V-Ray Caustics Tutorial

Hi, there!

This is the first official post here, so be gentle…

Anyway, I’m posting a quick 10-minute tutorial on how to create good looking caustics using V-Ray without spending hours in calculations.

The whole concept is pretty simple and the final setup should not take long nor stand on one’s way while working on a scene. More after the jump…

First, we have to understand why the heck caustics take so long to calculate (if you want something that looks remotely good). And there’s only one word to explain it: waste. What most people do is to try to generate caustics using the same lights that light the scene, and that causes a huge waste of time. Simply because you don’t need V-Ray to calculate every single photon a light emits. You only need those that actually cause the caustic effect (which are the minority, of course).

Then, what if you could calculate just those photons? What if you could simply forget about all the waste and complicate settings and use your system’s resources to calculate only those few to maximum effect?

Check out the video bellow and see how! (and, please, excuse my English… I really don’t sound as good as I would have hoped…)

PS: Oh, and don’t forget to comment, share, whatever…. If people like this first tutorial, I’ll make a few more!


Rick Eloy

8 thoughts on “V-Ray Caustics Tutorial

  1. can you share the file, as i just want to know the scaling and placing of the objects as they also affect render quality and time.


    1. Actually, there’s nothing special about the scene at all. I don’t even have the file, I just created the tube and sphere. The only important thing is to remember to work in centimeters (display units). Besides that, as in real life, keep in mind that caustics happen more easily in small scenes (a glass of water, for example) than in large scenes.

  2. What a fantastic tip, thank you a lot !
    But I have a problem: with the same scene as yours, shadows aren’t transparent anymore with Caustics turned On !
    It is simple: if I turn off caustics, sphere shadows are transparent, it’s ok. But when I turn caustics On, I have beatifull caustics like yours, but shadows become not transparent !
    Do you know why ?
    Thank you for answering me as I really tried to switch a lot of settings and nothing solved this problem.

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