Rendering Guru Jeff Patton gives us a comprehensive look at on why you should consider your rendering options using iRay, especially for those who specialize in product visualization. Complete with comparative materials, rendering settings and time output.
"I’ve been getting peppered with emails, PM’s, facebook messages, smoke signals, you name it about why I’d use iray and/or why anyone else should. Well, it’s just another digital tool in our ever growing software toolbox. While I was eating supper tonight I prepared a few examples showing what I feel are benefits to iray. Read on for more…
Why have I started using iray so much lately? Well, for me and the projects that I’ve been working on lately it’s been pretty useful and can provide some great results. Yes, there are some restrictions/limitations to deal with but IMHO it’s quite useable for the product-vis and to some degree the architectural-vis communities. I hesitate on the architectural-vis side of things because typically architectural interiors can be quite time consuming to render with path-tracer type applications.
This holds especially true on interiors illuminated by a few small light sources or small windows. You’d have to give iray a lot of fast hardware at a scenario like that in order to achieve decent render times. Architectural exteriors are usually pretty good with path-tracer type applications. You get more light/bounced light in areas in a more efficient/faster manner than on an interior.
Character renders will be difficult with iray since currently there isn’t support for a Sub-Surface-Scattering material. So if you’re a character person, you will not be as pleased with iray. Likewise VFX artists will not find it very helpful as it lacks volumetric support at least at this time as well as the general inability to “cheat” things as you can with other rendering applications."