I’m a Vray user for few years now, and I was quite happy by this choice.
I started to use it with the R12, when there were some restrictions with AR at the time (like no depth of field at all). I liked its speed, but it was a challenging rendering engine to master. I never wanted to use Solidrocks to help me out. So I get deeper and deeper into their online help and some tutorials here and there.
Now, new solutions are coming out of the wood. I think Octane is one the best solutions now. But I would need to buy several GTX cards, which I can’t afford. I liked to try HDRI light studio, which is very cool. But I just saw Arnold on a vimeo movie yesterday, and I think it will be the next one for me.
Vray is fine with realism, but there are few things that I deeply miss : no volumetric lights, the multipass isn’t 100% ok for me, the shadow pass is terrible, no live rendering at the moment, and so many parameters to master and tweak… Even after several years, I still don’t know sometimes which parameters I should increase or decrease to enhance my render time or to get less noise…
After having try Keyshot for a while, I have to admit that a live view will save me a lot of time and a lot of tests renders. The other reason of this choice is that Arnold isn’t build with third part programers like Vray, but by SolidAngle, Arnold’s developer. Plus you get volumetric lights, easy shaders, live view. Fine for me
I still have to master the basics of it before starting new productions with it, but I’m quite exciting by this new challenge :)