“Gravity” in 5 steps



My personal challenge

At the beginning of this project I started a challenge with myself: creating an amazing scene using V-Ray in the simplest way possible.
No complicated settings, just basic materials, VRayLights, Sun, Sky ecc.. with default settings. I only used a linear and simple photographic approach.

This was amazing.. I have won the BEST PRIZE EVER!
My image is a testimonial for V-Ray 3.0 (check here) and it’s also part of the installer:


Therefore, is it possible to create amazing renders using V-Ray in a simple way?
Definitely YES, it’s what I teach with my 5-Step method

Enjoy the post

Ciro Sannino
V-Ray Licensed Instructor / 5SRW



In this breakdown I’ll explore various aspect of this work, following the 5 steps of the 5SRW method to apply photography to V-Ray,
which are: 1) modeling – 2) light balance – 3) materials – 4)  final settings – 5) post production

The Learnvray members could go in depth of various aspect following the links along the page.
If you aren’t a Learnvray member –>SUBSCRIBE NOW


Step 1: Framing & Modeling

A detailed 3d model and a good framing are fundamental to create high impact renders with V-Ray interiors.


I want to share  a couple of tricks with you about how I created the classical frames around the walls and how I got rounded edges without touching any polygon, just using V-Ray! Below you can watch the two videos, which are useful for interior rendering.


To create nice and detailed classical frames I used a nice and free plugin “Sweep Profile“. It allows you to create detailed frames in seconds!


It is really important to have chamfered boxes in order to get realistic reflections.. but is it really necessary to model every edge?! Oh oh… noooo! 🙂 A famous trick is to apply the procedural map VRayEgdeTex in the bump channel, using the color white. Look how the bookcase looks thanks to this simple trick:

Consider that is a fake so, do not “abuse”! 😉
Watch this video to understand how to do the same in your vray interior scenes:

(*) This latest video is part of Problem & Solutions area > http://www.learnvray.com/solutions (for members)



Step 2: Light Balance

After the 3d model, light balance is absolutely the most important step of the entire process: Master the light, master V-Ray! Shutter speed for the V-Ray Physical Camera is set to 50 (which means a fraction of second: 1/50) To be consistent to the reality, and white balance is on “Neutral” because there aren’t strong dominant colors.

To “depict” this scene is I just use a V-Ray Sun (with Sky) and a V-Ray Light for the foreground. The Sun is the strongest light and determines the direction of the shadows: it is the primary light! The V-Ray light in foreground is the secondary light and its role is lighten this room that the sun can’t light enought.

Check these images to understand how lighting works – STUDY THIS LIGHTING TYPE – NOW




How can I decide the power and the right position for the lights?
That’s what I clearly explain in all the lessons dedicated to the Light Balance (interiors & exteriors):


Step 3: Materials

Most of the materials in the scene are really simple. Just 4 are more complex: them I also mapped reflections and glossy.



In our “V-Ray Edicational Library” we have over 50 materials explained in summaries, and also available to the download for our members (textures included)! Do you want to explore these materials using our educational way to easily show how a material is done.

Click on the objects to discover how we arranged them so simply!

Natural_Wood (1) Grey_Resin Chair_Chrome Plexiglass


Full members can access the entire “VRay Educational Material library”.
Every single material is explained and downladable:


What rules do I have to follow in order to create simple and complex materials with V-Ray?
Check out our lessons dedicated to the V-Ray Materials:


Step 4: Final Setting & Dof

It’s time to render. Until this step images usually comes with noise and splotches. It’s due to a test settings: these produce not perfect outcomes but really fast to render. Now, the goal of this step is to get clean images. For this I usually apply these four settings:

  1. Antialiasing: Adaptive DMC (min1 / max40)
  2. Irradiance Map: High
  3. Light Cache 1500 (even 300 if you want)
  4. Noise Threshold: 0,005

90% of cases this works fine for stills and produce really clean images, Chaos Group also indicates these settings in some of its vray interior tutorials 🙂
In case renders for big surfaces apply check > “Reduce time to render for big images” (only for members)

In the movie “Gravity – 3D” often objects pass near the camera, giving a strong depht sensation. The most obvious way to achieve the same feeling is using the deph-of-field (Dof)


Recreating Dof in V-Ray is really very simple if you know photographic concepts, because V-Ray just reproduce exactly the same conditions.
Basically Dof depends on 3 factors:

  • Distance from the object;
  • Focal Lenght;
  • f aperture.

To understand how Dof works, check the LESSON#13  (for members)


Step 5: Post Production

Below you can see the final result after the final render. Many people call this raw render:



It’s time to give it a mood 🙂

No Render Elements was used for post production. To create the “space station” mood I just used a simple and great tool recently added in Photoshop CC: “Camera Raw Filter” (if you are a photographer this should be very familiar to you!).

I strongly turned the image to cold colors, increased the contrast and whites, and finally closed a little bit the darkers. It’s enought to enhance the render, bringing it to the next level.



Finally, adding an human figure in a realistic way could seems very complicated, but also in this case it’s not true if you have the correct approach. You can’t believe how simple it is: just take your shot using the real light in the same way how the light is used in your render!

Original shot: directly light on the legs, diffuse light on chest and head ———–> Final Shot: everything correspond to our lighting (more or less)


Our lessons dedicated to the Final Setting & Post Production (interiors & exteriors):


I hope you liked this breakdown in 5 step, following the method “5-Step Render Workflow”.
Use V-Ray like a DSLR in your hands and get photorealistic results easily 🙂


« We believe that everyone should create amazing images for his projects »

English –> JOIN US NOW






Ciro Sannino
 Official V-Ray Instructor (my ID)