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Tutorial: How to avoid Cycles pitfalls and many tips and tricks


Gottfried Hofmann send us a note about that Frederick Steinmetz has created a really good tutorial on the current state of Cycles. He walks you around many of the pitfalls you might encounter and shows you lots of cool tips and tricks like how to cheat with lighting etc.

Here is a listing of topics with time markers:

00:00 - 00:50 And ultra-short introduction to the cycles render engine
00:50 - 02:10 Setting up a simple demo scene
02:10 - 06:10 Lighting in Blender Cycles
06:10 - 16:15 Using textures in Cycles
16:15 - 20:00 Easily lighten and darken materials and textures in Cycles
20:00 - 21:40 How tos set up and tweak displacements
21:40 - 24:00 Overview of the material setup for the spider
24:00 - 31:35 How to cheat with lights in Blender Cycles

For more information go to


  1. Nice tutorial, I like cheating too, which is not possible in OctaneRender for example. I can't wait for a stable version of cycles.

    I like your calm voice by the way, ideal voice for teaching stuffs !

    • Cycles is not a fully physically based render engine, it does not model light in 7 colors so thats why there is no dispersion.

      I dont think there is interference aswell but maybe u can fake that with material nodes.

  2. I love some of the renders come out of Cycles - really, amazing stuff, but there are too many kinks for me to want to work out right now.  I'm still learning how to model.  :)  I might hop on the bandwagon on 2.61 but for now I'm content using the internal Blender Render.

    I got on board Blender at about version 2.53.  Now that we're up to 2.59 and stable, they're moving on to 2.6 and I was wondering for those who are more veterans; is this normal?  I was using 2.49 for a little while but I don't know how long it was out before the 2.5x series got started.  I just feel like every time I hop online there's a new build.

    So much to do and so little time!

    • Gottfried Hofmann on

      Blender recently got a relese-cycle of 2 months so you will encounter new versions on a regular basis from now on :)

    • There used to be about three major Blender releases a year. The lettered
      versions are rapid follow ups, to fix large bugs that went unspotted. These
      releases are not uncommon.Blender is currently in a bit of an unusual
      situation. The 2.5 branch was a major, major rewrite and for two years the only
      stable version of Blender was 2.49. In that time a lot of projects developed in
      separate branches were finished or nearly finished but couldn't be merged until
      2.5 stabilised. So at the moment there are a lot of large projects circling,
      waiting to land.That's why the recent releases were, and it looks like
      the next few are going to be, quite feature heavy. After the backlog is cleared
      they may lighten up.

  3. Do the tutorial with everything. I want to see the spider shake off the water droplets.

    Sie das Tutorial mit allem. Ich möchte sehen, die Spinne abzuschütteln die Wassertröpfchen

  4. Thanks for the video. Useful tips. Way too long for the information presented, tho. My advice: skip to the last 5-10 minutes for the meaty stuff. Always, more complicated is not always better.

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