VRay cloud rendering

I currently design in Sketchup and render using twilight. I’m looking to switch to VRay rendering and am also looking into increasing my computer power, I currently use a Mac. My designs end up being huge because I’m a garden designer and all the plants use a million polygons.

If I use cloud rendering, do I still need to increase my computer power? Can I cloud render in VRay from a mac?

The only reason I’m looking to build up my computer is because of rendering but if cloud rendering is the answer to my prayers I’d be very happy!

Tia, Lizzi

Hi @ehlsharp. If you decide to use V-Ray cloud services, you do not need a powerful machine (ie CPU). Read more about cloud rendering here..

I don’t know what your current Mac machine is or your current render speeds but speaking for myself, I do a lot of test renderings throughout the process and I too work with large/complex landscape models so a faster machine could help with building and managing your model as well. You could run the Benchmark test to see where you stand compared to others.

Also, keep in mind that V-Ray 5 includes Chaos Cosmos, their asset library, which includes many high-quality plants that are placed in your model as low-poly proxy meshes, which should help reduce the demand on your machine. See example where this winter tree contains only about 6k polygons and renders beautifully and fast:

Lastly, be sure to check out our course on V-Ray for SkechUp over at SketchUp Campus.

I don’t know what to compare it to. Is there a list of some example setups?

Yes. Once you run the benchmark you should be able to see your score on a list (requires login to your Chaos account). Keep in mind you may want to filter the list to check against comparable setups. For example, the top on the list shows 256 cores. Um yeah that’s not my set up. Adding an iMac filter narrows it down significantly.


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Doh! All I had to do was hit the button at the bottom of the page.

Quite useful actually. I’ve looked at the possibility of getting an old new stock trash can Mac Pro for around $2k±, and compared to my old 2014 MBP it would be only a 1.5~2x speed improvement. M1 machines did seem to have a bit more speed, and it’s not optimized for that chip yet as I understand it.

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Thank you so much for all the advice, this is absolutely brilliant advice as always! I’ll look into upping my storage, ram etc and in the meantime give cloud rendering a go. You raised a very valid point about doing small renders on the go which is really important.

Out of interest, can you run VRay on a Mac? (not on the cloud but actually on the computer)
I can’t find any clear answer from googling, some say yes, some say no.

If not I’m looking into getting bootcamp so that I can run windows on my mac.

Thanks again for the advice.

I run VRay on mac all the time, a 2017 Macbook Pro to be specific…

You’re welcome. Yes V-Ray is Mac compatible. If you see it offered in our Studio bundle, they advertise it as Windows only not because of V-Ray but because of Scan Essentials. When you go to download the installer, if you don’t see the one you want, you can click to view older installs as well as other operating systems.


Yes, I just got a V-Ray license in December and recently finished the SketchUp Campus tutorial that @eric-s mentioned. (I posted examples here.)

As I understand it, the problem on Mac is that Apple had a falling out with NVIDIA, so you can’t use GPU (graphics card) rendering as an option and have to use CPU rendering for everything. People on Windows can build a hot rod machine with the latest graphics cards for better speed, and a Windows emulator on Mac is no substitute for that - it’s literally about the hardware. So, yes, it runs on Mac, but Windows machines can be faster if you buy the right hardware.

Aha! Thanks for clearing that up, that’s interesting. So do you think that it’s an option to stick to twilight for “mini renders” throughout the project whilst designing and then use VRay cloud rendering to render the final presentation for clients? Or would you still recommend VRay for those small renders because VRay is quicker? Maybe I just answered my own question!! I really need that speed :joy:

I’m a beginner myself, but so far, I’d say do it all in V-Ray from the start. The key feature is probably the interactive render option. You can tweak a setting and in a few seconds (real time, but not exactly instantaneous) you can see the results in a small preview window while you work.

BTW, I’ve been using SU Podium for some years prior to this, so I’m in a similar situation.