It’s fair to say that 3DSMax and VRay were always the hand and glove of the Architectural visualization world. In recent years Mental Ray (aka Mental Delay) has really taken the back seat as other renders accelerated around it. From vendors like Solid Angle, Pixar, with renderer’s like Arnold, Renderman 19, Keyshot, Octane and others. Big VFX houses like Weta have their own internal renderer Manuka (named after a prolific N.Z Coastal Bush) and now Animal Logic with their GLIMPSE renderer. I would go as far to suggest Maya is clearly moving to a (renderer) agnostic position, and who knows maybe even Mental Ray won’t even be included in future releases past 2016?
VRay for Maya has been pretty solid since version 2 but the recent release of VRay 3.3 from the Chaos Group makes me think it might become the new go to renderer for Autodesk Maya users. I have always been impressed by Ozone the inbuilt atmosphere simulator. Aerial haze and perspective looks great in render. Overall Vray 3.3 now renders better than before, and faster. They have implemented Open Subdiv 3.0 (thanks in no small part to Pixar for their Open source release). Of note there is a VR camera for Occulus Rift in the 3DS Max version. There is also support of ColourIO.
For a quick overview head over to Chaos Group TV and check this short Video.
VRay has been used as a VFX elements renderer on features and Cut scenes such as the Tron Remake and by a diverse range of film and Games companies such as Iloura, Blur, Method, Digital Domain and more.