NVIDIA Iray has a substantial feature set in order to support various use cases from design to film visual effects.   Though physically based rendering is always at the foundation of Iray, the freedom to modify the image through compositing elements is of key importance for future development of our feature set. Any integration of Iray in one application therefore behave very differently than in another - the rendering experience is crafted by the integrator and the application.




NEW DecalsDecals are a new scene database element that allows you to place items, such as stickers and labels, on objects in the scene.Simulation of label and sticker scene elements 
NEW Measured MaterialsMDL supports measured materials for measurements of light and surface interaction.Design with real world and predictable materials
NEW Object IDRender element so light interactions on a per object basis are possibleComplete creative control for relighting objects in post production
NEW Path Space Filtering Noise reduction for Iray Interactive rendering modeNoiseless navigation for purely interactive design review sessions
NEW Indirect Light ModeIray Interactive supports indirect light bouncesSimulates indirect light interactively
NEW Iray RealtimeAn OpenGL based rendering mode using MDL materialsInteractive rendering speeds for large displays
NEW Bloom FilterIray Photoreal includes a built-in filter to roughly approximate a bloom/glare effect Subtle bloom and glare effects like adding slight halos to emissive objects are possible
NEW Enhanced Environment ControlRotate the environment dome with interactive lighting updatesFull control over your HDR and environment within your scene
Iray InteractiveAn rendering mode for fast and interactive rendering on a single GPU.Fast interaction with the scene with a minimum of disturbing rendering artifacts

Fully configurable blending
This enables blending between and even within render modes with different speed/quality parametersNoise free and interactive rendering for pre-lighting and interaction with blending into photoreal rendering
MDL support Support of NVIDIA Material Definition Language in all render modesA very elegant way to have the same look in all render modes, from Iray Interactive to Iray Photoreal by defining the materials in MDL

Caustics sampler

Rendering algorithms which can simulate very complex light paths, such as those which create caustics.

Sharp caustics as well as subtle details in the indirect lighting contribute tremendously to the photorealism of a rendered image

new scheduler

A complete new scheduler has been integrated to speed up rendering performance againPerformance gain in mixed mode

Architectural sampler

A new sampler using Metropolis light transport techniquesEspecially indoor scenes  will converge much faster.

SSAO shadows for Iray Interactive

Iray Interactive now offers faster ways to calculate shadowsHuge performance gain for interactive rendering with noise free shadowing 

Light path expressions

Separation of different types of light paths into different frame buffers

Allows different types of light contribution (e.g. specular, diffuse, indirect) to be manipulated independently in post.

Render buffer support

Support for the output of buffers which store various image information:

  • result

  • diffuse

  • specular

  • glossy

  • emission

  • alpha

  • depth

  • normal

  • texture_coordinates

  • material_id

  • object_id

  • irradiance

Provides more flexibility to manipulate the rendered image in post.

Matte objects

Matte objects can be defined as stand-ins for elements of the environment or backplate.

Enables the renderer to simulate interactions between synthetic objects and elements of the environment and backplate.

Light update for multiple section planesupdate the lighting on object slicesThis offers the choice between a light update or not for sliced objects,

Common database

Shared data for all renderer modes

Integrate once and run the suitable render mode in your application

Physical sun & sky system

Interactive sun & sky system based on physical models

A simple way to add realistic daylight to exterior and interior scenes. Allows interactive light studies dependent on the time of day, orientation, and location of the illumination on a scene

Image based lighting

Linear, high-dynamic-range images participate in lighting the scene.

Simple lighting setup based on real-world environment captures.

Conventional light types

Support for conventional light types, with physically-plausible approximation for:

  • point light

  • spot light

  • directional light

While area lights produce a more realistic result, conventional light types can still be used to map lighting situations delivered by the DCC application

Global Illumination

Full global simulation of direct and indirect lighting

Easy to accomplish photo-real and natural-looking images

Light profiles

Support of manufacturer-provided photometric data, such as .ies files.

Realistic lighting based on measured data.

Area lights

Define 2D surfaces or arbitrary 3D objects that contribute to the lighting of the scene

Realistic, physically-based lighting model which produces desirable effects, such as soft shadows; simple and natural to setup.

Tone mapping

Several built-in exposure control algorithms, including photographic.

Efficient, internally optimized tone mapping, which can be adjusted interactively without re-starting the render.


Efficient implementation of depth-of-field, optimized for each rendering mode.

Depth-of-field is crucial in mimicking the behavior of a real-world camera.

Motion blur

Simulation of the blur caused by objects moving while the camera shutter is open.

Provides an idea of motion in still images, and of fluidity in rendered animations.


Select an image as background image

While a spherical HDR image is used to illuminate the scene, a different (high quality) photograph can be used as the rendered image’s background.

Subsurface scattering

Simulation of material interactions that occur below the surface.

Sub-surface scattering is essential to realistically rendering certain types of material, such as wax, marble, and translucent plastics

Dome and ground plane

The environment map will be projected automatically onto a procedural dome and ground plane.

  • sphere

  • infinite sphere

  • half dome

Display the HDRI image as part of the environment with the flexibility to move the camera and change the point of view

Light portals

User-provided hints for the location of windows and openings

Optimize render time of interior scenes by defining the entry points for environment lighting.






Modern C++ object oriented, component- based and extensible API

Allows full control over all aspects of configuration, scene graph management and rendering

Easy plugin architecture

Allows programmers to extend the neuray system using the C++ API

Offers a very comfortable way to add plug-ins in order to extend existing functionality e.g. adding new image formats

Multiple image formats

Support for the most commonly used image formats for input and output

Simply use the most common image file formats without explicit conversion. Extensible via plugins





Self-forming clusters

Data is stored in a distributed system, which can be scaled to a high number of nodes.

High fault tolerance within the  cluster

Master-less architecture

All nodes can function as master  nodes

High fault tolerance within the  cluster

Distributed database

NVIDIA Iray has a built-in distributed database that transparently handles the data distribution to all nodes in a cluster.

High fault tolerance within the  cluster

Automatic load balancing

Built-in scheduling algorithms are available for automatic load balancing

Balance the workload across all available computing resources in a cluster.

Support for multi-user operation

Support of multiple simultaneous operations, so that mixed long- and short-running operations can occur on the same cluster.

This offers the ability to make the rendering output accessible to multiple users and establish collaboration workflows

Node manager

API functions to discover and add additional render nodes in the network

Quickly form a render cluster, based on different criteria

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