Vray vs Thea

Skatter used for hedge, leaves and Laubwerk plants.

Vray 3.4
Thea 1.59

Hey guys, I have been trying to figure out Thea Render, and man I love the results. No post on either images, just raw renders. I think Thea’s looking better :smiley: Thoughts?


Out of the box it looks better to me, although with a slightly green cast. But you can achieve the same results by adjusting the image in Vray’s render window. Thea already does this by default but with Vray you have to enable it.

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It’s just much harder to fumble around with Vray’s adjustments - it took me 2 years to learn about them - yet Thea’s were just there…Basically Vray’s learning curve is too steep and my God, the subtleties that Thea has taught me!

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Hey Troy,

Good to see you here!!

This is a classic case of “Dont let your eyeballs fool you”, the only difference between the two images is the tone-mapping curve applied. Thea has a tuned tone mapper built in where as vray assumes you will do your own tonemapping (such as in adobe camera raw assuming you’ve saved your images as 32bit float). As you get into larger scenes and more advanced shaders, vray will outperform thea in every situation and is more stable, it is production proven and bulletproof. I did a quick pass at the vray3.4 render with camera raw. Granted im working with a crap jpeg compressed 8 bit image, you can only imagine what Im able to get if I had the original 32bit image.

when it comes to modern rendering, understanding color space / color science is everything.


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Outperform!!! not sure why you say that. Have you done proper results doing so. Show some tests of this, thea is stable as hell

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Two more images to highlight the diferences. See if you can guess which renderer is which

I’d say Top is Thea? Because of the greenish tones, the strong foliage translucency.

Did you use 2sided materials for the foliage in V-Ray?

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I agree, though Thea v2 has different tone mapping and much better imho.

The glare is probably also Thea’s as with it it’s hard to create bloom effect that looks so unnatural as the one in the bottom image.

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True, the top image is Thea, and IMHO, looks better. There’s no post on either image, aside from glare/bloom application in the Frame Buffers. Both images are rendered from the same skp file, and I tried to be as scientific as possible in the material creation.

The foliage is from Laubwerk, I trust they did their due diligence when creating the shaders on both engines.

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This was done in Thea 1.5, before 2 came out. I will give v2 a try once I acquire the license and post the results here for comparison.

As for the glare/bloom, that’s all on Vray. Maybe it could’ve been tweaked a bit better but still would be some way from Thea’s

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I think it all depends on the artist, for example on V-Ray are you using Irradiance or Brute force? that will make a big difference, Thea render is unbiased rendering, so in V-Ray you will need to use Brute force to do a more even comparison.
Also as mentioned before color mapping is a game-changer. Maybe Thea is more user-friendly because it applies all those effects by default, But the latest V-Ray 5 works great just with defaults.
Laubwerk shaders always need to be adjusted, defaults are OK but you can get so much more if you do some adjustments.