6 best render engines for 3ds Max

Today in this article, we will introduce the 6 best render engines for 3ds Max. Let’s get started to explore!

3ds Max is a professional 3D computer graphics program developed by Autodesk, one of the most popular 3d software. It is widely used in various industries, including architecture, design, film, television, and video game development, for creating 3D models, animations, and visual effects.

First released in April 1996 by 3D studio Max, over time, 3ds Max gradually became an indispensable tool in the workflow for many global artists, small or big studios. With time, 3ds Max has become an industry-standard in many sectors, and professionals are often trained in its use. This widespread adoption means that users can easily collaborate and share files with others who are likely to be using the same software.

6 best render engines for 3ds Max

3ds Max includes powerful rendering capabilities and it supports various rendering engines. So what is the best render engine for 3ds Max? Let’s explain in this article with VFXRendering.

The criteria when choosing the best render engines for 3ds Max

There are many factors to consider when determining the best render engine for 3ds Max. However, VFXRendering has distilled the most crucial factors – those that you need to consider first before making a decision.

  • Rendering Quality: Does the rendering quality meet your needs?
  • Speed and Efficiency: Efficiency is crucial, and the rendering engine should provide fast render times without sacrificing quality. Besides that, you should consider efficient use of system resources, including CPU and GPU, to maximize rendering speed.
  • Real-time rendering: Real-time or interactive rendering capabilities for quick previews and iterative adjustments.
  • Pricing
  • Easy to use

Now, let’s explore 6 best render engines for 3ds Max and explore based on the above conditions!

What is the best render engine for 3ds Max?


V-Ray is a powerful rendering engine developed by Chaos Group. V-Ray has been compatible with 3ds Max from its inception, continually incorporating additional features since its debut in 1997. It is a popular and widely used rendering solution within the 3D graphics and visualization industries, specifically designed for integration with Autodesk 3ds Max. V-Ray provides advanced rendering capabilities, allowing users to create high-quality and realistic visualizations of 3D scenes.

Arguably, V-Ray’s most notable strength lies in its extensive array of features. V-Ray encompasses essential functionalities such as GPU and cloud rendering, global illumination, and one of the most advanced material engines available. It also embraces cutting-edge technologies like in-engine denoising, procedural lighting, hair, and shaders, as well as scatter and proxy tools, contributing to accelerated rendering processes.

This render engine is known for its balance between rendering quality and efficiency, making it a preferred choice for many 3ds Max users in industries such as architecture, design, and visual effects.

VFXrendering - Best render engines for 3ds Max - V-Ray

The price of V-Ray for 3ds Max is from €34,9 per month (billed yearly) and from €69.9 per month (billed monthly).


Redshift is a GPU-accelerated rendering engine that integrates with various 3D modeling and animation software, including Autodesk 3ds Max. Redshift is known for its speed and efficiency in rendering, utilizing the power of graphics processing units (GPUs) to deliver quick and high-quality results.

Redshift primarily relies on GPU rendering, allowing for faster rendering times compared to traditional CPU-based rendering engines. This is especially beneficial for handling complex scenes and achieving quick preview renders. This render engine supports procedural textures and shaders, providing artists with a high degree of control over material creation and allowing for the creation of complex and detailed surfaces.

One of the disadvantages of Redshift is that achieving maximum realism might be less straightforward than unbiased renderers like Arnold or Octane. This reflects the inherent trade-off between biased and unbiased rendering approaches. While realistic scenes can be crafted with Redshift, they may require more time and effort. On the flip side, Redshift excels in speed and flexibility, making it well-suited for applications such as commercials, product rendering, and motion graphics.

VFXrendering - Best render engines for 3ds Max - Redshift

The price of Redshift for 3ds Max is € 274.29 (billed annually)

Octane Renderer

Octane is the first unbiased rendering engine. Developed by OTOY, Octane Renderer leverages the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) to accelerate rendering processes, enabling quick and high-quality visualizations. Octane is known for its speed, efficiency, and advanced features. This renderer is one of the fastest rendering engines around.

Octane employs advanced rendering techniques such as path tracing and spectral rendering to produce realistic lighting, reflections, and refractions in 3D scenes. In addition, it provides real-time rendering capabilities, allowing artists to make immediate adjustments and see the results in the viewport without the need for time-consuming preview renders. The rendering engine includes AI-based denoising algorithms, helping to reduce noise in rendered images and enhance overall image quality.

If you are interested in speed, quality, and realistic rendering, Octane Renderer is one the best options you should consider.

VFXrendering - Best render engines for 3ds Max - Octane render

The price of Octane Renderer is from €19.99 per month (billed annually).


Autodesk Arnold is one of the best rendering engines for visual effects and film production with a series of films that resonate around such as Avengers and Blade Runner 2049. It was developed by Autodesk and became a natural choice for 3ds Max users.

Arnold is a path-traced Monte-Carlo renderer, capable of producing remarkably realistic scenes with minimal adjustments required from the artist. The adoption of Arnold by studios is notably attributed to the exceptional realism achieved through its rendering algorithms.

When you compare this software with Octane or Redshift, Arnold will be somewhat slower. This might not be an issue for high-end studios, but for freelancers and small studios considering costs, rendering speed can make a big difference. So unless your projects require top-notch realism, Arnold may be overkill.

VFXrendering - Best render engines for 3ds Max - Arnold

The price of Arnold is from $33.33 per month (billed annually).

D5 Render

D5 Render is a real-time rendering tool compatible with 3ds Max to offer a free workflow. It’s known as a standalone application that can be used in conjunction with various 3D modeling software including 3ds Max. Use the D5 Sync plugin for one-click model import from 3ds Max to D5.

D5 Render is known for a real-time rendering experience, allowing users to see immediate feedback as they make changes to their 3D scenes. This real-time interactivity enhances the design and visualization workflow.

In addition, D5 provides an extensive and continuously updated library of assets, featuring over 7,000 high-quality items. Ranging from ceramics and fabrics to wall plates, users have a diverse array of materials at their disposal, with the flexibility to modify and tailor them to various lighting conditions, yielding precise and distinctive results.

VFXrendering - Best render engines for 3ds Max - D5 Render

The price of D5 Render is free for beginners and individuals. From $30 per month (billed yearly).

Corona Renderer

In the last of the list best render engine for 3ds Max is Corona Renderer. This software was developed by Render Legion in 2009. In 2017, Chaos Group acquired Render Legion, later rebranding the company to Chaos Czech. Chaos Corona is commonly used for architectural visualization. It seamlessly integrates with Autodesk 3ds Max, providing a robust solution for architects, designers, and visual artists to create stunning 3D visualizations.

Corona uses a progressive rendering approach, providing a continuous refinement of the image over time. Users can stop the rendering process at any point to obtain a satisfactory result. Known for its unbiased rendering algorithms, Corona aims to simulate real-world lighting conditions, delivering accurate and realistic results in terms of lighting, reflections, and refractions.

One of the disadvantages of Corona is lacks the wide features of its competitors. Transitioning from V-Ray to Corona might pose a challenge for those accustomed to V-Ray’s capabilities. Nevertheless, the simplicity of Corona comes with its own merits. Notably, it is considerably more user-friendly from the get-go and requires less time for adjustments and fine-tuning.

VFXrendering - Best render engines for 3ds Max - Corona Render

The price of Corona Renderer is from €26.9 per month (billed yearly) or from €48.9 per month (billed monthly).


When choosing the best render engine for 3ds Max, there are so many things you should consider. The speed of the render engine is often proposed as a top consideration, besides, the choice also depends on the project size, workflow, and budget.

So, do not have the best render engines for 3ds Max, just have the suitable render engine for your 3ds Max workflow, budget, and demand. According to our experience, you can try and make the right choices.

See more: How to render faster in 3ds Max

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