How to fake global illumination without using A.O. in Blender's internal renderer

Cycles is a great renderer,there’s no doubt about it…I like it a lot and I enjoy using it, mainly, for my still renderings.
I was amongst the very first to have ever published a tutorial on Cycles ( on how to texture and render an “Ivy plant”, several years ago and with tenths of thousands of views) at a time when Cycles used to be still on heavy development.And I still enjoy publishing tutorials on that great render engine.

But I firmly believe that, by its very nature as a popular free and open source 3D suite, Blender is being addressed mostly to the independent artists and small studios out there who, most often than not, don’t have fast machines at their disposal.And we all know that -when it comes to animation projects and long sequences of rendered frames- good unbiased rendering requires a whole lot of hardware resources (or, at the very least, a huge amount of time for the artists to spend before getting any satisfactory results).
Let’s face it : in 3D animation speed does matter and there’s no other rendering technology that can reach the speed in which an artifacts-free, clean-edged,pro-looking and aesthetically pleasant biased-rendered frame has been rendered.
Besides, it is well known that even the high end studios out there, like the guys at Pixar, for example, would hardly
ever use any purely unbiased rendering solution.Why? Well, because those guys there are artists and,by being such, they tend to rely more on their artistic skills for lighting a scene rather than limiting themselves into the use of any “click-and-go” unbiased solutions.In other words,they trust there eyes more than their machines…
But, then again, the same goes for the Blender artists : them too are artists as well,so why would they ever accept to not listen to their artistic instinct in the name of a “physically correct” representation of their 3D scene?

So, despite the common belief, biased rendering does not necessarily denote “low quality”,inasmuch, unbiased rendering does not necessarily denote “high quality”.

In addition to that, the notion of 3D as an art form implies that the artist should be given the freedom of getting exactly the artistic result brought to him by his imagination…and if we’re talking about properly lighting a 3D scene, flexiblity offered by the lighting tools is what comes to mind.

So, even if unbiased rendering can be a real “eye-catcher” for the amateurs and the novices (due to the easiness it provides them with for getting some quick and realistic-looking results with little effort) ,it is considered, though, as being of little use by the professionals.

On the other,biased rendering and. consequently, synthetic lights with non-physical properties are extremely flexible in terms of adjusting the lighting of a 3D scene and ,when in the hands of an experienced artist, they could help him or her into turning some simple 3D scenes into real masterpieces ; let’s face it,in most of the cases (with the few exceptions of using 3D for realistic representations,e.g. for architectural visualizations) photorealism in animation projects is not always desirable.
So, wouldn’t it be more appropriate, perhaps, for the developers to help the Blender artists into better realizing their animation projects ( without having to have a dozen of computers working day and night at their homes or small studios ) by considering developing a really high-end, superfast, biased renderer for Blender? Or, at least, a more “biased-oriented” version of Cycles?
Other high end 3D packages do the same.It would suffice for me to mention here Cinema 4D’s state-of-the-art built-in and ( essentially ) biased renderer.

Also,wouldn’t it be great to have, let’s say, a complete toolset of NURBS tools in Blender, that would allow the artists to get quickly the shape they’d want for their complex models and then render it ,super easily and ( more importantly) super quickly trough using a biased renderer, instead of for them trying to invent techniques for eliminating the omnipresent glossy artifacts at the compositor?

And, finally, wouldn’t it be nice for the 3D artists to get into the habit of studying the essentials of synthetic lighting and, by so doing, to start giving
themselves some greater autonomy in expressing in a more eloquent manner their artistic inspirations?

In this video tutorial I’ve tried to show how much of a difference can make the use of an advanced lighting solution in Blender internal both in terms of rendering quality and speed when having been properly setup.

Here is the link to this tutorial :

Thanks for watching

Great tutorial, thank you! :slight_smile: