List your favorite external renderer

(pofo) #1

There seems to be alot of choices available when it comes to picking an external renderer to use with Blender, but I haven’t seen a good list of pros and cons. So please tell me what you use and why you like it.

Or if there is already a list, just point me in the right direction (searching did me little good, since the words external and render gives about half the posts recently ;))

Thanks pofo

(paradox) #2

I use Virtualight but haven’t been using it long enough to tell its pros and cons. When I get better at it then maybe. My suggestion is to check out the web sites of the ones your interested in, look at the features and requirements. They all have good points with study, but find one that you are comfortable with the interface. Check into how easy it is to set up and how easy and useful the inport/export from Blender is. Check out the gallerys of what is being done with it. Have fun in your search and experimenting. By the way I do like Virtualight so far. And I have seen some great things rendered in it by Blender users. And it keeps getting updated.
Yafray looks very promising.
I’ve seen good stuff done with POV and Lightflow but haven’t tryed Lightflow out and tryed POV when I had an Amiga which was a way back.

(sten) #3

LightWave 8)

(Schlops) #4


Used Povray before blender (Ya know spheres on checkerboards), good documentation, lots of platforms, free.

(hannibar) #5

Lightwave too :slight_smile:

(tredee) #6

Yafray…free, young, clean c++ code… with the possibility to see it growing month by month…

(wavk) #7

Virtualight! I’ve done a lot of testing lately, with BMRT, 3Delight and Virtualight. The export to 3Delight and BMRT is done by the blenderman script. I also agree that lightwave’s renderer is great! It’s the most user friendly of all. It just works, bit slow however.

Check out some of my test images here:

More recently, I’ve been checking out Virtualight, see my latest render here:

3Delight has a couple of big pros:

  • Lightning fast
  • Cool depth of field (which is also fast)
  • 3Delight looks very promising to me, a new release is due out this month.


  • With the blenderman script, I couldn’t get the right settings for good lighting, I kept getting awful shadows and big artifacts. This might be fixable by manually editing the rib files, which is not user friendly.



  • fast global illumination renderer


  • difficult to get all artifacts out of the render and becomes quite slow if you want quality.
  • discontinued



  • lots of features, gi, caustics, radisity, everything.
  • Very good export script and a gui interface which makes editing vib files quite easy.
  • Hard to get artifacts, it’s perfect


  • slow
  • anti aliasing sucks.
  • windows only.

Have fun,

Wybren van Keulen
Funny Farm

(ray_theway) #8

Radiance. I like the way you can preview your image in seconds and change settings without a full 2-hour rendering. <shameless plug> And, there’s even a tutorial and scripts for exporting from Blender! </shameless plug>

- Interactive Previewing program
- Lots of good preset shaders (window glass, metal…)
- Picture format allows exposure changes without re-rendering, glare calculations, false color
- Free and open source, available to all platforms (Windows, OS X, Linux, IRIX, anything that can compile it :slight_smile: )
- Lots of thorough documentation

- Utilizes about 100 different programs for different tasks
- Ambience feature takes tons of tweaking
- Export scripts are still young, don’t have a lot of features
- Mostly command line

(pofo) #9

Thanks alot guys :slight_smile: that gives me a few hints on which ones to try first (a couple of those mentioned I had actually never heard of before). I think I’ll try to find something user friendly to start with. pofo

(slikdigit) #10

( a little late) I can only tell of the ones I would like to try
3delight (renderman compliant, free$$$, good quality)
aqsis(renderman compliant, opensource, dunno quality)
yafray(new, free, seen some cool renders, very fresh)

I have gotten aqsis to build but it is borked (funky render artifacts). yafray doesn’t build on my system yet.
I’ve only tried the 3delight sample images. tried aqsis on the same. -my install problem, they did render, and while I can’t comment on the qualitythe render time seemed slightly slower, but not ridiculous.

(seval) #11

I like to export to Rhino and use the Flamingo plugin to render. Flamingo can use IES data files for lighting setups…not sure…wanted to know if Lightwave had this feature.

(PowerMacG4) #12

For me its :
BMRT/3Delight since its Renderman compliant, puts out good Quality. With these you quality is as good as much time in you put into learning the Renderman Interface. The Shaders are what makes it once learn it can boost up quality. Also I believe you can get some serious big screen quality from these renderers when used with Blender. They are some what slow but outcome is worth it. I got both of these working well with IRIX/Linux/Windows. Got BMRT runnig on Solaris also. So portability (of work) is not an issues. Blenderman Script is great.
The other render I say is Radiance.
I only stick with what I can run on IRIX and Linux.

(Dittohead) #13

VL for me too. although creating those pesky shaders is a pain in the arss!!!

hrm…this must be kib_tph [>]… :Z

(S68) #14

Naa! That is Zorro, the Avenger of California People, the Nightmare of Sergent Garcia, etc. etc. etc.


(seval) #15

Holy sh… Just got the realsoft package…check out some of the renders at Not trying to plug, but they do have a free trial available.

(slikdigit) #16

Small update- I just installed yafray (needed to update some libraries-doh!)
The version I installed doesn’t work with the current yable exporter script. I’m gonna wait till it comes out to see what it can do.
some of the example scenes from the yafray website look nice and render fast on my machine. so this does look very promising.

(RipSting) #17

I like Maya the best. Easy graphical interface, and can import DXF and VRML. Good procedural textures, and many different shaders. Customizable caustics with independant refraction and reflection depths. Integrated modeler. Integrated cloth and fluid effects. 5 different freeware web exporters.

(VelikM) #18

I’ve been trying MegaPov 0.7, it works ok, it’s the Aquafied version of PovRay3.5.
This is the obligatory sphere and plane scene with some cgs added.

This is cgs test using two spheres :smiley: and a cylinder, with the obligatory tiled plane. Of course I just had to add a little fog. :wink:

Full size version here

It lost a little resolution when I converted it to a .jpg

(sten) #19


Naa! That is Zorro, the Avenger of California People, the Nightmare of Sergent Garcia, etc. etc. etc.


No it’s me 8)