How to use Sunflow

I looked after some good free renderers and found Sunflow. It’s so extremly good, i want to use this one.
But i’m now beginning learning blender so i’m a completly noob in modeling and in blender.
So i wanted to know, how i can use Sunflow with Blender.
I tried to load the script with Blender and then export as a .sc file.
But the renderer of Sunflow renders only a black picture. Is there maybe a howto or a Documentation? Could’t find anything like this.

can you provide more info, eg. light setup etc if the .sc file is not too big can you paste it so i can have a look

So, here i attached it, its only 33 kb small.
I even dont know if i used the exporter right.
With the internal renderer i can see it how it should be.

no lights have been exported, area lights and point lights are the only lights that will be exported

It’s a little bit weird, i can add every type of light, but everytime a black rendering.
Could anyone be so kind and send me a really simple scene which should render right?
Then i can look by myself what i did wrong.
Would be cool, if it’s not to much work.

Hi Biber, have you flipped the normals for your sky dome ? If needs be send your .blend file to me and i’ll look ( hayfever at tiscali co uk )

I really don’t know how to do this.
How you may have noticed, i’m real noob in Blender and didn’t even start with real learning.
I wanted to use a realy good renderer from beginning.
So i found Sunflow and it looked incredible good.
I wanted to render some easy models with more advanced shaders…

So, is Sunflow not a “normal” renderer like Yafray, or the Internal?
What has to be different, when i want to render with sunflow?
Isn’t it possible to render a simple Box with standard settings and point light in Sunflow?
So, if Sunflow isn’t really a renderer for beginners maybe i should use the Internal one :-/
But would be cool to learn this renderer from the Beginning.

Your best of to learn to work with blender before learning how to work with an external renderer in my humble opinion.
Every renderer requires a different set-up so if you learn one from the very beginning, you’ll have troubles adapting later on.

I agree, most renderers have different options for the same thing and some are quite complicated, blender will be easier to use. In your example create a cube on a plane with a point light, it will render fine in blender but if you export to sunflow it will be black, this is because sunflow needs to have a higher energy value for the light.

Yes Sunflow absolutely astonishes me with its image quality and clarity - that and of course its price =)

I don’t know how to use it either sadly

on my poor opinion i think that sunflow as indigo, are for experts, lol, because they use a “different” way to set up the renders, that are “unknown” for a beginner like us,(me and you i think), i rather prefer yafray, beacause it has a very good quality too! and the most i like of it, is its speed, it can achieve actually quite real image… i suggest you to use yafray.

Hello biber,
I had the same problems with using sunflow as you. The blender sunflow exporter generates two files: “" and "”.sc. The first file describes the geometry of your scene, the second one the scene settings and materials. Open the the .sc file with a text editor and look at the last line:

include “your scene”

If the quotes (") are missing an the line looks like this:

include your scene

sunflow can´t find the geometry of your modell and you will get a black screen. Maybe that helps you.


Hm yes, the Quotes are really missing!
But even if i include them it renders black.
I don’t know if there’s anything special to have an eye on…

I do the following things:

  1. I have the blank box in blender from the beginning on
  2. I get some color under materials on the box
  3. I add a spotlight, place it right, the internal render gets much brighter
  4. I increase the light energy
  5. I select the Sunflow script as exporter and click on export

Now i only open the .sc file with Sunflow and render…

Is there any big mistake in it? Shouldn’t Sunflow be able to render something easy like that?

I like Sunflow AO a lot, it is quite good IMO, way better than Blender and YafRay ones.
On the other side, I agree with Charlesworth999, people are using the raytracers with little knowledge about lighting. If your lighting suks, it does not matter what engine you use, it will suk the same.