in a new place, we are going to meet them there.