Cycles or Blender Render?

Since I have an Nvidia card I want to learn and use only Cycles.
However, what should I master in Blender Render before I move on to Cycles?
I heard there are some thing you can’t do in Cycles and only in Blender Render that is why I’m asking this question.
And if I have to go back to Blender Render, doing something in Blender Render it will be 2 separate renders than?
OR if you do something in Blender Render and render it all in Cycles, everything will be rendered together?
Any advice?

Learn both.

You heard right :slight_smile:
Cycles is still in progress, but most of the features are done - hair rendering is in official build, SSS and volumetric materials are already in daily builds available, only support for voxel data (like rending smoke) is missing for now.
(Note to your Nvidia card - some of the Cycles features works only for CPU like SSS.)

All other materials in BR (blender render) engine are possible (seems to me) you just need to turn off few options to get that style.
And to get almost the same render time just play a bit with sampling.

If you need smoke in cycles render you need to separately render smoke in BR and the rest with cycles both with Zpass and compose them into final image.

Personal experience: I had one animation. I started to render in BR because I needed simple style (one direct Light+AO).
I had no reason to think about Cycles, but then I wanted add motion blur. And that was a big difference.
Postprocess via nodes is not blurring shades only objects and “Sampled Motion Blur” in render panel was soooooo slow …

Than I realized that Cycles motion blur is faster, with GPU is much more faster.
ANd as I said before, setup materials to BR style wasn’t so hard and optimizing samples setup became in this case much faster Cycles.

Learn BR for SSS and Smoke, mix in compositing with Cycles but learn Cycles, it’s more powerful and more fun (for me) and then the materials, if they’re understood well, are more flexible and they don’t drive you crazy if you wanna create something of cool.