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Introduction to LuxRender in Blender 2.5


In this Blender Cookie videotutorial, Jonathan Williamson talks you through downloading, installing and using LuxRender.

Jonathan writes:

In this Blender 2.5 video tutorial you get an introduction to using LuxRender with Blender 2.5.

This includes how to download and install LuxRender and the LuxBlend exporter, how to adjust LuxRender settings, and how to use Lux materials.


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. Indeed, I could barely hold my laughter after hearing that. Such a simple scene and it takes an hour to render out the image above, with still alot of noise.

  2. Making the balance time/quality of this final result... i'll rather don't bother downloading or installing anything... i'll stick with render internal for now.

  3. Tim,LA and Radiant.


    Almost all CPU renders take up to that long to render a good image, without large amounts of noise. The "other" render engines you speak of probably use GPU acceleration and/or take advantage of Nvidia's Cuda library (such as octane).


    This is a GPU-Accelerated version of luxrender called SmallLuxGPU. This render engine uses the OpenCL library and consequently you will see massive speed increases over that found using the CPU. SmallLuxGPU renders at about the same speed as Octane render and can be integrated in Blender (Unlike Octane which requires a exported .obj to be sent to the separate program). SmallLuxGPU also gives the user the ability to change the PHYSICAL and material properties of a model/scene in realtime and the Render will respond to the changes accordingly, a feature Octane does not provide.

    This Renderer can be found in the Luxrender forums under Development<Core Engine<GPU acceleration. Here is a link.

    I hope this has cleared up any mis-conceptions.

  4. Thanks for the intro. Luxrender is great for creating realistic images. Its slowness is the only thing that keeps me from using it. It much more of a curiosity for me.

    When you use it, remember that Luxrender is slooowwww. A much more complex image would take days to "finish" rendering. Its not unusuall to have at least 30 hours of rendering time for a scene (and still noisy)... not to count many "test" you have to make in similar slowness.

    I always had frustrating experience with Luxrender. It would take some time before I consider using it again.

  5. to Sixthlaw: Well I do said Luxrender. After all have you tried it, SmallLuxGPU? Its documentation is very confusing for me at the moment and I know that it's still experimental. Therefore its still not a replacement for Luxrender for some time. Its also a curiosity to others at the moment.

  6. Also keep in mind that the tutorial and test scene is rendered on the lowend MacBook Pro, a faster machine would have significantly faster results. I think many of us are looking forward to SmallLuxGPU. I intend to cover it very soon but currently the documentation is very sparse and thus difficult to install for many users.


  7. Thank you for the tutorial, Jonathan. It was very helpful.

    @ Sixthlaw: Do you know of any similar tutorial that covers SmallLuxGPU? If not, would you consider making one? I believe it would be very helpful for the community, considering your experience with the engine.

  8. So what about the animation options in LuxRender? How would you go about rendering an animation? LuxRender is a unbiased renderer, right? When does it "know" to render the next frame? I can't help but think you'll get a lot of flickering rendering a sequence w/ an unbiased renderer. Does anyone have any experience rendering animations w/ LuxRender? Thanks!

  9. We need a render engine that will render speed from minus to second ,instead of over night overall can be developed,it can be achieve, all in open source,but wait!
    open source have a dark side? " An Hidden Agenda"! Anyway too much for that,yes it can be achieve. I mean converting blender internal camera into a digital photo engine were
    it well snap and store the data in negative format only! then that data can be manipulated to enrich colors and light data.Crazy,but that's how every invention start from observation. Blender Pro have this neat feature render call "NuN" yes I found the team developing it. I promise to yield any information and in return test their beta builds.

  10. You negative posters are crazy. If you are a hobbyist rather than a professional, and I suspect that's about 99% of Blender's users, then being able to play with Luxrender is a real privilege. It may take a while to render, but you get something that is deeply satisfying almost straight away, then you leave it overnight or running in the background while you work.

    The glory of it is that you can extrude a circle a couple of time, assign a glass material, stick it on a textured surface, then you get an image coming out that looks better (or at least, more realistic) than something most people can create with Blender Internal at all, let alone in 5 minutes.

    I'm no IT genius, but I managed to get SmallLuxGPU going without too much trouble. Trust me, if you aren't a 3D pro then it will definitely have you grinning with satisfaction as you play around with the scene and watch it appear almost immediately. So much power in something open source is great fun.

    So many thanks to Blender Cookie for writing the tutorial and helping us to all have a bit of fun. Luxrender is a bit daunting at first, so tutorials (and a bit of publicity for Lux) are very much appreciated by the community. I'm confident of that.

  11. @Sixthlaw, your SmallluxGpu-rendered pic looks good
    but your website did not update for a long time. We are waiting for your SmallluxGpu tutorial ;)

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