a few things
- render passes
- region render
- what are you rendering
In reverse order.
What are you rendering? :
maybe describe the types of scenes or show some images or (.blend) of what you are doing, when i started out
in 3d i often had settings that where increasing render times by ridiculous amounts because i didnt know what the parameters for lighting/materials where intended for. Upon closer inspection, the settings where not improving visibly/usefully the render quality…
a few scenarios
- sometimes we want to do a render to see only how one small element of a scene turns out…
- sometimes we have rendered for a while, come back to it…and see that one part doesn’t look good
in these and other cases we do not want to render a large image just to see how one tiny bit changes once
we model/material edit it…
while in cam mode, hit shift B, to draw the rectangle. then render will only render that rect,
While you develop a design / model stuff, stay away from materials until the whole model is satisfying to the eye,
then apply materials one by one, and render in between adding new materials, this helps you see what materials are taking longest to render ( usually raytraced stuff…) If your machine is taking ages to render even untextured/standard material objects… this is an indication that maybe your environment settings are way over the top for your needs.
as you progress in render techniques you begin to learn the intricacies and tricks of the trade. Blender allows you to render passes individually, a pass can be considered a layer (f.ex : specularity, z-depth, shadow, AO, reflections, refractions…etc,
Look at your Render Layers dropdown in the Render tab, all those tick-boxes mean they can be rendered separately ) The strength and weakness of this approach is that you must composite these layers manually. I’m new to Blender, by not 3d, I think 2.5 has a node based renderer that can plug these layers one by one, so you can render an entire scene’s specularity layer with different settings over and over until you are happy…without having to render colour and shadows too each time.
and a technical note, some laptops have energy saving options, set it to high performance while you render