[Maya / Vray] - Rendering out particle dynamics


Hey all,

I’m trying to render out some particles from Maya for a piece that I’m currently doing. I’ve never rendered out particles from Maya/Vray (did a little bit in 3ds max, but nothing serious).

So far, trying to influence particle look/feel from Vray has been a nightmare. I don’t seem to have much control. I’m trying to get the look and feel of the below image (rendered out with Maya Hardware)-

What I did was just rendered out a frame of the particles on black and turned the mode to Add to kill the black and only show the particles. Seemed to work okay. Thing is that this particle guy is running on a treadmill parts are occluded by the treads arms. So here’s my plan so far, let me know what you think-

Render out with vray not including any particles.

Render out matte object mask layers of objects that would be occluding the particle system.

Render out only the particles on black with Maya Hardware 2.0 render engine, at 2x the resolution of the actual render to help with some aliasing so I can fit the particle render to comp size of the actual render.

Mask the particles with the mask layers of objects occluding the particle system.

There has to be better ways? Do you guys have any suggestions? What worries me most are two things… the particles will not reflect or illuminate the treadmill since they are rendered separately. I was thinking of creating a vray light at roughly the same color of the particle system, then rendering that light output on a separate render element to comp in post. The reflections are still lost though.

Any ideas? I’m lost and looking for a direction. Thanks guys.


What are you using to emit the particles from? if it is a mesh, then you can use a vraylightMtl as your light source. As for the particles themselves, if you can use a non hardware based render type, such as a sphere or a mesh, you could apply a vrayfogenvironment as its material and play with that. However, your particles are quite small in the frame so may not be necessary.

Again, im not sure what your emission source is, but further to what i mentioned above, if it is a mesh, you could play around with a separate pass using a vrayfogenvironment material on the mesh source instead, and add your hardware particles over the top.