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Sunflow Global Illumination Rendering System


sunflowSunflow is an Open Source Global Illumination rendering system written in Java. A new version was released today and it works with Blender thanks to a Python export script that has been made available.

The images in their gallery are pretty impressive although I don't know if they were made with Blender or not. I also wonder a bit about how fast it is, being written in Java.. any comments on that?

About GI renderers (from Wikipedia):

Global illumination algorithms used in 3D computer graphics are those which, when determining the light falling on a surface, take into account not only the light which has taken a path directly from a light source (direct illumination), but also light which has undergone reflection from other surfaces in the world (indirect illumination).

Images rendered using global illumination algorithms are more photorealistic than images rendered using local illumination algorithms. However, they are also much slower and more computationally expensive.

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Hi B@rt,

    Just thought I'd say congrats on a great Blender Blog here. I bookmarked your site as soon as I found it, and I haven't been disapointed, you always post very interesting articles, including a lot of cool stuff I would have missed if it weren't for you. So thank you!

    I just thought I'd let you know your "Discussion on Elysiun" link above links to the Sunflow feature list as well, the links are the same. :) I'm not sure of the exact Discussion your talking about or I'd get the link for you.

    Keep up the great blog.

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