New to Blender - Cycles or internal Renderer?

Hi all,

I’m new to blender but am having a lot of fun with it so far. My question is with respect to the new cycles renderer that will be standard in the next short while. Where I am just learning blender, would it make more sense to download the cycles beta and learn that right away - am I wasting time learning the internal renderer when it will be obsolete soon? How stable is cycles right now?

Blender Internal will not become obsolete because Cycles is slow to render animations unless you have a super expensive GPU
try it. go to
download the the build for your operating system
unzip the file then click on the blender.exe to launch it
if you get flickering menus you’ll need to go to user preferences then system and change the draw method to one that stops the flickering

My question is with respect to the new cycles renderer that will be standard in the next short while.

No it will not.
An early version of Cycles will be merged at 2.62 release as a pleasant bonus, but BI will not be dropped for ~ 2 years. Only when Cycles can do everything BI can, BI will be dropped.

How stable is cycles right now?

Not very.
But it will be stable soon.

I say, learn both.
You will need them both for the time being.

cycles is coming in 2.61 so around the time of the blender conference or slightly after you will start seeing it in trunk builds.

oh, snap xD
I knew that… Im just sleepy.

I agree with Freemind; learn Cycles and BI. No knowledge is “useless” or “pointless” just because it’s old, even if the subject is “obsolete” (in fact, sometimes that knowledge becomes even more useful, because then you might be one of the few who knows that thing. And since few know it, it can be useful in surprising ways. But I digress…)
Knowing BI is important, because it is the built-in. So, you can do a quick and dirty render to check certain things about your scene. Like making an “animatic.” Although there are ways to do that with Cycles too…
Anyway, knowledge in BI is very useful in Cycles.
Certainly learn Cycles. Although it might be a while, it will be the primary renderer of choice sooner rather than later, even if BI won’t be dropped for a while. I say that because, although Cycles has a bad reputation of being slow to render animation, that reputation is about to change. I stopped using it for about two weeks to focus on BI (because I thought it was faster in animation) and just came back to try the new Cycles builds. AND MAN IS IT FAST NOW! Cycles smokes BI in animation now. I’ll get a lot of argument. But I just spent 3 days doing a BI animation render. I couldn’t stomach it anymore. I put the same model in the newest Cycles build, and it ate the model for breakfast. Just BLAZING. Yes, I have a good GPU. But it wasn’t that expensive. You probably have one anyway.
There are a lot of reasons to recommend Cycles, so I won’t list them all. Simply put, start visiting the “Cycles new cpu/gpu renderer of awesomeness thread” in Blender Tests and suck down the NoDoze. Study hard. You’ll love it.
It used to be really crashy. But I’ve noticed that it’s actually becoming hard to crash these days.
It keeps getting better, and it will only get faster and more feature complete with time. It’s a great engine.
Welcome aboard.

it will become obsolete because there is no one actively developing it, so it will stay more or less at the level it currently is. But the rest of rendering landscape will improve and evolve. Obsolution starts the moment you stand still and don’t change.

Cycles however won’t remain at the level it currently is, it will get better and better. After mango is done it will be far more advanced than it currently is. I think rendering speed is too narrow a feature to focus on. If cycles has rendering passes,and a full on shading language that allows you to write custom shaders, frankly that will push it so far ahead of the game.

I would go into cycles, because it’s the most fun to work with _ of all renderers I’ve tried! even better than v-ray. It’s also good get into the renderman compliant thinking and programmable shaders (with nodes! double joy)

Not a 100% related but I have a cycles tutorial on materials:
I hope Blender Internal sticks around for a while, There you can cheat and I haven’t found Lux or Cycles settings where I can render a complex scene in less than 5 min. Btw. Fryrender’s demoreel looked like it combines cheating with unbiased rendering, too bad it’s so expensive. I do like the light “cheats” that cycles already has.

If you’re wanting to learn a biased renderer ( and it is normally handy to have one ) I would recommend learning something like aqsis or 3delight.

Biased rendering is very useful, and many professional studios still prefer it to unbiased.

The main reason unbiased rendering seems faster to people is because they don’t take advantage of many of the tricks, such as baking and and reflection mapping.

Don’t limit yourself to one engine. Freedom of choice is a beautiful thing under any circumstances.

render-man renderers have about the steepest learning curve of any renderers out there. If you want to go this route I would advise you to grab a book and be prepared to really sit down and study. For a biased engine for a beginner BI is the better choice.

Thanks for the replies and input everyone. I think I’ll go with the general consensus and just learn both!

very useful topic for newbies like me !

But I’ve noticed that it’s actually becoming hard to crash these days.

Try mapping an image texture with generated. :wink:

I do it all the time, and then tinker with every other mapping option. I’ve spent the whole day with that giant spaceship that was a monstrosity in BI, and I haven’t crashed it yet.
Also still haven’t found a good solution for getting tiny little skyscraper windows mapped on yet, but I guess, as common sense would probably say, it’s time to break out the UVunwrapping editor…
(Cycles just devours this model in seconds. I can’t believe I was so stupid to blow three days rendering an (UGLY!) animation with this sucker in BI!)

How new is your build?

As Perl programmers like to say: TMTOWTDI™ = There’s More Than One Way To Do It." Therefore, it always behooves you to know at least something about many “ways to do it.” While you’re busy doing whatever you’re doing with Blender … maybe while you’re waiting for a render :spin: … :yes: … dabble with something new. :eek:

Don’t look upon it as an “either/or choice,” because, in the world of computers, such choices almost never truly exist. You never know when a particular scrap of knowledge may come in handy, but you can pretty much always be assured that it will…

I’d stick with a stable build especially if you are new to Blender, with that being said Cycles is not available in the stable build.

  1. I guess there will be a new one out tomorrow, after the whole displacement deal…

Cycles is at '973