Linear Workflow In Vray For 3dsmax Cheatsheet
By Neil Blevins
Created On: Aug 29th 2013
Updated On: Apr 20th 2014

There have been other good tutorials written on this subject by others, like for instance the one by Wouter Wynen which discusses the why's of a Linear Workflow, or this one by Alfa Smyrna, so I won't bother copying that here. This is a cheatsheet, so if you need a page to quickly refer to to set up a scene for Linear Workflow in Vray, here it is. I'm using Vray 2.40 and 3dsmax 2014 for this tutorial, although much of it is the same in slightly older versions of max.

Note: If you're starting a scene from scratch in max 2014 and vray, all of the settings below are correct by default. So you're already running a linear workflow without the need to change anything. But this page is useful if you want to confirm you are indeed running linear, or if you want to convert an old scene to linear workflow.

1) In Max, go to Customize -> Preferences -> Gamma and LUT

2) Anytime you load a bitmap (for example, an 8bit image you painted in photoshop) into a map inside max, make sure to visit the "Gamma" section and set it to 2.2. If your bitmap doesn't need gamma correction, like it's an hdr image, set it to 1.0. If you have an existing max file, go to all bitmaps in your materials and click the "Setup" button to access the gamma control.

If you don't want to set the values manually, feel free to try "Automatic (Recommended)", in Automatic mode, any image that contains a gamma will use that gamma value, otherwise, if the image has no gamma specified, it will default to using gamma 2.2 for 8 bit images and gamma 1.0 for floating point images. Thanks to Josh Purple for confirming that.

3) In the Vray Dialog inside the render dialog, make sure under Color Mapping that Gamma 2.2 is set.

4) In the Vray Frame buffer, make sure "Display colors in sRGB space".

5) When saving your image, set it to a Gamma of 2.2 if you want to bake in the gamma correction, or set it to 1.0 if you plan on doing compositing in Linear Space.

And that's it!

This site is ©2013 by Neil Blevins, All rights are reserved.
Back to