How is blender cycles vs others rendering engine

On a related topic, are there any simple BI-like renderers out there? besides the few proprietary renderers here and there, i’ve never been able to find any thirdparty non-physically based renderers. Do they even exist?

Vray, Lightwave, renderman (3delight etc) keyshot etc etc…

Well there’s always Microrender. I have used it for some projects and find it really nice for when you don’t need perfect realism. It also works very well with Blender, if you know how to use BI you know how to use most of Microrender.

Also Guerilla Render is a good one that offers both physical and biased rendering methods.

Keyshot is not at all flexible like BI though. You can use it to render good-looking product shots but that’s about it really.

hi khalibloo, other biased renderers yafaray,kerkythea both very good.

wow, all this time, i thought they were all cycles-like… do they all support npr features?

might be nice to try something other than BI and freestyle every now and again :slight_smile:

I don’t know anything about kerkythea but yafaray is physically based like Cycles. I think the material system and how a render engines handles lights should rank higher than bias.

yafaray’s material system is based on bdsf and the lights are treated in phyiscally based manner. An engine like BI would be one that had simple materials (none bdsf) and had lights that had non physically based fall offs and things like buffered shadows.

Plus you can also use none biased integrators with yafaray.

+1 for Yafaray :slight_smile:
It’s Direct Lighting is very similar to BI, and it’s got Photon Mapping, Pathtracing, SPPM, and Bidirectional as well.
I haven’t used Kerkythea in a while, but I don’t think much has changed(since like…2008). I’m not sure if anyone is even doing anything with it anymore. It was pretty slow, and took a while for the noise to go away.
Microrender is paid, or a trial with watermarks. Never tried Guerilla.

i’ve looked up most of them… so far, nothing about npr or even toon shading
3delight (DAZ Studio) is very very very slow, so i’m not even considering renderman

@vicky, your yafaray renders are quite gorgeous. in terms of speed, how does it compare to BI?

@tyrant, kerkythea is physically based too

is it safe to assume that anything physically based is definitely slower than BI? in most cases, i find speed more valuable than accuracy.

Of course not, that would be silly. UE4 is physically based yet runs at 30-60 fps. No, being physically based basically just means it conserves energy and uses something newer than Phong/Blinn. BI is fast not because it’s not physically based but because unlike almost any render engine on the market today, it’s basically a software rasterizer. Rasterizers are generally faster than raytracers (as long as your triangles are larger than a pixel).

that’s enlightening :slight_smile: i thought raytracing = physically based = unbiased :smiley:
i obviously need to read up on it

then what makes game engine renderers that fast? why don’t we have the option to render stills and animations with the bge renderer? is there an obstacle that prevents it?

@khalibloo: It’s Direct Lighting is comparable to BI in terms of speed(some say it’s faster, but not in my experience). Once you get into Photo Mapping, Pathtracing, etc. then it takes a little while longer, same as any engine using GI. It’s Photon Mapping renders rival Vray as far as looks. Yaf’s caustics are just amazing, and you can do them in Direct Lighting too.

thanks for that insight, i’ll give it a try

Welcome! :smiley: Go to their website and grab the demo files, they are very helpful. While you’re there, grab their PDF file too, lots of good info in that, even things that will help you with other render engines.

Game engines are fast because they’re hardware rasterizers - they use GPUs, and GPUs are made specifically for this purpose. They contain specialized hardware logic that is specifically designed to fill triangles with pixels, interpolate values and sample textures. Specially designed hardware will always be more efficient than a software solution for the same amount of energy expended (and therefore faster).

If we ever get specialized raytracing hardware in our PCs, raytracing is going to get much faster too. There have been small, careful forays into hardware raytracing, and also I expect there’s going to be raytracing hardware integrated into standard GPUs in a generation or two to support ever nicer looking games (though I’m not so sure that’s going to be terribly useful for production rendering).

GPUs have never generally been used for final production rendering because while they are fast, they have historically been limited in what they could do, in terms of both available memory and maximum program complexity.

We do in fact have the option to render stills and animations in OpenGL in Blender.

way ahead of you :smiley: i’m halfway through the user guide already!
since it’s integrated into blender, i hope it works with freestyle!
it would be cool if it had toon shading too :slight_smile: or at least color ramps

i see… thanks very much
but i’m still confused as to why bge rendering is faster than regular BI rendering. or is it simply an opengl? it would be very useful if it was possible to render with it. imagine rendering an animation at 30fps

the opengl render is just a snapshot of the viewport. textures aren’t even applied to the models, let alone lighting or anti aliasing

I think the main question should be: considering that Cycles is deadly slow with CPU, is it appropriate that an open source software is so “prone” to Nvidia plans and whims (more recent economic video cards are less powerfull with Cycles than older video cards)?

Like I said, it’s faster because it uses the GPU like it’s designed to be used. Cycles also uses the GPU, but in a way they were definitely not designed to be used :slight_smile:

If you put the viewport into Material mode, you’ll get lighting and textures. You won’t get freestyle, not all types of lights are supported, not all lights that are supported will cast shadows, and not all material nodes will work. You can get antialiasing by enabling it in user preferences. The feature was never meant for rendering final frames, but rather for forum screenshots and quick animation previews.

Not only is Cycles deadly slow with the CPU, but you’ve got to have a killer GPU(s) with a TON of v-ram if you want to render animations out. I keep hoping I see a thread or fixes for this, but I think it’s the nature of the beast. Every time I think I can use cycles for animation, I end up getting 10 frames that render great and then the rest are blank frames due to the v-ram building up and not caching (I think).

So if anyone can shed some light or has the same issue, I’d be more than grateful! I love the renders cycles spits out, but my productivity is always killed once I try it.

@tleeds: That sounds like a bug. Create a simple test file so they can reproduce the problem and report it to the tracker. If you don’t report it, nobody will fix it. Animations render fine on my 780.

I hate to break it to people, but if you’re not looking at a rasterizer (which opens up a whole new bucket of problems in terms of scene/material setup, not to mention the IMMENSE task of implementing all of the crazy modern techniques) there simply isn’t a rendering method that’s fast, good looking, and easy to set up. Imagine those three things are a triangle. In reality, you only get to pick two of those features, and that’s true for rendering in general. If there was an option that covered all three, production studios wouldn’t spend millions of dollars on render farms. Obviously the choices in renderer go a bit deeper than those three areas, but in general that rule holds true.

As someone who works with a half dozen renderers for work in the course of a month, let me just say that Cycles is in no way “slow”. Considering what it does, and the tiny development team, it’s a miracle that it exists at all. Without getting into massive multi-billion poly scenes and other more advanced render needs, it’s about on par with Arnold for many use cases, which is the industry standard right now for speed and ease of use. I think a lot of people go into 3D with the assumption that they’ll be able to render a beautiful animation on their home PC by letting it render overnight while they sleep for a week or so. This just isn’t the case. It’s not unheard of to throw 64 cores at a shot and still have frames that take 3-4 hours to render.