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19 Billion Triangles Render

Using instancing, Agus3D created this image containing 19 billion (19 000 000 000) triangles. The kicker? The scene used only 200MB of memory and required 40 minutes to render in Cycles. The .blend file is available, so go try it for yourself!

Agus3D writes:

I wanted to test Cycles performing landscapes, so i setup a quick scene with 54K instances of two tree meshes each one aprox 200K and 150K polygons and four texture maps about 512^2pixels, the blender memory indicator displayed about 200MB and the process window showed about 500MB ram so there is a bunch of memory left to put a lot more. Nice!

I predict that with 4Gbytes you could put more than 500K instances or perhaps a lot more! you could easily break the trillion polygon barrier, If you are willing to wait for the label "copying transformation to the device" i wonder if that could be optimized, because when it start to build the BVH in make it in a fraction of that time.



  • Rogério Perdiz

    Thank you very very much! I've tried to make this without success many times, thank you for making this and sharing it!

  • AlexDS

    oh dear ! :>

  • Ramaswamy


  • Ninja7

    Great!! how about rendering with the new gtx 680 now..Fantastic work!!

    • 8-bit

      oh, so tempted to get that GPU! 

      • Ninja7

        Yes, but i don't have enough money now, so i keep my gts 250 not supported by cycles render... 

  • JDMulti

    Now compare that with 3ds Max 2012 that crashes loading a file of 150mb containing only 300k poly's and takes about 6GB of memory. And if it can't be worse, "If it will render at all" This all using a machine with 8 cores, 20GB RAM and 2gb gfx card.
    Now Autodesk can eat that, would love to use Blender instead of 3ds max at work!! :P 

  • Nathan van Hulst

    Really nice, posted before that blender can take more then the commercial software I'm using atm. It's really impressive that such an opensource application can handle such scenes while a commercial application I use has serious problems.

    Nice work, keep going this way with Blender, if I had a little more time I would pick up blender again. I miss it =(

  • Andrew Price

    Wow... what?!? That's incredible!

    I've tried large scale vegetation scenes as well but I didn't get anywhere near this level of realism.

    Awesome job mate. Bravo!

    PS. For contrast, here's the (now lame) image I made using the internal render engine and alpha masked planes :P

    • Ninja7

      Your job is fantastic for my eyes...and with the internal render

    • skulpter


      Your Blender Internal render still has its place, the artistic/faker look, than the ultra realistic look that Cycles often gives.  How can we make Cycles look like the artistic BI render?

      • Err0L

        "How can we make Cycles look like the artistic BI render?"

        Use the BI render :).

    • guesty

       I need a nature academy V2 or i need repaid ! lol !

  • barkerd25017

    holy crap

  • 8-bit

    i was wondering why this made headlines...until i realized it was BILLIONS. Very cool inded!

  • Ankit Pruthi

    Just enable passes and see the ram requirement shoot up, and increase resolution to shoot it up even more!! :P

  • skulpter

    How do we make these Cycles render look more artistic, instead of realistic?

  • onjoFilms

    Awesome work.  Saves having to learn a new software like Vue or the like.  One critique: The first image's shadow doesn't appear to be long enough for the position of the sun.  But the realism otherwise is smashing.

  • Hippy

    on video tutorial on this would be fantastic please!! ;-)

  • jordi957

    one word: AMAZING
    40 minutes using cycles to boot?!?!? :O

  • Drxms

    Promising and hopefully this means no more crashes! :( (I know wishfull thinking)

  • Zomby

    Is 19 billion mean 19E9 or 19E12 ?

    • Ninja7

      it is 19 000 000 000

      • Caleb Jones

        That depends if you're american or british, right?

        • Axel Bunge

          USA vs Rest of the World actually...

          • CS

            Actually there are quite a few countries that use the short scale, 47 when I counted.

          • jordi957

            Kind of off topic, isn't this?

        • Shang

          19 billions = 19'000.000'000.000 (International System of Units) however for Some countries that talk English, 19 billions = 19 thousand millions.

    • Bart Veldhuizen

      Added a note, thanks!

  • 422797679

    Incredable !  I've been Learned 3DS max , finished some short film ..., just nearly a week , I started to Learning Blender , Blender community is great , share all things , but Tutorials are hard to find for I am in China . but I'm trying , I'd like to buy that tutorials , but ....... how can I get that ? Only thing  I can do now is looking fo some free  tutorials !

    • Aniruddha Hardikar

      Youtube has a lot of video tutorials for blender 2.5 or 2.6. You should also check out

  • Ricbena

    BART!  Would be nice if you QUITE the render time, because there is people that with a GPU are rendering it IN ONLY 3 MINUTES!! please, thats BETTER advertisement for cycles!

    • Muhammad Faisal

      In case you didn't paid attention, he rendered it using CPU. And 40 minutes for 100 passes in a scene like that, is quite FAST.

  • alim

    But Onlything I can say about Blender is "good"! , Most attracting thing to me that in blender is "open GL rendering sequence " and  FAST rendering speed !

  • Philippe ROUBAL

    Amazing result and performances ! I hope that Cycles will soon allow to select 2 GPus among 3, as currently I have to chose between only one of my two GTX 580 and all my GPUs, including the GTX 260 dedicated to display, leading to a small amount of available VRAM (the amount of the card with less VRAM : GTX260). So currently I can use only 896 MB instead of the 3GB of my GTX 580.

    The very recent EVGA GTX 680 FTW 4GB will provide amazing possibilities !

  • Vicentecarro

    Just a suggestion: Maybe the title should specify the number of zeroes. In Europe 19 billions is 19E12.

  • Antoni M. Marek

    I love it! Amazing!!! So realistic...

  • Mehmet PINARCI

    fields of polygons , it was like a dream :)

  • Gus

    Very cool test, thanks Agus3D! My results (will post in BA too): 04min:06.71 sec. System specs: Win7 64, 16Gb RAM, GPU NVidia 560Ti 2048 Gb, CPU i7 2600. Blender release 45106, rendered with GPU Experimental

    • Michael Dinca

       same specs except for the 560Ti 1gb under 4 min cant remember did the render last night, the other option not the experimental :D

  • nwhimkeeline

    PLEASE.... PLEASE.... post more of these on blender nation.  I have downloaded this file and looked through it and learned a lot.  I was dying to see a dot product material working and the python script is BRILLIANT.  I will use this in a LOT of projects.   My current issue with blender is finding good information on cycles materials examples etc.  


  • Richard Slater

    Incrível! 19 bilhões de triângulos é um número realmente grande para uma única sena. 
    A imagem é belíssima, levou o render levou 40min no Cycles, vou ver quanto tempo leva o render no meu PC. :)

  • Toni T Rissanen

    58.17 min
    80/100 rendered


    MD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ Dual core
    nVIDIA GeForce GT 520 (GF119)
    2Gb RAM

  • Aldi

    It's amazing how you can get away with realism with only two trees! Awesome work, indeed!

  • TxRx

    Now not to bring this down but it could be 1 trillion using instancing like that. Nicely presented example and thoroughly amazed at the awesome moves forward with blender these days. 

  • Michael

    Wow! Gz, nice realism for just a quick test.  I wish I would achive this in my final renders, lol. 

    Render result: 02:50.96
    Blender revision: 45096
    Cycles GPU, supported
    OS: Ubuntu 11.10
    Hardware: Intel I7 870, 16GB RAM, NVIDIA GTX 570

  • Xero

    sorry that was the sound of my jaw hitting the floor. Yo I'm just blown away by this piece of awesomeness right.

  • Richard Slater

    No meu PC o render com  Cycles levou apenas 8 minutos.
    Render 08 minutos
    Cycles GPU, suportado
    OS: Ubuntu 11.10
    AMD Phenom II x6
    16 Gb de RAM

    NVIDIA GT 250 1gb

  • JeannotLandry

    Wow, this is totally insane! My crappy computer rendered it in 6min 39sec and 36...

    Computer spec:
    AMD Phenome X6 64bit 3.2GHz with 8 gigs Ram and a very crappy Radeon HD 6450 (512Megs)...

    How on earth is that possible! Please, please, pretty please, make a tutorial on how you acheived this!!!!

  • bb

    I just do not believe. Amazing.

  • Aniruddha Hardikar

    You guys, head to the blenderartists thread, people are getting insane render times. I made it under 4 minutes and someone just got it in 1.30 minutes.

    This scene can be instrumental in illustrating the strength of blender/cycles when handling high polygon scenes. Real great work by the author!

    • 8-bit

      Yes, my thoughts exactly - This scene appears to be a good benchmark to test out one's system. Probably not the intent of the artist...but I'm downloading, partially to see it on my system and to benchmark.

  • Jack-Jack

    Heh... Almost 8 hours on my OLD  P-IV 3 GHz

  • Ethan Ewing

    Amazing :O
    Also a few hundred more passes might help so there's less noise.

  • Asdasd

    P-IV as in Pentium four? Or Panzer IV? :O

  • John carlson

    more info about instancing in Blender:

    search for:

    Instancing Objects in Blender (and more!)


    but what if you wanted all your duplicates to stay linked together

    (Blender Foundations: The Essential Guide to Learning Blender 2.6)




    Instancing objects in Blender

  • AcAnimate

    Rendering this with Nvidia Quadro 6000.. only take 10 minutes ^^

  • Philippe ROUBAL

    Hey ! Rev 45133 on Graphicall seems to use my two GTX 580 ! Experimenting...

  • kumar yesitsme

    Here are my render details.

    One with Default 60% Time taken: 4:40.52
    and the Other at 100% (1080) Time taken:11:42.28

    My sys config
    Intel core i7 2600 CPU at 3.40GHz
    8GB DDR3 RAM
    XFX Geforce 7600GT
    Win7 64bit

  • Phobiss

    My render results were:

    Default at 60% from fullHD, 100 spp CUDA GPU (original blend) =  3:31

    and One modified at 100% fullHD, 200 spp CUDA GPU = 31:43.15

    • Phobiss

       I forgot:

      Intel i7 2.6Ghz
      9 Gb DDR3 RAM
      MSi GeForce GTX 260 SC
      Win7 64bit

  • Philippe ROUBAL

    Hi, I have not made a bench test with the provided file, but I have set up a scene with 1 million of detailed fully modeled firtrees (126000 faces each) as well as a scene with both two types of medium poly trees with textures and fully modelled trees. It requires a bit more VRAM with textures, but the amount of VRAM is no more than 320 MB for this huge landscape.

    The total RAM amount used on the motherboard (OS=Win7x64 included) is 5140MB of my 8GB, and Blender uses only 4157MB.

    It looks like Cycles is becoming a very efficient tool for huge landscapes !

  • Philippe ROUBAL

    I don't show an image because the lighting is poor, as well as materials, as I am not yet used to Cycles, but my best result so far in term of numbers is 3 000 000 of detailed trees of 127 596 faces each = 382 790 000 000 faces ! On a subdivided terrain of 1024 faces with a texture. The amount of GPU VRAM used measured with EVGA Precision X version 3.01 is 2347 MB (on Two GTX 580 3GB).
    I tried at 4 000 000 trees but failed. My current limitation is partially due to my rather old P5K motherboard supportinhg only 8GB og RAM. At 3 millions of detailed trees, the system starts to use the cache on disk and the loading process becomes slow. At 4 millions, I got a message about VRAM limit but i didn't remenber exactly what. Something like Null... Allocation. I think I could reach 3.5 millions with same trees or much more with medium poly trees. Background usually doesn't require high poly trees, but I plan to render a flyover, so the best quality is required. Cycles looks very promising. I have to learn it more to get better lighting in landscapes.

  • Nonami Ayo

    Boy!!!!!!! You guys just make me love Blender!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep up the beautiful work, I'm catching up soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Nonami Ayo

    On my humble laptop it took 22:11:78
    AMD Athlon II P360 DuoCore 2.30Ghz
    3GB RAM, ATI Catalyst mem abt 1400MB
    This is beautiful work

  • Methinks

    rendered in 40.13 seconds. Default settings, (Other than setting gpu render)

    Intell i7 930 (quad core, 2.8GHz)
    12Gb ram

    2 x geforce 460 gtx
    1 x quadro 4000

    Mint Linux 12

  • Nasif Md. Tanjim

    Hey man, It's simply fabulous.  Would you mind providing a tutorial of this, not some

  • 1D_Inc


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