The future of rendering

Hi everybody!
I’ve been using Unity and Unreal since they went free and I’m impressed with their visual quality, specially with the realtime Global Illumination, and this leads me to question Cycles speed. I mean, you can have realtime GI, area lights, and bloom, glare, DOF, etc while in Cycles it will take you a lot of time. It’s specially annoying to see it getting rid of the noise. Shouldn’t be Cycles better/faster? I know we all love it but being honest, It’s slow as hell. I think developers should research in realtime technologies and implement them in Blender.
I hope this doesn’t sound like a rant, but more like honest critique for improving.

Psy-Fi is currently working on a new ‘viewport’ render system that will ultimately allow for things like PBR.

As for having it replace Cycles, you would need to expect the user to have something like a Titan X then to get nice looking renders then, and even then a lot of engines still make use of baked lighting and/or tricks in how the scene is put together to avoid issues.

I’ve also read on the Unreal forums that the extremely deferred-render centric pipeline is making the full implementation of transparent surfaces a nightmare, so even Unreal isn’t all of the way there yet. The VXGI they’re getting (judging from screens), is also still prone to creating blotchy reflections and/or lighting artifacts (and this is without caustics).

So yes, realtime GI in game engines is here now, perfect GI is another story.

Also, a final thing, a lot of the speed and noise issues in Cycles can probably be addressed if it ever got more advanced sampling techniques like Metropolis sampling, Adaptive Sampling, and Bidirectional sampling, the trick is getting it to work where it’s good enough for clean animation (which is why Cycles is still undirectional in nature).

unity is only free for non-commercial, is that important here?

Unity 5 is free for commercial uses too, as long as you earn less than 100.000$, and if you make more, you have to buy a pro license.

Ace Dragon, unity and unreal have their issues and so cycles has. Unity has realtime GI as well as baked. I can use it and get 60 fps with GI, on my modest laptop while Cycles is really slow and awfully noisey. I think Cycles really needs to be optimized a lot or take a different approach. It’s true that you need a lot of graphics power to render all the pretty effects realtime in Unity, but yo need a beast of a GPU to get decent times with Cycles, an nowhere near realtime. If they use “tricks” as you call them, well isn’t that the point with CGI?? I hope the Cycles guys can bring some of those tricks!!

What rendering technologies do DreamWorks or Pixar use? Do they use similar engines to Unity or Unreal? Or do they use a renderer similar to Cycles in vast render farms?

And for Unity/Unreal to have such fluid real time results, doesn’t the geometry need to be relatively low poly?

they all use raytracers like cycles. pixar is using renderman (they are the developers of it) and dreamworks is using its own software, but its also a raytracer

real reflections, refractions, soft shadows are all things that are hard to do in any game engine. also all the GI stuff in the game engine is done with raytracing.

@pingking23, dunawayc was making a rethoric question, he or she already knows the answer.

dunawayc, the title I chose for the thread is “the future of rendering”, not “the present”. Also, what do I care about what they’re using at Pixar. We shouldn’t care less. We have laughable technologies compared to them, so It would be a bit stupid to copy them and their pipelines, in fact that’s why we’re using Blender, right??
i’ve seen realtime GI
scenes with post process efects in Unity and Unreal and they are spectacular. Cycles is very slow, and noisey, that’s just facts that’s all I say

this is unity GI in realtime:

you can have that rendered in Cycles in like…a week???

The two methods aren’t even close to comparable in terms of quality.

In my opinion, further development of technologies like this are the future. I would like to see them both render the exact same scenes.


@m9105826 they look close to me

this is a nice demo, but for me it still looks like a game engine. raytracing/path tracing can get better or more photo realistic results. look at the gallery here or some other renderengines. there is nothing close to that in any game engine.

but its always a question of what do you want to do with it? if your happy with the result from a game engine, then go forward and use it! if you need the extra quality of a “production renderer” and have the time to use it, then that is the right tool for you.

Strange bump I know but I was wondering how many people have started thinking about switching to/have switched to Unreal for rendering? Every forum I read the trend seems to be that you should start learning it now because it’s going to be a big deal. I’m thinking about giving it a go, but i’m in currently learning a few bits of software and don’t really want to be distracted by a new toy. With that being said however, if this really is the future then the earlier I jump on the bandwagon, the better I guess.

From my studies… not there yet.
Baking is still needed, RT shadows are just so-so, there are some small steps in handling larger scenes & geo… otherwise getting PBR shading on proper geometry, having it work with decent GI to have soothing animation is still tedious. Also one has to learn another/extra tool… just for rendering & scene organization…
Tested and still feels a waste of time for very few clients which are willing to pay that extra. Although nice to know if there’s an opportunity, need and cash on hand. Basically it’s loss of quality & detail for sake of animation. If it doesn’t bother you and you’re willing to spend your time learning, testing… just go with it.
I’ll wait for next HW & SW update, DX12… and learn some in between. Slowly growing & creating some nice looking assets to get by.

Would like to hear other studies and experiences.

Another example:

Miss Daisy is a comic short movie recorded in real-time in the Unreal Engine 4. This project was completed in 14 weeks by a group of students at NAD / UQAC for our final semester.