What is the best external render engine for Blender?

I have been trying to decide which external render engine to learn how to use, but there are a few to choose from and I’m not sure where to start. I’ve played with them all a little bit, but I am curious what longtime users think about which is the best for use with Blender.

Let me know if there are any good ones that I missed and I will add them to the poll.

I’m sure that there are others like me that are curious about the pros and cons of these tools and would like to hear what people think. Thanks for any input you have on this.

im trying to use bmrt which quite reasonable because there are quite more renderman compatible renderers which some are available for evalutaion copies for free. And there is a tool for making shaders at www.dream.com.ua called shaderman, by which you can make shaders, compile them and use it with Green’s blenderman script.
i couldn’t run virtuallight because of python 1.5, but it looks comprimising as well.

It’ s too early to compare Povanim to Blenderman which has a more developed GUI.



virtualight sucks, man!! how can anybody put vl over lf or bmrt?

When i saw the renders on their website (www.3dvirtualight.com) i was disappointed… compared to when i saw the lf website (www.lightflowtech.com), i was totally numbed -> the renders are FANTASTIC!!!

One time there was an article on vl and the boss of the company commented one of the renders as ‘the most realistic render i have ever seen done by virtualight’… and guess what, it was miles away from being as realistic as lf or bmrt, i’m serious!


btw: bmrt was used in films such as bug’s life and hollow man, lf became some kind of an award from alias|wavefront, and virtualight sux…

virtualight is still young,…

bmrt isn’t very actively developped anymore,…

lightflow sure looks really nice,…

3DGamer, just you wait and see. Just because the only available renders on the website are from a few kids playing around with early versions of VL doesn’t mean anything. But I realize you probably only know what your lazy, immature ass allows you to take in. You know nothing of the underlying code, nothing of how VL is poised to compete with renderers beyond silly bmrt. BMRT is dead - what are you smoking! Do you mean entropy? Ever heard of Brazil, Final Render, Mental Ray, Etc. ??? Lightflow is also dead. I have used all the above renderers and more - obviously you can’t say the same. VirtuaLight will soon have features you have never heard of and eventually people like me will release proper scenes rendered with VL and you will see the light.

The exact quote was “Well, this is simply the best still image I’ve ever seen rendered by VirtuaLight… congratulations! A new winner for the gallery ;)”

HE DID NOT SAY the most REALISTIC, just the best the author has seen so far since only a few kiddies have even played with it.

In the meantime, stfu.

Yay!! Does this mean we will see more reflective/refractive stuff on planes from you?
I really hope so since I find them very original.

Yay!! Does this mean we will see more reflective/refractive stuff on planes from you?
I really hope so since I find them very original.

I find that sarcasm is for weak minded individuals who can’t think of anything original to say. When have I ever rendered a silly setup such as what you describe? Never. You will never see such mindless bs from me.



Well, VirtuaLight used to have one vote anyways - since I voted for it before it was removed and then added back.

I don’t know what happened to the Virtualight option, I thought it was in originally, but then it was gone, so I put it back this morning. Do we have a hacker in our midst who changed this? It sure wasn’t Guinness. :wink:

hehe :slight_smile: If the VirtuaLight votes go up I would surely become a suspect :slight_smile:

I ahve to say that of all of the renderers I tried, Virutalight was one of the easiest to get up and running. I wish there was a Shaders program for Virtualight like there is for BMRT (Shaderman) or LightFlow (matSpiderLF). Guinness, do you know if one is in development or if one exists already?

Yes, a standalone shader program is in development and it seems that the lady working on it is doing a nice job. There are some bugs in VL that are currently being fixed and some new features will arrive soon in VL, and even more over the next year. VirtuaLight Interface 1.2 already has more built-in functions than the Renderman Interface, a Linux version is coming, network rendering, subsurface light scattering, glass absorption, HDRI, etc.

P.S. And a new Blender export.

i have been playing with,bmrt,pov and lightflow.virtualight is far too slow
for me.so far i have gotten the best results from lightflow,pov is second,and bmrt is third,dont get me wrong,greens script is excellent
and works well,but the caustics and metals in lightflow are better.
i am still doing comparison renders with all 3,so far lightflow comes out on top.this is only my opinion.on another note,blenders render engine
is fast and efficient,with a little extra work,you can get convincing results
in a fraction of the time,just look at the cjs.anyway each renderer has its own attributes and shortcomings,personal preferance and familiarity play a big role in wich you choose.

nuff said!


I have used (or at least tried) most available raytracers, they all have there strong and weak points. It is all a matter of opinion really, use whatever you like best. I definitly agree that Lightflow could use an update, if that is ever going to happen I don’t know. I definitly would recomend anyone to try the other available exporters first, and then maybe when your desperate enough the Lightflow script. At least VirtuaLight is actively developed. I still also look forward to the Mystique renderer.

I still also look forward to the Mystique renderer.

Me too!