An optimization feature found in most production renderers today is the ability to create Proxies. A proxy signifies anything that can be used to represent or stand in for the original. By that same definition a proxy in 3ds Max is a low poly replica created by VRay.
The proxy feature has been a part of VRay for quite some time now, and more options have been added since its inclusion.
There are a lot of benefits to using the VRayProxy feature and we’ll discuss them one by one.
- Viewport Performance – By using VRay proxies instead of the original mesh, we are basically reducing the workload for the viewport. When working with large scenes, we don’t really need the complete mesh for the objects we’ve finished editing. So we can replace them with lighter proxies. The proxies themselves retain the overall shape of the original, and thus are still recognizable.
- RAM Usage – Memory management is an important aspect while working on a large project. Running out of memory at any point will bring the project to a halt. That is why it is essential to always keep about 20% RAM headroom for your entire system. VRayProxy helps in keeping the memory footprint under check while working and rendering.
- Render Faster – With the help of VRayProxy you can render even hundreds and thousands of duplicates of your object. All of this will also render faster than by just using Instances. Since it is created by VRay itself, it offers the greatest compatibility and performance while rendering.
The common principle behind Instances and Proxies is memory management. As long as the mesh doesn’t change, it only needs to be loaded into the memory once. And by creating a VRayProxy you can load that same proxies in any project from the very start. Creating instances of these proxies will thus give you the best performance.
Creating A VRayProxy Mesh
You’ll need to keep in mind one point before creating a proxy. Your object must be a single mesh. VRay cannot convert groups into a proxy. So you’ll have to open any groups, select the base mesh and use ‘Attach List’ to create one mesh.
With that in mind, now you just need to right-click over the object and select ‘V-Ray mesh export’ from the Quad Menu. This will open up the export dialog.
You’ll need to enter the destination and the file name for the exported mesh. Try to keep the proxies in a folder linked to your project. You also want to check the ‘Automatically create proxies’ option. This will replace your original with the proxy in the viewport.
VRay also supports animation export along with the mesh. Other options include setting the preview type and the amount of polys in the proxy. The Face Skipping type has the most performance and creates an almost see-through version. Refined Clustering retains the maximum features of the original mesh.
A proxy therefore works just like a polygon optimized XRef scene. The proxy looks exactly like the original when rendered, but can’t be edited by 3ds Max. So be sure to take advantage of this awesome feature in your projects. Subscribe to this blog for more updates and tutorials. See you till then.