Rendering Time

I’m rendering my first “good” scene. It’s the first thing I’ve ever modeled without the help of any tutorial and I’m pretty proud, but it’s been rendering since 48 hours and it’s only finished about 1/8 of it.
Some specs:
Ambient Occlusion is turned on (“only” 5 samples though)
all of my objects are subsurfed (only once)
I’ve got about 200k faces (If I remember it right) in my scene
I’m using 3 lights (two normal lamps and a spot)
My PC is pretty good (2GB RAM and a 256 MB graphics card)
The objects pretty much all have a glass texture.
It’s rendering to 1024*768 pixels
I realize the last part is probably the hardest for my PC, but if it goes on like that it’ll take the whole week… And that really wasn’t my intention.

If it (ever) get’s done I’ll post the result here. I just hope it turns out good. It looked good on the tiny preview render and rendering a bigger version would’ve taken too long, so I decided to go for the final one right away :smiley:
(It’s a chessboard by the way, the horse made the biggest problems when modeling…)

are you using ray-transparency and/or ray-mirror? how is the ray-depth?
the best would be you’d post the blendfile. 48 hours is completely insane. i NEVER EVER had times like that.

is it animated? Or just a single frame? I have a 300 frame animation that’s going to take 50hours to render because of the high settings.

If it is a single frame your blender has probably frozen due to bad particle, softbody, hair, or physics settings.

Yes, I am using ray mirror and ray transparency for the materials. I basically just used the clear glass preset in yafray (but I’m rendering with the built-in Blender engine) and changed it a little for second set of pieces.
I’d like to post the .blend file, but unfortunately my PC won’t allow me to use it at the moment… HAH! I just remembered I had the file on my flash drive aswell :wink:
(It’d be cool if you guys could also tell me if I made some basic mistakes when modeling. From what I see in the render window until now the board looks kinda bad on the red surface…)

It’s a single frame (rendering an animation with that would be like hell!) And I can tell you it hasn’t frozen as I can still see changes every now and then.

Oh and by the way, my objects have german labels, but I don’t think you’ll have problems with that :smiley:

(It’s also “only” 161k faces, not 200k as stated above)

i’ll have a look into it

i see you are from ingolstadt? that’s where i lived for 8 years and made abi! (reuchlin-gym)
(still in english because there have been complaints of writing in other languages on an international forum…)
so i’ll leave it with a short and bavarian: “Servas!”

Depending on what you do… 48 hours is pretty “normal” to me… Of course, more CPUs, more RAM always helps… :wink:
My sequences of 250 frames in 800x600 usually take from 3 hours to 3 days and night… depending on transparences, reflections, softbodies, aso…

You could probably reduce the size of the ground plane - that is bigger than you need.
The other thing slowing it down is probably the AO - if you want it at that level you may just have to wait.
Raytracing in Blender is a little bit slow, and if you have 30+ raytraced objects in high resolution it will take a little while.
Here is a quick render - not with optimal lighting tweaks - done with Yafray. 50% - takes 2mins.


Here is the similar scene rendered with Blender’s internal, again with the ground plane reduced and also 50%. This time 8 mins.


if you want to render with BI, than the first thing you want to do is to adjust the octree-resolution. -->
and organic is right about the plane, it’s way too big. the smaller it is, the faster it will be rendered. (see octree…)
this could be interesting if you want to have an infinite plane:

that will help a bit. even though the rendering will be much faster, this a quite “ray-intensive” scene that will render rather long.

Thanks for all the replies :smiley:

@Sebastian: Now that’s cool, I’m 15 and going to the Christoph-Scheiner-Gymnasium (if you can remember that ;)) Although I’ve never been to Leipzig, I’ve only lived in Dresden (that’s pretty near I guess…)
Thanks also for the links, I’ll look through them later. I still have a few things planned for today.

@Organic: Those look really cool. I really like the Yafray one. The internal Blender:Render looks a little too much see-through, if you know what I mean. Hopefully mine’ll turn out a little darker with a little more contrast like the Yafray one. You didn’t render my sky texture though, could it be that I forgot to pack it into the blend file?

The only thing I don’t understand is why the plane size affects the render time. I thought it only renders the region you can see and nothing else. It’s kinda useless rendering stuff that’s not even visible in the render itself…

Is it possible somehow previewing my scene pretty quick to see if the AO settings look choppy and grainy? Because that’s what I wanted to prevent from happening. I didn’t know if that was too much though.

@almux: 48 hours is acceptable I guess, but only if it’s finished after that time. Mine is at about 1/8 now…

One more question which has nothing to do with the rendering: What do you guys say to the models? Are they okay or is there too much detail? They are my first own ones after all.

Thanks again

You were right about the sky texture - it wasn’t included.
Yafray does do raytracing better and faster than the Blender internal. I would recommend it if you plan to do a lot of raytracing; or the new Yaf(a)ray if you can get it.
The modeling looks fine, though you could get by with less vertices.
If you used the spin function to model the pieces try doing some tests with more or less ‘steps’, to see what works. Otherwise it is looking good. Look forward to seeing the finished work.

EDIT - I’m not sure how the renderer works, but maybe because the plane is visible it includes the whole object in the calculation.
The Yafray render is only medium quality; with better lighting, higher quality and a sky texture it could be greatly improved - go for it!

Oops, my bad then…
I used thissky texture, only for the reflections though.

Then I should definitely try that. Yaf(a)ray? Is that a new version of Yafray? Is it also downloadable for free? It’s in the name after all :wink:

Nope, I modeled them by extruding a circle. Maybe I should’ve used spin, it’s best for those kinds of models…

I’ll definitely post it, when it’s done… Hopefully it’ll get done after another night and day of school.

Any ideas how I could improve the lighting? I’ve only used really basic stuff there. Nothing spectactular.

by the way: What render settings did you use to render it so quickly?

@ sebastian: That about the octree resolution is a little to high for me. I’ve been working with Blender for 2 weeks now, don’t expect something like that from me :smiley: I don’t understand anything about that. Sorry
That second link however is very helpful. I’ll definitely read through that a few more times…
Thanks also for the third one. It also looks quite interesting.

Pretty much the settings you had. I reduced the size of the ground plane, and reduced the render size to 50%, and used Skydome, Medium and Cache enabled for the Yafray render(…and I left out the sky texture!).
Yafaray can be downloaded free here:-
Or you can build it:-
Some info on its use:-

On Yafray, but still useful:-

HDRI(High Dynamic Range Image) lighting gives wonderfully natural results, but you seem to know a bit about that already. The set up is similar(apply it to World AngMap instead of View), but use .hdr or .exr images, the quality is better - and as far as I know they don’t yet work in Blender as a light source, but do in Yafray. Though if you build Blender from source there is an IBL(Image Based Lighting) patch available to enable HDRI lighting in Blender.
You can download HDRs from paul Debecev’s website -

On lighting, the Wiki is a great resource for Blender info.
…but if you google blender+lighting+tutorial it is bound to turn up lots of alternatives. Although really I only meant improving the lighting for the Yafray render. Yafray generally uses more light than Blender so it requires a slightly different setup, which I spent about 10 seconds doing. If you put more into it you will get more out.

Here is a Yafray render with the sky map, and one with HDRI as the only light source(Paul Debevec’s Beach Probe). Again the lighting is a quick setup and not optimal, but you can see the potential.
20 mins and 15 mins, both ‘Higher’ quality. If you increase ‘Depth’ the quality - and render time - increase too.


HDRI - No other lights.

Mine finished while I was at school today! It looks pretty good, but I think I have to render it again, preferably with Yafray (or better yet, Yafaray this time)

Thanks for the links to Yafaray, I’ll definitely check it out.

I’ve never used or known what HDRI is. Why do you think I do? I don’t really understand what you said about that in your post. But I’ll give my best to try to find out.

That HDRI render looks really good, I especially like the glass texture on the front set of pieces. And that uses no lights at all? I think that could turn out really well!


Damn it! I rendered it with Yafray and it was done in under a minute. Then I increased the render settings and it only took 4 minutes… This is really annoying seeing how I left my PC running for over 2 days and I get an even more realistic looking shot in the short render time. I’m going for a really good one right now. Let’s see how it turns out…

Oh by the way. I did use some references when modeling these. Holding something you want to model in your hand is a great help :smiley: I used the figures shown in the picture…

I also think this thread can be moved somewhere else now, maybe the wip forum :wink:


These both are somewhat close to the final. Please give me some ideas of how I can still improve this.

(sorry for my doubleposts. I just don’t want to mess up the order of the pictures I posted so far)

Or maybe someone can explain that HDRI a little more detailed for me :o


Hello again.
I just assumed you had heard of HDRI because the technique is similar to the skymap usage you already had. I think I also omitted part of the sentence: “The set up is similar(apply it to World AngMap instead of View),”…to the sky texture .

Here is an HDRI lighting tutorial.
…and this is an example:- “Download the Movie”
It’s basically the same as using a skymap except you tell Blender to use it as a light source. .hdr and .exr images are used because they have the dynamic range necessary for a good result.

Your renders look pretty good, though I had to laugh when you wrote that the first render took a minute - I think we have all done that at some point.

Thanks for the tutorial, hopefully I’ll understand how to use it. It definitely sounds interesting enoigh to use the sky as a light source.
I used the sky the way I did because I learned to do so in a tutorial by Andrew Kramer ( On his newest DVD he used Blender and that technique to apply the sky for reflections, so I thought I’d give it a try :smiley: