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Andrew Price's 13 Ways to Reduce Your Render Times


Andrew Price of Blender Guru just post a few simple reminders to reduce your render time.

Andrew Price writes on the article:

Nobody likes waiting for hours whilst their render finishes, but most people do. Little do they know, they can cut these render times in half with a little bit of tweaking.

Link: 13 Ways to Reduce Your Render Times


  1. hum... no. You can as well 'turn off' Blender to reduce render times! There are several techniques to keep render times to a minimun, which are:

    0. Raytracing is in many cases more efficient than scanline rendering, this is a proven fact, not only in scenes with reflective objects.
    1. Consider if you really need GI or can get by without it.
    3. Consider if, given the complexity of your lighting rig, a GI solution would be better for you.
    4. Get to know how the GI algorithms work and the best cases for them.
    5. Read the documentation of your software and generic documentation available on the net.
    6. Have a plan in advance about resolution and the lighting setup.
    7. Use Blender preview tools in the test phase (scaled down renders, border rendering).
    8. Use multipass rendering. Break down your scene in passes of layers of object, like in traditional animation (background, middleground, foreground). Optimise for each of these "grounds".
    9. Use multipass rendering. Break down your scene in passes of renders (AO, DL, specular, etc).
    10. Save HDR and tonemap instead of re rendering.
    11. Re use stuff always: textures, models, lighting rigs, animation rigs, ect.
    12. Have a tidy and clean library of models, rigs and textures ready to be used in any work.
    13. Use adaptive sampling whenever is possible.
    14. Make your textures at least 2x times as they appear in your render, no more no less.

  2. Alvaro: Thanks for this list! It's much more useful (to me) than Andrew's, which is kind of 'for dummies'. You're right, you might just as well turn off Blender. Unless it's just for basic testing purposes and you're a complete novice.
    The only useful ones (to me) on Andrew's list: baking and simplification. The rest is just advice such as: you can drive your car cheaper without the back seats, without the wipers if there's no rain today, without a handbrake, without...

  3. @Pawl: No, I think your only partly right. Alvaro's list is more accurate to the topic line and indeed is VERY useful, but Andrews list is not useless nor totally basic.

    I mean, I know how to model in Blender, but render settings are like black magic to me (being as I don't know what you guys know yet).

    So I have a lot from both lists. Though I admit, Alvaro has covered some really good ground there.

    Ok, this is going to sound Noob, But I'm not savy on rendering in Blender yet. Does anyone have a link to multipass rendering? I know this was used tons in Big Buck Bunny, but I was wondering if this was automated, or a manual process? Is this done through Nodes?

  4. This only proves that there is a need to make a precise list of what speed up and what drag rendering in Blender... Because I don't see consensus :D

    Well, at least, I have 27 advices instead of just 13 today... (oopsie... 28 because Alvaro started from 0 (python list anyone?))

  5. Pawel, nice post....

    off course what Andrew says is going to mean different things to different people, as I read it there was no specific audience implied, but you know you take what you can and move on, or in a constructive manner suggest others like Alvaro.

    Im not posting something just because you cant see the merit in it, or its not the way that you do it, is quite frankly a bit noobish way to respond to items here in itself.

    go look up constructive critisism, a dictionary would be a good place to start.

    regards everyone


  6. @dusty: I believe there are some good tutorials by Andrew Price on his site. I remember the one with street light where he used render layers and compositor. You could always export layers and assemble final image in some other program if you are not that proficient with blender compositor

  7. My best tip for decreasing render times is if you're on 32-bit linux, switch to 64. At least on Ubuntu 10.04, Blender 2.53 renders noticeably faster on 64-bit. This may apply to Windows as well, but I haven't tested it there.

  8. @alvaro

    gtfo, alvaro.

    you're a freakin noob compared to andrew price. he's a blender god. your tips arent even general--dont push your line of work onto others. and before you say that andrew price's list is trash, do something for the community. i dont see blendernation putting you on their articles.

  9. Wherever I go: Fanboys and trolls.. I thought I saw a more mature audience at 4Chan.

    Thanks to Andrew Price for all his great tutorials, experience yes, god status? Not quite there yet. This one in particular can be of some use to me.

    Thank you Alvaro for your more technical tips, next time it would be more helpful to set an appropriate tone..

  10. @Jackal, @NCubed, @Kernon
    Thank you for all the links and advice!

    I feel your pain! ;)

    Let's hope we can add GPU rendering to your list one day! ;)

  11. hey nothing I have said is no sense, they are common tricks. I'm against the 'turn everything off' way of thinking, that's all, but about managing resources. I see people posting in the external engines sites renders that don't need GI, and I see amazing renders done with Blender internal that don't use GI at all. The better way of reducing your render times is by optimised scene-management and a good post-pro oriented workflow, which are achieved through multipass rendering, mesh optimisation and good knowledge of compositing techniques. Also a good deal of planification is needed, and baking stuff as well. I'm for the positive approach, rather than lighting scenes with a single point lamp, that will be fast but there is no merit on that.

  12. hey nothing of what I have said is no-sense. I'm a bit against the 'turn everything off' way of thinking. Every Blender user should know that the best way to reduce render times is by good scene-management and post-pro oriented workflow. This means basically multipass rendering (render pass and layer pass) and composition work, the two ultimate skills of any serious 3D artist. I can render as well my scenes with a simple point lamp, but there is no merit on that. Check out @ndy's preview videos in the Blender e-shop, and see how he uses the compositor to his own advantage. And read the manuals and everything you get across to.

    Remember, it is in fact a triangle. Fast, Cheap, or Good: Pick One

  13. Thanks for the critiques Alvaro.
    I wrote the list for new users of Blender who may not know what the CPU intensive processes are.
    I like your suggestions, but I think they may go over the heads of my audience ;)

    But thank you for adding!


  14. I think both lists have their value. When reading Andrew's list, I didn't think for a minute that he was suggesting you turn off all settings for every render. I took it to mean there each of these settings should be evaluated for your render to make sure they're needed, and if not, turning it off will save time. Much like Alvaro's suggestion for GI. Plus, Andrew mentioned baking--always a good thing to consider.

  15. About speed...
    heh, here have an i7 860, 8gigs of ram, using always blender 2.5x (great render speed improvement)... luckily am in no need of big render tasks (am more a character modeler/animator for games) usual renders are now super fast...I don't think a serious artist is so only if does master rendering, or a way of rendering. Have worked professionally in a handfull of game companies, and never needed to render much. There's a lot of specialization, and specific profiles in an studio, team, company... Is a team's task.
    So, for the people more in other area than rendering this tips for just a better model preview, or many other situations, can come useful. I find useful Alvaro's list. But disagree that the other list is not useful. (and about the tone comment)
    Besides... The most realistic and fastest, optimized renders I've seen were done by a very special kind of genius, working for a architecture company for many many years Those all were just scanline done in max. Witha bazillion of tricks. That what I saw changed my mind quite about the matter. I myself tho loved to just use Final Render or Brazil in Max, in the times.

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