June 29, 2022 Maddie Quach

2022's top Blender renderers

Blender is becoming more and more popular in the creative 3D industry. Many studios and artists are implementing it into their pipelines as a result of the industry’s increasing acceptance of it. It is also for this reason that more and more 3D software is developing or releasing plugins that can support rendering with Blender. To know in detail, let’s explore 2022’s top Blender renderers in this article.

LuxCoreRender

One of the best Blender Renderers is LuxRender. As the successor to the venerable LuxRender, which dates back to 2007, LuxCoreRender is not only one of the most powerful physically-correct render engines available, but also one of the oldest. LuxCoreRender is similar to Blender in that respect because it is likewise an open-source project.

When computing the render, LuxCoreRender’s design philosophy adheres to a no-holds-barred, completely physically correct model.

Some of the most impressive/accurate representations have come as a result of this. It surpasses “conventional” Path-Tracers like Cycles as well thanks to a wealth of features that enable it to compute light information in even the most difficult of settings.

Due to this, LuxCoreRender is very effective at rendering scenes that emphasize highly reflective objects, caustics, or interiors with low lighting.

Additionally, it has light grouping, which Cycles now severely lacks.

Although this no-compromise strategy previously resulted in lengthy render times, improvements to performance, GPU rendering, and potent denoising have significantly improved render speed.

Nvidia Omniverse

Omniverse, a hybrid content production and rendering platform based in USD, was released by Nvidia.

While the collaborative mode and integrated GPU-accelerated dynamic simulations of the content creation module are amazing, to say the least, we are more interested in the rendering module.

The “Omniverse RTX Renderer” rendering module from Omniverse uses real-time ray-tracing right in the viewport with the most recent advancements in Nvidia hardware and software rendering technology. Since the results come quickly and impressively, this is true.

Even while Omniverse’s rendering module is still in its early stages and has yet to demonstrate its viability in a production environment, this is already a very encouraging beginning.

Although there is currently no information on a release date, Nvidia is working on integrating Blender with Omniverse. Anh is one of the Blender Renderers worthy of our expectations.

OctaneRender for Blender

When it initially debuted, OctaneRender was a pioneer in the GPU rendering arena and has since earned a reputation for being a powerful yet quick renderer.

It is a neutral, spectrally accurate render engine that fully utilizes RTX technology to produce accurate images at lightning-fast rates right in the viewport.

Layered materials, Spectral Random Walk Subsurface Scattering, Volumetric Rendering, or Deep Pixel Rendering with complete Nuke integration are some of its advantages, as compared to manually combining shading layers.

In addition to two new “Vectron” and “Spectron” modules that enable the depiction of incredibly huge generative Geometries and Volumes, out-of-core geometry has been optimized for larger scenarios.

Fortunately for Blender users, Octane provides a unique free tier of its Blender plugin, with the restriction that the aforementioned free edition only supports one GPU. The OctaneRender engine is pre-installed in the special Blender build that must be downloaded directly from OTOY in order to utilize the plugin, which may be a hassle for power users who regularly use the default Blender build.

Cycles

The Cycles renderer comes first. The most feature-rich and successfully used renderer in Blender is called Cycles. Being a path-tracing engine, it excels in accurately capturing the intricate details of light bouncing around the environment and interacting with its different components.

With its powerful PBR shading nodes, precise subsurface scattering, vector displacement and adaptive subdivision, volume scattering and absorption, caustics, support for cryptomatte, and other rendering capabilities, Cycles is able to provide a wide range of realistic rendering effects.

Cycles is regularly updated and maintained, with recent work largely on optimization.

This adds to Cycles’ already outstanding feature set and makes it a relatively quick route tracer, especially with the advent of OptiX enabled rendering, which enables it to take advantage of RTX cores to significantly increase rendering performance. Various viewport and render denoisers are also included, including the potent OIDN (CPU) and OptiX (GPU) denoisers.

Additionally, it has tile-stealing functionality for GPU + CPU “Hybrid” rendering and multi-GPU rendering support for both Nvidia and AMD GPUs.

Currently, it is less effective in fields like caustics, where LuxCoreRender outperforms it in terms of both speed and accuracy. Additionally, it lacks light-linking, a popular feature seen in many of its direct rivals.

Cycles has established its viability through the creation of plugins for other 3D programs, such as Insydium’s Cycles4D, which integrates Blender’s Render Engine with Maxon’s Cinema 4D.

Eevee

Eevee was initially created as a “realtime” viewport for Blender with the intention of serving as a pre-viz tool to aid with Cycles’ shading workflow, but it has since developed into a monster all its own.

The real-time rasterization render engine in Blender is called Eevee, and it took the place of the Blender Internal renderer in Blender 2.80. Since its debut, Eevee has generated buzz because demo after demo has demonstrated its strength despite being a rasterization engine.

Even though Eevee can never match a path-tracing engine in terms of raw performance, particularly in areas like Global Illumination, Refraction, and Caustics, it still has a robust feature set:

In addition to the recently added Motion Blur and Cryptomatte support, other features include Volume Rendering, Subsurface Scattering, Hair Support, and a potent Shader-to-RGB node for NPR shading.

Speed is Eevee’s strongest suit.

This is at the price of its main flaws, which stem from the design of its rasterization:

There is no actual path-tracing calculating light bounces outside of the rendering screen for effects like reflection, refraction, contact shadows, and others because they are “screen-space” effects.

This can make producing realistic renders considerably more difficult, especially when contrasted to its faster but less precise path tracing siblings.

Workbench

The “standard” engine driving Blender’s viewport is called the workbench engine. And it is the last of the list best Blender Renderers today.

When all processes prior to texturing, shading, lighting, and rendering are completed, it is primarily responsible for ensuring smooth performance.

There are some strong features in the workbench, however, intended at visually supporting the user across a variety of jobs, such as cavity rendering, matcaps, outlines, and Xray choices, among others, so it’s not all grayscale.

Some daring users even try to train the workbench engine to churn out “completed” renders quickly, but this is neither simple nor recommended for the faint of heart.

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Maddie Quach

Hi everyone. Being an Customer Support from iRender, I always hope to share new things with 3D artists, data scientists from all over the world and learn from them as well.
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