Hello all, I’d like to share my experience of comparing the render speed of 2.49b and 2.57b.
I have a scene with two simple objects on a ground plane, using blurry reflections, AO, Sky and Atmosphere, one ray shadow… all samples set to 2… etc. etc. - all optimised for a clean illustrative look over many test renders at small sizes in 2.49. I calculated the final pic would take about 8 hours on my 6 core and set it to render overnight. After 9 hours it still wasn’t done, I cancel it and less than half the picture has been rendered. The whole would take more than 18 hours, probably over 20.
So I downloaded 2.57b, opened the scene and it’s immediately obvious from small test renders that it is greatly faster. The scene doesn’t look quite the same as in 2.49, so I adjust the samples upward, to 4 or 6. Render at full size - guess how long it takes? Less than 5 minutes! Five effing minutes! I can’t even calculate by how many percent faster that is. Please note that all settings are as in 2.49, except for the increased samples.
This leads me to ask two things: have others experienced such incredible speed up in 2.57 over 2.49? And how did anyone get any work done in 2.49?
Lastly, a note that 2.57 is obviously buggy. I tried to increase samples of the sunlight shadow, but doing that very weirdly interfered with the atmospheric effect - this wasn’t happening in 2.49.
The bottom line: 2.57 is a beauty and I’m grateful to the Blender Foundation for it. But please, if they read this, focus on fixing the bugs (and bringing back missing functionality).