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Here goes my post from blender artist forum about comparison of free rendering engines.
Scene setup and blend file:
Renders with render times:
– right click ->open image to see bigger res (but no 100% though)
I tried to make similar setup for all engines.
NOX seems to be slowest, but MLT should work better with caustics right? It’s plugin works ok, and is easy to setup. I guess it’s shader is based on microfacet material.
Cycles, not so slow and have great integration. It seems that areas lit with small light and big intensity are very noisy (lack of MIS problem maybe), versus noise free region lit by big area light. Material based on diffuse and gloss closure = phong shader?
Mitsuba is freaking fast. And also second render have bigest resolution with – PT 128 samples, and Low disperancy sampler. Third render with microfacet material and independent sampler, 256 samples. But plugin is broken so you have to work in notepad to edit it scene.
Update2 (do not read):
With yafaray – PT 32 samples, 2AA, 2Pases, Coated phong shader, 640×800 px – 9min render.
After fixing emitters i have 7,5 min with 16 PT samples. Results seems comparable to mitsuba which is good. But 2 buts:
– longer result
– noise on mitsuba seems even on all image surface, while in yafa there are areas with smaller noise, and areas with bigger noise (face area). that is not cool, cos I will have to render longer just to clean those problematic areas. But I guess, on the other hand, if I set error margin correctly i should fix only those noisy areas, in next passes, right?
lux – PT, Low discrepancy sampler 3.5 min. I always thought it is impossible to get good result in lux below 20hours Now I’m proven wrong.
I give it second place after mitsuba. Yafaray seems close, but it’s glossy coated phong material looks bit less natural that microfacet shader of lux, mitsuba or other engines.
It is big surprise to me to see how fast PT in lux is. And including all features of lux it is very nice renderer for simple scenes like this.
And here is more 6 min path thracing test: