Nvidia’s Iray physically-based rendering technology is being offered to Maya and 3ds Max users for this first time

The plug-ins allow you to see – and interact with – highly accurate versions of your scenes in application's viewports, as well as render final output. The plug-ins tap into the company's graphics cards to deliver a very high-level of performance – both Nvidia Quadro boards on your computer or the company's Quadro VCA boxes that live on your network.

Available until now only in CAD applications, Iray will be available in Nvidia’s new online store. The first release is a plug-in for Autodesk 3ds Max, soon to be joined by plug-ins for Maya.

The plug-in for Maya will allow extremely interactive and intuitive scene lighting and design throughout the entire look-development process using native Maya controls. Nvidia said artists can access unlimited material options using integrated material nodes, and even add your own material definitions and procedural functions using Nvidia's Material Definition Language (MDL). 

Other benefits include rapid depth of field adjustment, accurate motion blur, physical sun and sky system and no slowdown from adding additional light sources.

The plug-ins support the company's distributed rendering solution, Iray Server, which begins open Beta today.

Iray accurately predicts the final results of a design, so designers can reduce the number of prototypes and iterate with photorealistic interactivity. Nvidia said this allows artists to explore variations in full realism while in the design or review process.

Also available is the first edition of vMaterials, a free set of MDL materials and lights.  Verified for accuracy, control and consistency, the set offers a way to add materials to your application without writing shaders.