How to Make 360° Architectural Renders with V-ray

Alex Coulombe
Updates from Vizor
Published in
3 min readOct 30, 2017
In this tutorial we’ll look at going from a 2D render (L) to an equirectangular 360 image (R)

This is the first in a series of tutorials designed to help you use your favorite software and favorite rendering engine to output 360 panoramas. If 3ds Max is your software of choice and V-ray Adv or RT is your rendering engine of choice, this is the tutorial for you. Other 360 tutorials for other rendering engines will be posted in the coming weeks.

Welcome! In this tutorial we’re going to help you take a scene you’ve already set up for V-ray rendering, make a few adjustments, and render out a 360 equirectangular image viewable in 360 and VR. We’ll finish by uploading the image to and viewing it in a VR headset.

Check out the finished project in Vizor 360 below to get an idea of how it looks.

Finished project here

Setting up V-ray

First, create or select a camera in the scene. Note that the camera may be a standard 3ds Max camera or a V-ray physical camera. This camera will be serving as the center point of a 360 render. If you’re using a different camera from the one you created a typical V-ray render with, you will want to ensure your camera has the same settings for color balance, f-stop, ISO, and shutter speed. Your lens and FOV settings will not matter.

Next, set your camera to an average human height if it is not already. Because of the sense of presence afforded by virtual reality, it can be jarring for someone to feel too short or too tall. But what height to pick? Well, anyone who is tall was once short, but anyone who is short has never been tall.
1.6m or 5’-3” is a good default if you plan on showing your panorama to
many people.

You will need to rotate your camera to point North, or some direction that you can be consistent with if you create multiple panoramas and need to align their view. Camera rotation won’t affect the content of the render, only how it will be laid out.

(L) Camera direction settings, (M) Output settings and (R) Camera settings

Next, let’s change some render settings. Press F10 on your keyboard to bring up Render Setup. Change the Output Size to 4096x2048 (or any reasonable 2:1 ratio) and pick a place to save it. Under the V-Ray tab, choose camera, then set type to spherical panorama, check override FOV and set to 360
and finally set vertical FOV to180.

That’s it! Now press Render, and you should see two images being rendered, one on top of the other.

To share your image on the web or create a virtual tour, use the Vizor 360 editor, which will allow you to link scenes, annotate your images and more.

This article was brought to you by Vizor — the most accessible WebVR solution for all devices. Our VR tools are intuitive and easy-to-use, so you can create beautiful WebVR experiences to delight and engage your audience.



Alex Coulombe
Updates from Vizor

Creative Director of Agile Lens: Immersive Design, pioneering new VR/AR content in the architecture and theatre industries. #AliveInPlasticland #XRDad