Why I still use Blender for multi million dollar projects.

Why I still use Blender for multimillion-dollar projects.

Published 12th July 2019

The reason I write this Article.

I don’t know if I am the only person doing this, but sometimes I wake up thinking well, maybe Blender isn’t the right thing for me anymore. Then I browse the web, watching at the features of Maya, Arnold, and others for hours but in the end, I always come to the conclusion, that Blender is still the right choice for me.

And I think that I am not the only one who sometimes thinks like this. Not only professionals, but especially beginners who want to become better and think about maybe working as a 3D artist one day can be insecure when it comes to this topic.

For people who are insecure about this topic or beginners who ask themselves self is Blender really the right software to start with and especially to continue with I wrote this article. So, I list up the reasons, why Blender is the best 3D Software for me personally even for “Pros”.

01. Cycles

The Render-Engine, we all love and use. But sometimes there comes this question isn’t the Arnold render more realistic or Redshift faster? And the answer is yes.

But the question is, “Does this matter?”. And, if we all agree that faster and more realistic renderings are something good in my opinion it is not that important. Raytracing engines like Octane, Arnold, or Cycles don’t distinguish so much when it comes to realism and output quality. When it comes to speed cycles isn’t that bad. In the past, I tried out Redshift and octane which are much faster on the first view but with the same number of lightpaths, the difference can be very small. So, when it comes to speed better to invest in hardware than software.

The aspect that is in my opinion way more important is handling and this is where Cycles beats all the others. The reason is very simple. Cycles is native in Blender, so they work perfectly together. Blender is currently the only 3D software that ships with a production-ready render engine.
There are also features like the build-in Denoiser or the principled Shaders like “Principled BSDF” or the principled hair and volume Shader which are included in the upcoming Blender 2.8 which aren’t unique but still very rare. Especially the seamless switch between Eevee (the new Realtime engine in Blender) will be a huge time/money saver in the future and is also something unique to Blender.
Another thing that most Blender users take for granted is the Support of CPU, Nvidia GPU, and AMD GPU which is also currently unique.

You don’t need Redshift or Octane for good performance.

02. The Community

What makes Blender to the program we all know is the Community. In the 3D world good Tutorials and forums are very rare. It’s close to impossible to learn Maya or 3Ds Max over YouTube. Here Blender is completely different. I feel like the focus isn’t on making money its more on supporting each other and creating awesome things. It is hard to describe but this makes a big difference.

03. It is Open-source.

What comes first in mind when most people hear Open source most importantly for them seems the fact that it is free. Which is a huge selling point for Blender. But certainly, it doesn’t stop here. Being able to read and modify the code of a program enables other develops to easily created add-ons or rewrite parts of the program which maybe influences the program itself cause of this blender’s development is much closer to what the users want.

This is also a benefit for bigger productions like Man in the High Castle where a lot of custom code came to use.
On the other hand, there is no real Support or even a company which would offer this. This is a thing which deters some Companies of using it.

03. It is Open-source.

I can put in a USB-Stick and have everything ready, to sculpt, render and composite which is just awesome.

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7 Tipps - How to render faster in Blender

7 Tipps - How to render faster in Blender

Edited 24th March 2020

01. Use GPU + CPU

Since Blender Version 2.8 you can use your GPU and CPU simultaneously. Which can give you a huge advantage especially if you own a good CPU like a Threadripper or a Xeon CPU.

If you have an Nvidia RTX GPU you can also switch from CUDA to OptiX which will also increase your render performance by 20%-30%.

02. Denoiser

Since Blender version 2.82 we have now 3 Denoisers.
The default one from Blender itself. which is also the oldest one, since it exists since version 2.79.
Then there is the IOID Denoiser from Intel which works with artificial intelligence and delivers remarkable results as you can see in my article “Blender 2.81 new denoiser (IOID) a real Gamechanger”.

And then there is also the Optix denoiser from Nvidia, which works only with their RTX GPUs. It is the same denoiser that’s used by every Game with Raytracing and enables denoising right inside the Viewport.

Using a Denoiser allows you to use fewer samples by achieving the same result.

03. Keep it simple

Try to avoid as many polygons as possible and delete unnecessary objects in the scene or hide them.

A new feature of Blender 2.8 which can help is the Cycles bevel node. Which enables you, to create bevels based on a normal map. But the problem here is, that it only works for very small bevels. On bigger bevels, it doesn’t look good.

04. Light Paths

The Lightpaths simply set, how often the light bounces from one to another object. Technically more light bounces mean more realism since in reality, the number of bounces is close to infinity especially with glass or in very complex scenes this is the case but most of the times there is no real difference between many or just a few light bounces speaking about the End result. For a simple scene Total: 5 Light bounces should make your scene render faster and don’t change the result.

But here it is the same as with the Denoiser its all about experimenting and getting a feeling for it how it affects your rendering.

05. Principled Shader

The principled Shader not only brings more realism by default it also brings optimized performance over a recreation of the same Shader. In Blender 2.8 we got Principled hair and Principled Volume beside Principled BSDF so use them they are awesome. What matters is the final result and not the afford you put in by creating everything by yourself.

06: Use the latest Blender Version.

Roughly every 3 months Blender publishes a new Major version of Blender, Which not only means new features, (which also can improve performance) It also comes with a lot of performance improvements.

If you want to stay up to date with the latest version of Blender you can install it over Steam for the nongamers of you Steam is the biggest online Store for Videogames but it also has other Software like Blender in their range.

release plan for Blender

07: Use another render Engine

Cycles is not the only Render Engine out there. It is also not the only render Engine for Blender or the only free Render Engine for Blender.
In some cases, it can make sense to use another one, to get better performance or better results. I wrote a whole article about this topic where I listed Every Render Engine for Blender.

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