Introduction

Under my last post, someone commented with This video about how to Speed up renderers in Cycles. Made by my friend Remington Graphics, which you should subscribe to if you don’t do this already. Anyway, I was watching the video, because I was eating Dinner and I tend to watch random videos while eating.

And I recognized that today were most advanced Blender users are using already Blender version 2.8 it maybe makes sense, to write an article about rendering faster in Blender 2.8 Cycles since many things changed. And also, if Eevee is now out there which looks very good for a Realtime engine there is still a huge difference between Cycles and Eevee.

By the way, if you don’t use Blender 2.8 and you are a hobbyist, I would recommend downloading it since it has so many new awesome features. If you are a professional, I would also recommend downloading it but not to use it on important client projects so that you can directly start with Blender 2.8 if the final version is out there. Which will be in Q1 2019 as far I know but currently no one knows for sure.

01. Using GPU + CPU

In Blender 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.

02. Denoiser

The Denoiser is part on Blender since version 2.79 but still, only a few people use it. This feature simply reduces the noise which allows you to get noise-free images with a way lower sampling rate.

But if you go to low with the samples you will get odd artifacts which won’t look good either. I recommend testing this feature, to get a feeling on how it works.

It works really well and saves a lot of time for stills but it’s not that great for videos. Which means I still use it on videos but still try to keep the sampling rate high to eliminate the rest of the noise.

Remington Graphics developed an own Denoiser Addon which works with an Artificial Intelligence. Which is even better than the one that comes already with Blender and it’s for free.

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.

"Work smart not hard!"