Chaos Group ( has announced the beta program for V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max — a lighting, shading and rendering toolkit. Beta testers will have direct access to the Chaos Group team.

According to the folks at Chaos Group, calculations are running up to five times faster in V-Ray 3. Also debuting is a new simplified user interface design that provides quick access to common controls and settings. Also new is Progressive Production Rendering, an one-click action that allows artists to set up a scene in seconds and iterate quickly, even when using V-Ray’s omplex features.

Over the beta period, Chaos Group will roll-out a new XML, cross-application material format called VRmats that can be universally transferred across multiple V-Ray host applications, says Vladimir Koylazov, Chaos Group co-founder and lead developer of V-Ray.

In V-Ray 3.0 the user license and render nodes are licensed separately. This allows for unified licensing across applications and reduces the cost for individual user licenses. The new price of V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max User license + 1 V-Ray 3.0 Render Node is US$1,050. Single V-Ray Render Nodes 3.0 cost $350.

Customers upgrading from V-Ray 1.5 and V-Ray 2.0 will have several options. V-Ray 1.5 upgrades start at $980, while V-Ray 2.0 upgrades start at $42. Users who purchased V-Ray 2.0 for 3ds Max between Aug. 4, 2013, and the V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max official release date will be eligible for a free upgrade.