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19 Billion Triangles Render


Using instancing, Agus3D created this image containing 19 billion (19 000 000 000) triangles. The kicker? The scene used only 200MB of memory and required 40 minutes to render in Cycles. The .blend file is available, so go try it for yourself!

Agus3D writes:

I wanted to test Cycles performing landscapes, so i setup a quick scene with 54K instances of two tree meshes each one aprox 200K and 150K polygons and four texture maps about 512^2pixels, the blender memory indicator displayed about 200MB and the process window showed about 500MB ram so there is a bunch of memory left to put a lot more. Nice!

I predict that with 4Gbytes you could put more than 500K instances or perhaps a lot more! you could easily break the trillion polygon barrier, If you are willing to wait for the label "copying transformation to the device" i wonder if that could be optimized, because when it start to build the BVH in make it in a fraction of that time.


About the Author

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. Now compare that with 3ds Max 2012 that crashes loading a file of 150mb containing only 300k poly's and takes about 6GB of memory. And if it can't be worse, "If it will render at all" This all using a machine with 8 cores, 20GB RAM and 2gb gfx card.
    Now Autodesk can eat that, would love to use Blender instead of 3ds max at work!! :P 

  2. Really nice, posted before that blender can take more then the commercial software I'm using atm. It's really impressive that such an opensource application can handle such scenes while a commercial application I use has serious problems.

    Nice work, keep going this way with Blender, if I had a little more time I would pick up blender again. I miss it =(

  3. Wow... what?!? That's incredible!

    I've tried large scale vegetation scenes as well but I didn't get anywhere near this level of realism.

    Awesome job mate. Bravo!

    PS. For contrast, here's the (now lame) image I made using the internal render engine and alpha masked planes :P

  4. Just enable passes and see the ram requirement shoot up, and increase resolution to shoot it up even more!! :P

  5. Awesome work.  Saves having to learn a new software like Vue or the like.  One critique: The first image's shadow doesn't appear to be long enough for the position of the sun.  But the realism otherwise is smashing.

  6. Incredable !  I've been Learned 3DS max , finished some short film ..., just nearly a week , I started to Learning Blender , Blender community is great , share all things , but Tutorials are hard to find for I am in China . but I'm trying , I'd like to buy that tutorials , but ....... how can I get that ? Only thing  I can do now is looking fo some free  tutorials !

  7. BART!  Would be nice if you QUITE the render time, because there is people that with a GPU are rendering it IN ONLY 3 MINUTES!! please, thats BETTER advertisement for cycles!

  8. But Onlything I can say about Blender is "good"! , Most attracting thing to me that in blender is "open GL rendering sequence " and  FAST rendering speed !

  9. Amazing result and performances ! I hope that Cycles will soon allow to select 2 GPus among 3, as currently I have to chose between only one of my two GTX 580 and all my GPUs, including the GTX 260 dedicated to display, leading to a small amount of available VRAM (the amount of the card with less VRAM : GTX260). So currently I can use only 896 MB instead of the 3GB of my GTX 580.

    The very recent EVGA GTX 680 FTW 4GB will provide amazing possibilities !

  10. Very cool test, thanks Agus3D! My results (will post in BA too): 04min:06.71 sec. System specs: Win7 64, 16Gb RAM, GPU NVidia 560Ti 2048 Gb, CPU i7 2600. Blender release 45106, rendered with GPU Experimental

    • Michael Dinca on

       same specs except for the 560Ti 1gb under 4 min cant remember did the render last night, the other option not the experimental :D

  11. PLEASE.... PLEASE.... post more of these on blender nation.  I have downloaded this file and looked through it and learned a lot.  I was dying to see a dot product material working and the python script is BRILLIANT.  I will use this in a LOT of projects.   My current issue with blender is finding good information on cycles materials examples etc.  


  12. Incrível! 19 bilhões de triângulos é um número realmente grande para uma única sena. 
    A imagem é belíssima, levou o render levou 40min no Cycles, vou ver quanto tempo leva o render no meu PC. :)

  13. Now not to bring this down but it could be 1 trillion using instancing like that. Nicely presented example and thoroughly amazed at the awesome moves forward with blender these days. 

  14. Wow! Gz, nice realism for just a quick test.  I wish I would achive this in my final renders, lol. 

    Render result: 02:50.96
    Blender revision: 45096
    Cycles GPU, supported
    OS: Ubuntu 11.10
    Hardware: Intel I7 870, 16GB RAM, NVIDIA GTX 570

  15. *Bump!*
    sorry that was the sound of my jaw hitting the floor. Yo I'm just blown away by this piece of awesomeness right.

  16. JeannotLandry on

    Wow, this is totally insane! My crappy computer rendered it in 6min 39sec and 36...

    Computer spec:
    AMD Phenome X6 64bit 3.2GHz with 8 gigs Ram and a very crappy Radeon HD 6450 (512Megs)...

    How on earth is that possible! Please, please, pretty please, make a tutorial on how you acheived this!!!!

  17. You guys, head to the blenderartists thread, people are getting insane render times. I made it under 4 minutes and someone just got it in 1.30 minutes.

    This scene can be instrumental in illustrating the strength of blender/cycles when handling high polygon scenes. Real great work by the author!

    • Yes, my thoughts exactly - This scene appears to be a good benchmark to test out one's system. Probably not the intent of the artist...but I'm downloading, partially to see it on my system and to benchmark.

  18. more info about instancing in Blender:

    search for:

    Instancing Objects in Blender (and more!)


    but what if you wanted all your duplicates to stay linked together

    (Blender Foundations: The Essential Guide to Learning Blender 2.6)




    Instancing objects in Blender

  19. kumar yesitsme on

    Here are my render details.

    One with Default 60% Time taken: 4:40.52
    and the Other at 100% (1080) Time taken:11:42.28

    My sys config
    Intel core i7 2600 CPU at 3.40GHz
    8GB DDR3 RAM
    XFX Geforce 7600GT
    Win7 64bit

  20. My render results were:

    Default at 60% from fullHD, 100 spp CUDA GPU (original blend) =  3:31

    and One modified at 100% fullHD, 200 spp CUDA GPU = 31:43.15

  21. Hi, I have not made a bench test with the provided file, but I have set up a scene with 1 million of detailed fully modeled firtrees (126000 faces each) as well as a scene with both two types of medium poly trees with textures and fully modelled trees. It requires a bit more VRAM with textures, but the amount of VRAM is no more than 320 MB for this huge landscape.

    The total RAM amount used on the motherboard (OS=Win7x64 included) is 5140MB of my 8GB, and Blender uses only 4157MB.

    It looks like Cycles is becoming a very efficient tool for huge landscapes !

  22. I don't show an image because the lighting is poor, as well as materials, as I am not yet used to Cycles, but my best result so far in term of numbers is 3 000 000 of detailed trees of 127 596 faces each = 382 790 000 000 faces ! On a subdivided terrain of 1024 faces with a texture. The amount of GPU VRAM used measured with EVGA Precision X version 3.01 is 2347 MB (on Two GTX 580 3GB).
    I tried at 4 000 000 trees but failed. My current limitation is partially due to my rather old P5K motherboard supportinhg only 8GB og RAM. At 3 millions of detailed trees, the system starts to use the cache on disk and the loading process becomes slow. At 4 millions, I got a message about VRAM limit but i didn't remenber exactly what. Something like Null... Allocation. I think I could reach 3.5 millions with same trees or much more with medium poly trees. Background usually doesn't require high poly trees, but I plan to render a flyover, so the best quality is required. Cycles looks very promising. I have to learn it more to get better lighting in landscapes.

  23. Boy!!!!!!! You guys just make me love Blender!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep up the beautiful work, I'm catching up soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  24. On my humble laptop it took 22:11:78
    AMD Athlon II P360 DuoCore 2.30Ghz
    3GB RAM, ATI Catalyst mem abt 1400MB
    This is beautiful work

  25. rendered in 40.13 seconds. Default settings, (Other than setting gpu render)

    Intell i7 930 (quad core, 2.8GHz)
    12Gb ram

    2 x geforce 460 gtx
    1 x quadro 4000

    Mint Linux 12

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