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Fast Shadow Caustics Coming to Blender 3.2


The much-touted "Manifold Next Event Estimation Caustics" patch by Olivier Maury has landed in master and is now part of the Blender 3.2 alpha daily builds.

In practice, this patch allows for very fast sharp caustics in the shadows of refractive objects, with sharp caustics appearing after a few samples where previously thousands were needed. Here are some tests I made with it in the video below:

The viewport and render performances are impressive, and the caustics are almost immediately apparent after this new feature is toggled in the light, casting, and receiving objects. However, the current implementation has some limitations, which can later be overcome with further development:

  • Only caustics in shadows of refractive objects work, which means no caustics from reflection or caustics that outside shadows. Only up to 4 refractive caustic bounces are supported.
  • Caustic caster objects should have smooth normals.
  • Not currently support for Metal GPU rendering.

Download the latest Blender daily build to try it out on the link below:

About the Author

Mario Hawat

Mario Hawat is a Lebanese 3D artist, writer, and musician currently based in Paris. He is a generalist with a special focus on environments, procedural and generative artworks. Open to freelance work.


  1. This is awesome features from Blender v3.2 but Blender miss 1 feature Nvidia OptiX Denosier for Blender v3.2. Nvidia OptiX Denoiser appear only in version

    I hope Blender v3.2 have Nvidia OptiX Denoiser.

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