"L'Appartement" (Yafaray + Darktable Version)

So this is my second test on the same scene in my quest for optimal work-flow for Archviz using 100% FOSS (if possible) or Free software as much as possible.

This time I used Yafaray 2.1.1 (unfortunately I couldn’t run Yafaray 3.0)for Rendering and Darktable 2.0.5 for Post Production, on a Linux Mint 17.3 machine.

First of all I must make clear that I’m not an expert in Yafaray neither in Darktable.

The conversion from the original Cycles file was straight forward although not automated.

First I had run a simple script to remove all nodes and then I converted all materials to Yafaray materials.

Although Yafaray provides 6 material types I didn’t had any problems creating my materials.

Lighting was straight forward. IBL with HDRI, Sun Lamp, Light Portals on every window plus an extra dimmed area light on the ceiling to make the whole thing a little bit lighter.

Yafaray offers 6 integrators but I prefer to go with Photon Mapping + Final Gathering which is most appropriate for closed indoor scenes like this.

Render times varied from 2 hours to ridiculous 9 and a half hours !!! (render on an I7 3770).
Since I’m not an expert on photon-mapping maybe my set-up wasn’t the best, so if there are any experienced Yafaray users out there please comment, when I’ll post my settings in a couple of days.

DOF in Yafaray.

Darktable is one fantastic piece of software. It’s mostly aimed for photography post production but it worked extremely well.
Haven’t done anything special here, Exposure, Contrast, Saturation, Shadow-Highlights, De-noising, Sharpening, vignetting and Bloom.

I’m must admit that I liked Yafaray so far. Yafaray is an old beast that thanks to david.bluecame is resurrected and kicking again.

The setup was quite easy. The only thing that took sometime is optimizing the render settings. You have many more controls to tweak than Cycles but this is a common thing in all biased render integrators.

What I really missed is a way to do minor texture modification like HSL, texture mix etc.
Unfortunately Yafaray doesn’t have a node system for materials which makes it difficult though not impossible to create complex texture and materials.

I liked very much that Yafaray is providing an architectural camera option (you know when you need this vertical lines really vertical).

What disappointed me is the fact that I was expecting faster times. Of course Yafaray runs only on CPU but I cant’t imagine how much time I’d need for a production print size render.

Darktable is now one of my favorite tools. Easy to understand, superb UI, a very smart non-destructive way of handling your image modifications (save all actions on a simple xml file). Perfect specially if you’re going for a more photographic post-production approach.

This combo is for sure a viable one although Yafaray has still some roads to cross.

Creative C&C are always more than welcomed.

Cycles Version

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And two more…

very nice results with yafaray.i think to get more contrast white material should be about rgb 80,80,80 or lower -ref this article http://www.yafaray.org/node/667 .this post discusses AA settings and speed http://www.yafaray.org/community/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=2203&start=0 and one nice sample of yafaray by suomi http://www.yafaray.org/es/gallery&g2_itemId=4333

Actually I like more for the result with Yafaray, it seems more natural.

Thanx for the Links (unfortunately the comparison tests and also the last link don’t work, :() ,if you have any other usefull links that will help me understand better how to set-up Yafaray correctly please post it.

I must make clear that is not a straight A to B comparison but mostly an overall evaluation of work-flows, from start to finish and from a professionals perspective.

Here are some screen-shots of my settings, if you see any gross mistakes please comment.

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second link is a yafaray forum post titled “Optimizing AA settings” under section “Tutorials & Learning Resources” reposting link http://www.yafaray.org/community/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=2203&start=0#p11653

third was link to yafaray user “suomi” bedroom interior,you can search yafaray forum for his works.link again

hope it works now.

Thanx again for the links. :slight_smile:
As far for the first link I was referring to the xls file that includes the comparison tests, low AA-many passes vs high AA-low passes…

Anyway I’ll do my own tests to figure it out.


First of all, those are great scenes!! :slight_smile:

Second: you mentioned you cannot run YafaRay v3.0. Is there any specific reason why you cannot?

Last released version is v3.0.2-beta, and it includes some important improvements for Background IBL sampling, as well as many more improvements such as faster photon shooting, ability to save/load the film to continue adding samples at a later time, sampling the same scene in different computers to mix the sampled partial Film files into a single render (pseudo-render farm), etc.

One of the improvements is indeed the ability to do basic texture adjustments in brightness, contrast, hue, saturation (HSV), etc.

Please let me know if you have any difficulties running v3. If you do, please read the README or the INSTALL file where it explains how to solve some typical issues.


First of all thank you for all the work and effort you’ve put in Yafaray.

I’ve followed the instructions (or I think so …:eyebrowlift2:)

When I try to enable I get this message:

File "/home/<user>/.config/blender/2.77/scripts/addons/yafaray_v3/__init__.py", line 70, in <module>
    from . import io
  File "/home/<user>/.config/blender/2.77/scripts/addons/yafaray_v3/io/__init__.py", line 21, in <module>
    import yafaray_v3_interface
  File "/home/<user>/.config/blender/2.77/scripts/addons/yafaray_v3/bin/yafaray_v3_interface.py", line 28, in <module>
    _yafaray_v3_interface = swig_import_helper()
  File "/home/<user>/.config/blender/2.77/scripts/addons/yafaray_v3/bin/yafaray_v3_interface.py", line 24, in swig_import_helper
    _mod = imp.load_module('_yafaray_v3_interface', fp, pathname, description)
  File "/home/<user>/Programs/Blender/Latest_Build/2.77/python/lib/python3.5/imp.py", line 242, in load_module
    return load_dynamic(name, filename, file)
  File "/home/<user>/Programs/Blender/Latest_Build/2.77/python/lib/python3.5/imp.py", line 342, in load_dynamic
    return _load(spec)
ImportError: /home/<user>/.config/blender/2.77/scripts/addons/yafaray_v3/bin/dependencies/libImath.so.12: file too short

anyway I think I must open a new thread in Yafaray forum, so we can all have a more Yafaray focused discussion…

Thank you once more for keeping Yafaray Alive;)

Try this:
Remove all yafaray versions from your addon folder.
Don’t install the addon directly from blender.
Just extract the zip file and put the content manually in your addons’ folder.

Remember also that v3 doesn’t like the presence of other yafaray versions.


The file too short error is caused by incorrectly decompressing the zip file and not generating the internal links correctly. Please use Linux to decompress the zip file again and try again, please.

In next versions I will package the Linux versions in .tar.gz instead of .zip to avoid this kind of problems for users.

More info here: http://www.yafaray.org/node/759

@LazyVirus , @david.bluecame

Thank you both, followed your instructions and it worked!

I’ll test it in the near future.

You could reduce the search radius for photon mapping, and increase the search count to maybe around 200 - 350. Actual settings will depend on the scene and lighting.

Using more photons wouldn’t do any harm if you have available RAM.

If you can you share the basic scene at yafaray.org you would get some help optimising the photon map.
There is a good guide to Photon Mapping here:- www.foro3d.com/attachments/116145d1256759170-tutoriales-para-yafaray-photon-mapping-yafaray-quick-guide.pdf…and here - http://www.yafaray.org/node/598

You could also try rendering with SPPM. (Not sure whether this is still up to date - http://www.yafaray.org/community/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=5004)


Thanx for the info I’ll give it a try.

Unfortunately I’ve read both of the two first links before but to be totally honest I didn’t got much wiser.

Most of these tutorials are referring to older Yafaray versions and they’re not easily applicable.
Although I understand the basic concepts behind PM I must admit I have not find a way to master it.
I usually go with a “WYSIWYG trial and error” method which I’m sure it’s not optimal.

On the other hand there are things in different tutorials that look contradictory or don’t work for my scenes.

Anyway I’m sure I have to do a lot more digging in Yafaray to start using it in a professional work-flow.

As for the SPPM that’s another big mystery that I don’t get at all… I guess I’m not the smartest guy… or I have to read some more…