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Blender Rendering Engine Options


renderGentleman, start your render engines. New renderers are available for Blender sporting features like 64-bit support, multi-threads, and XML scene format.

We've all hopefully seen the list at There are certainly a lot of choices, and a lot of discussion in the forums on which render engine is better for this or that. The biggest issue for the Blender community is if there is an export script available from Blender to the renderer in question. There are always our good friends YafRay, POV-Ray, MegaPOV, etc., but here is a short list and description of a few renderers that have been making some waves, been updated recently, and are freely available. Some might just surprise you.

Last Update: 2/16/06, version 1.3.01
OS: Windows, Linux
64-bit available?: No
Multi-thread available?: No
Blender export script?: Yes, downloadable from site.
Notes: XML scene configuration, stand-alone application

Last Update: 2/26/06, version 0.05.5
OS: OS Independent
64-bit available?: Yes (if JDK is 64-bit)
Multi-thread available?: Yes
Blender export script?: Yes, downloadable from site.
Notes: Completely written in Java, open source

Last Update: 2/25/06, version 0.3
OS: Windows
64-bit available?: No
Multi-thread available?: No
Blender export script?: Yes, downloadable from site.
Notes: XML scene format, unbiased raytracer, code available

Last Update: 2/17/06, version 5.0
OS: Windows, Linux, Mac
64-bit available?: No
Multi-thread available?: Yes
Blender export script?: In development on elysiun
Notes: Renderman-compliant, campatable with Dr. Queue and BORG GUI, free for non-commercial use, extensive user manual.

Last Update: 8/23/05, version 0.6.0
OS: Windows
64-bit available?: No
Multi-thread available?: No
Blender export script?: Yes, on elysiun.
Notes: ASCII file format

About the Author


Just a guy really into 3D, especially where Blender is concerned.


  1. Next version of Kerkythea is coming soon with new features like HDRI support, scripting, batch render, network render, shader SDK and more.

    A brand new Python exporter is coming too, and this one will beat them all (I'm not saying this only because I am developing it... LOL).

    One thing is sure, Kerkythea is the fastest of the five listed by Eugene.

  2. I took a look at Vidro and it definately might be nice. I've tried to use it, but I found it a bit complicated to use with Blender. From the post:

    "Export from Blender as OBJ. (rotate the object in blender -90 degrees on the X axis, so it shows up properly oriented in Vidro. Also the scene file doesn't support rotation on object (only scaling and location), so you need to set your rotation in Blender too, before export..."

  3. Vassilios Boucer on

    -Yes you are Right!...i found it also Complicated to use with Blender...about rotation and so...but its Great!
    If it has better support or Development for Blender...the Problem is ofcourse Japanese!


  4. You are forgot another renderman compatible renderers such as Aqsis and Pixie.
    I am alredy work with Pixie with my own exporter. I think after optimization and gui rewriting I'll make some tutorials.

  5. I second that. Pixie is a very impressive Renderman-compliant renderer (it has many of the features of PRMan) and is GPL'd, so you don't have to worry about "non-commercial use only" clauses, etc. The combination of Blender and a decent way to export materials, geometry, and animation to Pixie would be a good, free, cinema-quality solution. I like Blender's renderer, and it keeps getting better with each new version, but it can't currently match Renderman shaders. I'm hoping that the new node system and plans for using Python to program shaders will change all that in the future, though.

  6. So, what about Yaffray? Is it dead?

    I posted a bug report several months ago, and have had no reply. On top of that, I see no activity either. There are a bunch of things (mainly related to textures and lights) that don't translate correctly from Blender to Yafray, too.

  7. Will Blender support other external renderers the way it does Yafray? These other projects deserve a first-citizenship status as much as Yafray--this is OSS, after all.

    Think about it. An open, advertised (in the blender site) and well-documented render API would only be fair where OSS is concerned, it would generate lots of new stuff for blender (with the side effect of publicity) and it would give users a few more real rendering options (let's be realistic. An export script for animations?)

    If there IS an open rendering API, then I stand corrected, but if you need to memorize the blender codebase before you can write an external renderer, then I stand by my observation.

  8. Afaik, Kerkythea supports multi-thread. WHen you press "start render" button (running guy), the window that appears have "Threads" as the last parameter.

    What a list you collect in here! :)

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