How to convert V-Ray materials to Arnold-compatible materials in 3ds Max.


Currently, the 3ds Max 2017-2020 Scene Convert feature does not include a preset to convert V-Ray materials to Arnold-compatible materials, such as the Physical or Standard Surface material types.

For maximum compatibility with multiple renderers, V-Ray materials should be converted to the 3ds Max Physical Material type. Although the Arnold Standard Surface material can be rendered only with Arnold, Physical Materials can be rendered with the following 3ds Max render engines:

  • Scanline
  • Autodesk Raytracer (ART)
  • Arnold
  • Nvidia mental ray (3ds Max 2018 and earlier)
  • V-Ray

Converting Materials Manually

V-Ray materials can be converted to Arnold-compatible materials manually by:

  1. Creating new Physical Materials in the 3ds Max Material Editor with the same names as the existing V-Ray materials to be reproduced.
  2. Duplicating or approximating the V-Ray material settings (Glossiness, Metalness and so on) in the appropriate Physical Material slots. (Using existing Physical Materials presets, such as Satin Wood, Metals and so on can speed up this process.)
  3. Copying the relevant map files from the V-Ray material slots (Diffuse Color, etc.) to the corresponding slots in the Physical Materials.
  4. Applying the new materials to the appropriate objects in the scene.
  5. Checking Legacy 3ds Max Map support in the Rendering > Render Setup > Arnold > Systemmenu.
Arnold Render Setup
Render Setup: Arnold

Converting Materials Automatically

The 3rd-party Universal Material Converterr can convert VRay materials to the Autodesk Physical material type, which can then be rendered in Arnold. (For best results, use the V-Ray to ART preset in this plug-in.)

Final Rendering

Before rendering with Arnold, other V-Ray-specific elements, such as lights, may need to be replaced with Arnold-specific versions and their settings adjusted to match the original look established with V-Ray.


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