Rendering Using Cycles in Blender
Illustration by Richard Downs

Understanding render settings


From:

Rendering Using Cycles in Blender

with George Maestri

Video: Understanding render settings

Now the Cycles Renderer is a completely different Renderer than the Blender Renderer. So let's go through some of the basic settings for Cycles. We find these in the Render tab. Now under Render we have how you want the Render displayed. You want to Display in a New Window or in a Viewport. Feature Set. This is actually pretty important. Typically we leave this as Supported, which is the Supported Features, but Cycles is adding new features all the time; it is a very dynamic Renderer.

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Watch the Online Video Course Rendering Using Cycles in Blender
1h 28m Intermediate Jan 24, 2013

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The open-source 3D graphics suite Blender now offers Cycles, a rendering engine that adds a new degree of realism and professionalism to your projects. In this course, George Maestri introduces Cycles, and reviews its lighting types, materials, and render settings. Learn how to layer shaders, enhance surfaces with texture and gloss, and add lifelike lighting and shadows to your scenes. In the final chapter, follow along with a small, self-contained project, where a simple architectural interior will be rendered.

Topics include:
  • Controlling interactive rendering
  • Using the shader node system
  • Adding textures to materials
  • Adding bumps and displacements
  • Adding primary and secondary lights
  • Using ambient occlusion
  • Using objects as light sources
  • Creating cameras
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Blender
Author:
George Maestri

Understanding render settings

Now the Cycles Renderer is a completely different Renderer than the Blender Renderer. So let's go through some of the basic settings for Cycles. We find these in the Render tab. Now under Render we have how you want the Render displayed. You want to Display in a New Window or in a Viewport. Feature Set. This is actually pretty important. Typically we leave this as Supported, which is the Supported Features, but Cycles is adding new features all the time; it is a very dynamic Renderer.

If you want you can add in Experimental Features, which will give you additional features, which may or may not work. If you want everything to work, make sure that's on Supported. Now in addition to this we have a Dimensions tab here, which is basically how big you want to render. Do you want it to be 1080p? Do you wanted to be 720p? Aspect Ratio, Frame Rate, all that stuff, is pretty much the same as it is with the Blender Renderer.

Do we want to put a Stamp on this? In another words, do we want to put a watermark? Output. Where are we actually outputting our images to? If we're going to do animation rendering, what type of file are we going to be rendering to? So if we want to render to JPEG, you need to select JPEG and the Quality. Sampling--which we covered before and we have Sampling for Preview--but I forgot to mention that we also have a number of Samples for the actual Final Render, so again, the higher the number, the higher-quality the render.

Now another really important one for the Cycles Renderer is the Light Paths and this controls the quality of the lighting in the scene. So we have Direct Light, which is basically just using the Lights in the scene. We have Limited Global Illumination, which adds in bounce lighting or softer lighting, and we have Full Global Illumination, which is the closest to realism that you can get. And typically, I render with this, but if you don't need these additional features, if you want to render with just the lights you have in the scene, you have that option.

Now we also have a rollout here for Performance. Again this is for rendering. We have a number of Threads, which is basically how much of your computer is it using to render, so by Auto Detected, Auto detects the number of Threads in your CPU or CPU's, and assigns them or you can actually reduce that by clicking over to Fixed and this will free up resources for other things. So if you want to model while you render, you might want to not use all of your CPU.

And then also the Acceleration Structure. Typically you keep it on Dynamic. And then the number of Tiles. In other words, how much of the scene is going to render in one byte? And then finally we have Render Layers, which are pretty much the same as in the Blender Renderer. So now that we understand some of the basics of rendering, we can go ahead and move on to actually creating Materials and starting to render.

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