Top 5 Best 3ds Max Render Engines in 2024

March 23, 2024
March 23, 2024 Chip Render

3ds Max is a professional 3D software developed by Autodesk. It has become popular with powerful features and toolsets that help create beautiful 3D graphics. Additionally, its flexibility and compatibility with various tools and rendering engines give 3ds Max global coverage. In this blog, Chip Render will introduce you to the top 5 best 3ds Max render engines in 2024 and how they affect the rendering process.

Brief Introduction of 3ds Max

3ds Max is a powerful 3D modeling, animation, rendering, and visualization software launched by Autodesk in 1996. Artists use this software to create high-quality 3D graphics in the architecture, engineering, and entertainment industries. This software is famous for its powerful modeling tools, animation features, realistic rendering capabilities, and compatibility with many third-party render engines. Thus, it is a popular choice for creating complex 3D models, engaging animations, and vibrant images.

With impressive features, it is favored by professionals such as architects, interior designers, product designers, and game developers. Many visual effects artists, animators, and advertising agencies also use 3ds Max to turn their creative vision into reality.

Top 5 Best 3ds Max Render Engines in 2024

Autodesk 3ds Max is compatible with many different rendering engines on the market. Below, we will look at the 5 best 3ds Max rendering engines having powerful feature sets to enhance your 3ds max renders.

1. V-Ray – Best 3ds Max render engines

V-Ray is one of the most popular rendering engines for 3ds Max. As a pioneering path-tracing tool, it has integrated with 3ds Max since the early days. V-Ray is famous for CPU-accelerated rendering but now it also supports GPU rendering that produces highly realistic visual results. Moreover, this tool offers many features such as realistic lighting, global illumination, and physically accurate materials, which contribute to realistic rendering. Additionally, lighting/hair, and shader as well as dispersion/proxy tools also speed up the rendering process. Nowadays, V-Ray has become the preferred choice of many experts in the architecture and 3D visualization industry.

However, to unlock all of V-Ray’s impressive features, you need to pay over $700 per year for a V-Ray Premium license. This can be an obstacle for individuals or small to medium studios. Besides, there are other tools with similar features but at competitive prices. As a result, it requires V-Ray to innovate or change the price structure to make it more accessible to 3D artists.

best 3ds max render engines V-Ray

V-Ray for 3ds Max image via

2. Arnold Renderer – Best 3ds Max render engines

Arnold is an advanced rendering engine integrated with 3ds Max. Initially created by Solid Angle and Sony, Arnold was later acquired by Autodesk. It provides high-quality rendering capabilities for a variety of 3D projects, with a focus on visual effects and film production. Some famous 3D blockbusters with Arnold’s participation are Blade Runner 2049, Adventurers, Game of Thrones, etc. Moreover, Arnold is a pipelined Monte-Carlo renderer that can create realistic scenes but artists don’t need to edit too much. This element is effective in helping Arnold be widely used in many studios.

Surprisingly, Arnold brings impressive ease of use despite being a high-level renderer. However, there is also a limitation. This tool focuses on high-end film and TV production, so it has left out certain optimization settings. Therefore, artists need more effort to achieve the desired results rather than Redshift or Corona.

On the other hand, Arnold’s unbiased algorithm makes the renderings more realistic, but at the same time, it makes the rendering speed a bit slower. Thus, it’s a potential concern for freelancers or small studios with budget and time constraints.

best 3ds max render engines Arnold

Arnold Renderer for 3ds Max image via

3. Octane Render – Best 3ds Max render engines

First launched by OTOY in 2010, Octane Render, was introduced as the first commercial unbiased GPU render engine. It is a GPU-accelerated, physically-based rendering engine that works seamlessly with 3ds Max. This engine maximizes GPU’s immense power to deliver high-quality rendering at fast speeds making Octane a popular choice for artists involved in architectural visualization, animation, and product design. Additionally, Octane offers various features like spectral rendering, lighting, cameras, materials, and more.

Octane Render stands out with its real-time rendering capabilities, allowing artists to track scene changes instantly. Users can create complex materials easily thanks to the ability to work on toolbar buttons. However, working on these buttons can be difficult for those who are not familiar. Also, users need to learn how to use Octane’s advanced features. Furthermore, Octane also relies mainly on GPU rendering power, which can be a limitation for users who don’t have powerful GPU systems.

best 3ds max render engines Octane

Octane Render for 3ds Max image via

4. Redshift – Best 3ds Max render engines

Redshift is also a powerful 3ds Max rendering engine, known for its impressive GPU-accelerated rendering capabilities. It was developed by Redshift Rendering Technologies until Maxon (founder of Cinema 4D) acquired it in 2019. It was introduced as the world’s first fully GPU-accelerated rendering engine. Indeed, Redshift has quickly become one of the most popular 3ds Max renderers. Its strengths are speed and flexibility making it a good choice for advertising, product rendering, and motion graphics.

The rendering engine delivers high-quality results with realistic lighting and shadows. In particular, Redshift’s ability to display prompt responses helps 3D artists track changes in color or light in rendered images. Also, this renderer allows users to build complex materials simply thanks to the PBR shading system. However, the system is button-based, which can be confusing for those who are incompetent.

As a biased renderer, achieving maximum realism in Redshift is more difficult. Users can still create realistic scenes, but it will take more time and effort. In addition, Redshift required a steep learning curve to take full advantage of it. Moreover, Redshift’s performance depends on GPU power, so it requires a significant system investment. 

best 3ds max render engines Redshift

Redshift for 3ds Max image via

5. Corona Renderer – Best 3ds Max render engines

Corona Renderer is one of the best rendering engines for 3ds Max. Developed by Chaos Team (also V-Ray founders), Corona stands out for its ease of use, intuitive interface, and quick setup. It focuses on the architectural visualization niche and brings users a render engine with a competitive price (about $493 annually for Corona Premium). In fact, artists like Corona because of the ability to create high-quality photorealistic renderings. Corona’s emphasis is on user-friendly workflow and efficient rendering. But this render engine still excels in handling complex lighting situations and creating natural-looking scenes.

With a friendly and easy-to-use interface, users can use it easily without spending much time adapting. However, this is also the reason why Corona is less flexible. It lacks advanced features, so if you’re using V-Ray and switching to Corona, you might be disappointed. Another drawback you should consider is that Corona uses 100% CPU power, if you want a rendering engine with strong GPU power, this is not a good choice.

best 3ds max render engines Corona

Corona for 3ds Max image via


Ultimately, the “best” render engine depends on your specific needs, preferences, and the demands of your projects. You should consider factors such as rendering speed, quality, ease of use, compatibility with other software, and budget when choosing a render engine for your 3ds Max projects.

You should choose V-Ray if your project requires realistic rendering and many in-depth features. Besides, Arnold is a great choice if your project contains many complex scenes and requires high-quality rendering. Meanwhile, Redshift will help speed up your rendering process significantly. Octane Render with its GPU-based rendering is perfect for realistic product design and motion graphics. Finally, if you are a beginner and want an easy-to-use renderer with fully CPU-accelerated rendering then choose Corona Renderer.

In conclusion, each 3ds Max rendering engine stands out with its own unique features. But they all help your project rendering process achieve higher quality and efficiency.

Chip Blog logoChip Render Farm supports 3ds Max Rendering with its integrated Arnold Renderer and other render engines such as V-Ray, Redshift, OctaneRender, Corona Renderer, and more. Join Chip Render now and cut your render times several times with just a small investment from $2.9. With Chip Render, you have your own Cloud Workstation and leverage 1/2/4 x GPU RTX 3090 servers for rendering 3ds Max projects.

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