Good idea for a thread, and it’s a debate that pops up now and again as Cycles improves.
The important question here is “Will Bi fall by the wayside?”
I think it would be a mistake, or at least for a long while.
If Bi was thrown out, it would be only because Cycles had gotten to the point where it could do everything BI can do, and do it better and FASTER. Which is a lot to ask.
Hardware questions aside (Cycles continues to get faster and faster, even if you don’t have a great card; what would have taken 200 or more passes to render without noise a few months ago can now be done in about 50…) Cycles simply can’t do some things yet. But those are the things they are working feverishly on. Volumetrics for example.
With shader like the BI voxel data thing you’d be able to make smoke and fire and 'splosions in Cycles.
Particles is something Cycles hasn’t really gotten to yet.
And, of course, speed, even though it is getting faster (if you have multiple GPUs, my guess is that it might now be able to realistically render an animated scene in about the time BI could do the same animation in a “toony” or “painted” fashion…)
Of course, there are workarounds. And this is why I think BI should be kept onboard for as long as possible. Through the use of compositing, all the “special effects” that BI can do (and Cycles can’t) can be compositing into realistic footage already rendered by Cycles.
We still need both. Getting rid of BI right now would be to chop off one of Blender’s arms. And no, it wouldn’t just be a “flesh wound.”
I’m a big fan of BI. Animation in BI has a certain creaminess, a smoothness, that Cycles, with all it’s “realism” lacks, IMO. Somehow Cycles animation sometimes still looks “jerky” to me, and I still can’t figure out why. There’s also this weird anticeptic clinical coldness I feel somewhere inside when watching Cycles animation. Sorry to get all poetical about it.
On the contrary, BI creates very warm, even lived-in animated worlds.
At the same time, BI animation has a softness to it. I’m nearsighted, and sometimes, watching BI animation, I feel I forgot my glasses. And BI can still produce weird artifacts that I can often never find the cause of, whether it’s because of lighting, or … I don’t know. And yet those never happen in Cycles.
Again. Sorry to get poetical and rambly.
It’s the difference between oil painting and photography. I love both. There’s a call for both. It depends on what story you’re trying to tell.
I hope they keep the Magic of BI, even as the Realism Monster gets more and more ferocious.
Oh, and if they get rid of the Game Engine, I’m leaving Blender entirely forever. Maybe a lot of filmmakers dont use it, but they should. It can do some incredible things that are impossible to do manually, even if it isn’t what you’d want for making a video game.