lately I have been asked quite often if I am using the cycles renderer that comes with blender. Everybody is telling me how great it is and how realistic and how fast and all.
Well finally I tried (Andreas asked me yesterday and suggested I really should give it a try. Well here we go:
What I like about cycles:
Cycles DOES indeed pretty good, realistic and sharp looking renders.
Cycles makes setting up a scene much simpler. Almost everything is realtime and there is not much you have or can tweak since everything is raytraycing anyway
I like the node-based materials-system.
What I don’t like about cycles:
Everything is raytraycing anyway. There is nothing you can really tweak much to get better performance and thus it is…
…very, very, very sluggish.
Just take a look:
This is the Blender internal renderer. I spare you the details but the rendering took me on my machine less then one minute and looks quite decent IMHO.
And this here…
Is cycles. The materials are not exactly the same and I reduced the amount of particles to 50% of the BI-rendering and tough..
…this rendering took more then 8(!) minutes on the same machine. I admit its a bit more crisp and all… but hey, if I configure the internal renderer in such a way that it can take 8 minutes to render… well, go figure.
Conclusion (for me)
Cycles is a neat thing. If I would be the still-frame guy I would like it. It makes it easy to set up scenes very fast without getting too deep into detail. Kind of a McDonalds approach which can be good thing.
However: I am not a still-frame guy. I am into animations and this is where rendertimes actually DO MATTER. Thus a Dragon Love Story will be rendered on the internal (and fast) blender-internal renderer.