What Renderer Should I Use In Cinema 4D?

August 14, 2017 - By 

With so many different options to choose from, what renderer is the best one to use for your final render out of Cinema 4D?

There is no magic answer and in some ways that’s perfect. Some render engines are better for certain tasks. Below is a list of a few that we recommend and what their pros and cons are.

The Goal Of This Post

The goal of this article is to help motion designers and 3D artists make an informed decision on what renderer they would most benefit from.

What are the criteria? Glad you asked! All opinions assume you want to make photo-real animations in a production environment with little to no problems. So each one is looked at through a production final-frame render lens.

Why listen to us?

We have over 40 years of combined experience with 3D rendering. Our creative director Chad Ashley has tried most of these personally and has used many of them in production. Our goal is to give you the right information to help you make the right decision for you and your team.

We understand there is confusion in the rendering space, and we are here to share what we know and what we’ve found.

The Short Answer

For those who are ready for a GPU renderer that’s fast and somewhat production-focused: Redshift

If you or your studio have already made the jump to GPU rendering and have outfitted your workstations with multiple Nvidia GPU’s AND complete photo-realism doesn’t matter to you, then I can firmly recommend Redshift as the best solution for you at this time. That is IF you’re ok with a few caveats (see below).

For those who want the flexibility of CPU and GPU, or who have a deep appreciation for photorealism, features, and scalability: Arnold

For those of you who’s work needs to be of the highest quality and you value production-proven features, or if you have a mixed pipeline of GPU and CPU machines, I recommend using Arnold as your primary renderer.

But let’s take a closer look at what may be best for you.

Physical Renderer


  • Built into the core of Cinema 4D
  • Works on both Mac and PC
  • Ton’s of tutorials
  • A good representation of materials in the viewport
  • Great for stills
  • Reflectance is quite robust
  • Excellent noise maps
  • Toon shading is excellent


  • Pretty much dead. Not being developed anymore.
  • Slow AF
  • No IPR (Interactive Preview Render Window)
  • Lacks strong pass (AOV) system
  • No curvature map (though inverse AO is close)
  • Lacks many modern textures/features
  • Lights are in need of a serious upgrade
  • No dome light
  • IBL workflow is cumbersome

Who is Physical Renderer Good For?

I suggest you stick with Physical if you are tied down by hardware/OS and haven’t a budget to upgrade to anything else. It’s also entirely satisfactory if you don’t find yourself rendering any complex photo-realistic animations on a regular basis. It’s quite adequate on stills and can even handle distributed rendering with Team Render to Picture Viewer.

Check out some of our favorite Physical Tutorials


Arnold by Solid Angle / Autodesk


  • Stable and Scalable
  • Works on both Mac and PC
  • Has both CPU and GPU options
  • Killer development team
  • Deep feature set, used on countless feature films
  • Uses all of C4D’s Noises Natively
  • Custom AOV’s (Arbitrary Output Variables aka passes)
  • Light Groups
  • Light Filters (Gobos, barn doors, etc)
  • LPE (light path expressions)
  • Supports OSL
  • Frequent C4D plugin updates
  • simple settings
  • x-particle support
  • Same engine in multiple host applications (Maya, Max, Houdini)
  • Many speed-enhancing short-cuts and workflows
  • Killer Toon Shading / NPR Rendering
  • Texture Baking
  • Two types of denoising
  • Cryptomatte Support
  • Random Walk SSS
  • Excellent Hair/Fur
  • Support LUTs in the IPR
  • Render time booleans with “Clip Geo”
  • Fully supports ACES workflows


  • Expensive (compared to competitors)
  • Confusing license system (dealing with Autodesk is far from fun in this regard)
  • Slightly slower than other GPU renderers on the market, but improving.
  • owned by Autodesk (bad track record of acquisitions)
  • caustics are weak

Who is Arnold Good For?

I recommend it to those individuals/studios who demand high-quality images and those who value stability and features. Arnold is the renderer of choice for many VFX studios working on feature films. Its quality and scalability make it a perfect solution for intense projects. If you are an individual artist or a studio running lots of different sorts of jobs (volumes, particles, large data sets) Arnold is the right choice for you. If you are studio with mixed 3D host applications Arnold’s proprietary .ass format is interchangeable which can be a great benefit. Arnold coupled with render farm solutions out there such as Pixel Plow is a potent combination. Arnold and cloud rendering gives small studios and independent artists as much firepower as most large studios. Arnold is one of my most recommended renderers and with the GPU component making big strides, it’s gonna be one to watch for in the coming year. Arnold is without a doubt, the renderer I enjoy using the most.

Price: $635 Annually, $65 Monthly (all licenses are floating). Educational institution licenses are free. 

Try Arnold here. Buy Arnold here.

Check out some of our favorite Arnold Tutorials

Octane by Otoy


  • Easy photorealism
  • IPR Speed
  • IPR window features
  • speed of rendering (up to a certain level of complexity)
  • simple settings
  • custom material node interface
  • Octane Scatter Utility
  • tri-planar mapping
  • Supports OSL
  • Post FX


  • Limited by GPU memory
  • Stability
  • scalability
  • no custom AOVs
  • no light group AOV
  • limited light linking
  • inconsistent/delayed updates
  • limited maps/materials
  • No layer texture
  • layering multiple materials is cumbersome
  • Poor C4D Noise support (requires on the fly baking)
  • Poor cloud rendering support/options
  • “Octane Effect” (see GSG Podcast)
  • Confusing product version / license lineup

Who is Octane Good For?

I think Octane is perfect for an art-director that is designing frames or doing basic look dev. It’s fast IPR, and simple UI will make it easy for a designer to create imagery, given they have the GPU power to run it efficiently. I’ve seen Art Directors have great success with Octane. Do boards with Octane, then move to a production renderer to finish the job. Octane is also useful as a “daily render” tool. I’ve often joked on our podcast that Octane should have a “send to Instagram” button as it seems to be used more on that platform than any other. Not sure if that’s good or bad. Up to you, I guess. I should also add that Octane is a fine choice for those doing primarily exterior architecture renders.

Price: $619 (Standalone and C4D Plugin), plus $200 annual maintenence. 

Try Octane here. Buy Octane here.

Check out some of our favorite Octane Tutorials



  • Very Fast (when tuned properly)
  • Balances load between CPU and GPU
  • Somewhat Production focused features
  • Fully featured AOV system (including custom AOVs)
  • Textured area lights
  • biased engine
  • unified sampling
  • versatile uber shader
  • tons of map types
  • a responsive development team
  • Redshift Proxies/Instances
  • Supported by several cloud render farms (including Pixel Plow)
  • X-Particles support
  • Light Groups
  • Custom AOVs
  • Cryptomatte Support
  • Curve rendering
  • Post fx Glow, Glare, Etc
  • Supports LUTs in Render View
  • Two types of denoising


  • Material previews are still terrible
  • Can be slow on large scenes
  • Time to first pixel is still an issue
  • Still quite buggy overall
  • No OSL support
  • Confusing settings/controls
  • Quirky issues still plague the plugin (random IPR refreshes, crashes). Though the dev team is quick to respond to issues.
  • higher learning curve
  • closed API
  • Not always clear what version is the newest/most stable

Who is Redshift Good For?

I recommend Redshift to anyone running Nvidia GPU’s and those who are looking for a stable production renderer and isn’t afraid to jump into some settings to squeeze out every ounce of speed out of your frames. It’s very well rounded and versatile able to handle arch-viz interiors, intricate character work, or product viz. I find myself reaching for Redshift for things like product viz, non-photo real logo work, and shiny stuff in general. Though I do find its limitations and quirks frustrating at times.

Price: $500 (non-floating license) $250 annual maintenance. Floating licenses are avail for $3,000 for 5 licenses, which is the minimum order.

Check out some of our favorite Redshift Tutorials

Cycles Render by Mario Tran Phuc

Cycles4D by Insydium


  • Works both on CPU and GPU
  • tons of features for rendering X-Particles
  • Cryptomatte support
  • Principled Hair, Volumes
  • Random Walk SSS
  • Rounded Corners
  • affordable
  • great node material editor
  • plenty of learning resources


  • Cycles is developed by the Blender Foundation and not Insydium. The open-source nature can scare large studios who are looking for deep customer support and accountability. I’ve found that it was also a bit cumbersome on seemingly simple shading/lighting tasks. AOV’s are also a bit lacking.

Who is Cycles4D Good For?

Anyone who’s work is primarily X-Particles based would benefit from Cycles4D. It’s CPU/GPU flexibility, and low price would make it an excellent choice for those on limited hardware/budget.

Price: $246.62

Check out some of our favorite Cycles4D Tutorials

“Want More To Read About This?”

We wrote an in-depth article over at Motionographer. If you’re still hungry for more information, go check it out!

“Why didn’t you mention My Favorite Renderer?”

If your renderer is not mentioned above, it’s either that we haven’t used it enough to form an educated opinion or we have used it and we don’t think it’s ready for use in production yet.


Posted In:  Reviews
  • Really interesting article. I use Octane because for me its speed is really important. I need to see what I’m doing without waiting 4 minutes to previsualization. But I’m learning Octane and I see that It has a lot of things that doesn’t work well, like the textures or the displacement maps, and lot’s of little issues that obstruct my work. Do you know why Octane has that much problems? Is Redshift fast like Octane? And do you think I have to change to Redshift?

    Thanks and really good job Grayscalegorilla team!

    • Hi Gabriel! First off, if Octane is doing what you need there is really no reason to switch. However, if you find it’s limits getting in your way, Redshift is a great alternative. Yes, it’s just as fast at final frame renders (faster in most cases), but the IPR is a touch slower. Good luck!

    • Yeah, Octane is buggy as hell, not sure if i saving time, because of restarting c4d. I love Arnold for stability, very handy when you can drop node into beauty channel to see what is in, but of course it is not gpu and not quick enough as Octane

  • Hi. Why didn’t you mention anythink about vray ? I think it’s an awesome and stable renderer for c4d. Please give me your feedback. I am really interested about your opinion .

    • I get this question quite a bit. The reason I don’t cover V-ray for C4D is that I used to use it in 3DS Max (for 8+ years) which was developed directly by the Chaos Group. The C4D version is not. Though it has recently received a great update, this plugin still has a poor history of updates, inadequate documentation, and support. I try to cover only renderers that I myself would TRUST in production. Again, this is my opinion based on 20 years of CG motion design production experience. Plenty of awesome artists are using V-Ray for C4D and I’m sure are getting great results. However, I am not interested in that plugin unless it becomes developed directly by the Chaos Group. Sorry to disappoint you. Again, if it’s doing what you need it to do, that’s great. To each their own.

      • These are all perfect reasons not to use it, especially in a production environment.

        Their software’s documentation is spread across 1.8, 1.9, and 3.4 versions of the software and it’s often confusing to find the most up to date workarounds and settings.

        If you haven’t used the most recent version; it’s very fast and blasts through huge frames at 2-3 min regardless of resolution without GI flickering that was problematic in 1.9.

        I think it’s a shame NOT to recommend it to new artists or small shops that want a better physical renderer though. $900 for a floating license with 10 render nodes is a steal and it’s probably the cheapest option for getting a render farm going other than loading a system full of GPUs and buying Redshift for $500 or Octane @ 20$ a month.

        • Arnold just announced 5 licenses for $1500 so that’s definitely a step in the right direction for the small shop with a CPU farm.

  • Great and thorough write up. Thank you. Would love to get your thoughts on KeyShot.

    • I’ve seen some really cool stuff done in KeyShot. I’ve never tried it. Mostly because my interest lies in production animation. We have quite a few KeyShot users that have used our HDRIs with great results.

  • Does Arnold have better X-Particles support compared to Redshift?

  • Redshift has the same old ugly interface like expresso.UI is a shame. Besides that is not very intuitive,maybe (also) because of the documentation lack.
    The c4d shaders are just partly compatible with Redshift.

    • Agreed, the documentation is lacking. Mostly because they are changing so much of it right now. I’m sure once the dust settles, proper docs will be available.

  • You should add one more con for Physical, Flickers in animation!!!!

  • Hey Chad, great article. Would love to hear your opinion of Corona.

  • Moutaz Al-Husseini August 15, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    A great descriptive article, but i’m still wondering which renderer is better and faster for the complex animations and MoGraph rendering, also the x-particles support… I want something that gives good quality renders also with fast rendering time for the tight deadlines… And also a simple learning curve for it… Usually i use standard renderer and Physical… But i want something more in delth with better quality, and fast rendering time… Thank you for the efforts

  • Hi, what do you think about the Thea Render? Really like to hear about it.

    • I haven’t tried it yet.

      • Thea messes up cinema’s mapping in some cases – my roof textures will NOT map properly and I have not been able to find a solution. It was one priced temptingly, but they’ve upped their price recently also, more than $500 – which you can get redshift for at the moment.

  • Man, where are VRay and Corona in this comparsions? Corona & VRay for c4d as 2 great renders – especially corona. And they are used like a lot 🙂

    • Agreed! I’ve been using Corona for several months now, and love it. It’s very easy to pick up and being a CPU renderer, it’s still pretty quick. Just wish development for the C4D version would pick up a bit…

  • I`m using Vray 3.4 and I’m happy with it. It is really stable and fast. The only problem is the support, Stefan Laub is a mess!!! 🙂
    It’s a pity, that it was not considered.

    • Simone, I’m irritated about your posting – are we talking about the same person ? I know a Stefan always paying attention for the needs of the vrayforc4d community. Even on weekends and in the late evening … And the forum community is very helpful, too.
      I was amused about the absence of Vray in this very helpful overview. OK, my needs are modest: a stable renderer for professional productions with very small time frames, support by the publisher, and by render farms, too.
      Sometimes these discussions remind my of the Nikon/Canon/Minolta … discussion of photographers. The truth is: you cant´t identify the camera system by the picture. The only way to achieve optimal result is knowing your system and all the tricks by persistend usage.

  • Good article.
    I use octane and physical sometimes too. I miss volumetric light in octane. Voxel volumes are quite slow here. In physical render is it easy to make light volumetric and to create moving fog. In octane I do not know how to do it since now.

  • Since the announcement of R19 having ProRender. I have been excited for it, until I heard you guys saying that ProRender is not up to par with its competitors yet. I am currently building a new workstation and Octane has me locked into using Nvidia cards. Which are not bad, it would just be nice to have more options in terms of hardware. I think eventually ProRender will be on this list in a few years.

  • Thanks, Chad.. Love the work GSG doing))

    Wish Arnold were GPU, then render wars will end))

  • What’s that ‘Octane Effect’ you guys were talking about in the cons section? I couldn’t find the podcast you guys were mentioning. Thanks for enlightening me.

    • Octane Effect: When an artist or studio starts an animation production using Octane and that production gradually increases in complexity making once instant render times climb dangerously high while also leaving the artist/studio no options for scaling (lackluster cloud support). This “Octane Effect” will have the studio/artist scrambling to find additional GPU machines to get the job done (driving to Best Buy at 8pm). 🙂

  • And Vray its no good for render

  • You guys never talk about hair and fur rendering. If you do character work like myself this is critical, and very few renderers focus on making it look good in different lighting setups.

    VRAY is the only renderer I’ve found that can realistically portray the way direct outdoor sunlight hits hair/fur. So none of the other renderers are viable. Just a heads up if anyone else is interested in that sort of thing.

  • Not only Arnold has good integration with X-Particles, it also has integration with Realflow in a way that you can write out all your meshes, hybrido particles and other parts of the simulation as Arnold Scene Source files and obviously open them in Arnold Procedurals. It makes workflow with large simulation sequences a lot faster. So, +1 to Arnold.

  • Why is Arnold less good at rendering interiors?

    • It’s not that it’s less good, it’s just not best suited for them. Arnold can be rather slow on interiors with many GI bounces compared to something biased like Redshift.

  • Nice article. You should talk about Corona which is fast, easy,CPU and powerful.

  • Great article Chad!!!
    I recently started using redshift. But couldn’t find much tutorial on redshift for Cinema 4D. Waiting to see a GSG tutorial on this.

    • I’ll be doing RS tuts, live-streams, and tips as soon as they tell me I can. Right now the UI is still changing so much that they’d rather wait till it was more locked down. Stay tuned and thanks for the comment!

  • You’re soooo right on track here Chad. Definitely looking forward to hopefully discussing this over a pint or many during Half Res next month.

  • Hey Chad,
    First of all, great article, thank you for your work!
    For the moment I use physical, as it seems for me that C4d material system allows me to create all of the materials procedurally (like marble, waffles, brushed metal and etc) without using texture images.
    Not long ago I started thinking to switch to Arnold. Is it possible to create a lot of different materials procedurally in Arnold without using any texture images (not just plastic or car paint)?

    • As of right now, none of the native C4D procedural map types are officially supported. I’ve been using a texture map based workflow for so long, it has become second nature to me. I recommend checking out Substance Designer if you still want the ability to create complex materials with procedural maps. THanks for the coment

  • And what about standard Cinema renderer (AR)?

  • Hey Chad

    Thanks for the article, it’s an intersting read. Redshift seems like a great renderer.

    I understand your concerns about VRay4C4D and I agree to some extend.

    On the other hand, it is really a great and fast renderer and the Vray Bridge has improved alot in 3.4 and 3.5 Beta. Note also that it uses the official Chaos Group SDK and is shipped with the Vray Standalone software. The Vray image viewer with post processing / effects manipulation is fully integrated in C4D. IPR / RT in GPU mode still has some issues tough. Network / Distributed Rendering works great. V3.5 even supports X-Particle attributes now. Lights, materials, subsurface and hair rendering are fantastic. There are tons of great material libraries available and all cgaxis models come in the Vray4C4D format.

    Also important to me: the license is bound to the C4D serial, no AD online crap. That’s actually the reason I got Vray instead of Arnold.

    But I find myself using Physical alot, thanks to the great GSG Topcoat and HDRI Rig / Link plugins.

    By the way, Renderwars update from today: Chaos Group bought Corona!

    Best regards, Michael

    • This is not entitely true … VRay did improve A LOT with 3.4 but as Chad stated, the implementation feels like a rogue dev team just did a C4D version and it is far away from a official built like chaos group. I think this isn’t a problem of the software team (I use it for 7+ years now and love it) but the communication, documentation, support handling just feels like a one man show (Stefan) with a few developers. They’re doing a great job, but it doesn’t meet the requirements of a production house. For me as a freelancer I’m totally loving it because of the Rebusfarm support – hence outsourcing the hardware costs with using a cloud service.

      But as a Mac user for instance, the Vray Frame Buffer feels like a peace of crap stuck on the GUI.

      Vray is a great option, but has downsides. It would be great, if Chaosgroup overtook the development.

  • Hello Chad,

    I don´t know if you are the one who moderates this discussion. But if you´re not please forward my question to the appropiate person.
    I replied to Simone remark about Stefan Laub (owner of VrayforC4D) with the report of my good experiences with VrayforC4d and its support.
    What was the reason to delete my answer ? It was polite in case of wording (in contrast to Simones description of Stefan as “a mess”) and reflected my experiences.
    I´m a customer of GSG since several years , and I aprecciate the company and website as always open for different opinions and well-founded discussions.
    Thank you for clarification .

    • Hi Idris, we never deleted it. Every comment must be approved and sometimes we don’t approve them for a day or so. We only delete comments that do not adhere to our rules of common decency or are outright spam.

  • What about the upcoming AMD Pro Render?
    Would that be suitable for someone working in an ad agency, creating less complex visuals now and then?

    • Without knowing the exact type of work you’re doing, I can’t really say. I suggest giving it a try and seeing if it meets your needs. Thanks for the comment!

  • Hey Chad!!! what do u think about the new Maxwell Render???

    • I’ve always liked the output of Maxwell. It’s not a renderer I’ve seen used much in animation production much so I haven’t been paying close attention. What’s cool about this new version?

  • I like how you pointed out that physical renderers like redshift are a good choice for stills and distributed rendering. My nephew is graduating high school and he wants to learn about rendering later on. It sounds like redshift is an affordable and versatile option. If I was in his position I would consider finding someone that offers those services.

  • Great article Chad. I love hearing the insights from a person who has had some time to experiment with the features of several engines. This is such a fast moving area of CG and it’s always exciting to see what’s new in this field.

    Lately, I’ve really been enjoying the Cycles 4D engine. I wanted to mention a few major pros of the engine that I think are often overlooked.

    1: The new Principled BSDF shader is amazing. It almost makes physically based photo-real rendering too easy.
    2: The adaptive subdivision of the micropoly displacement is really impressive. It also saves tons of memory allowing you to push your GPU renders a lot further before running out of memory (even speeds up some renders).
    3: The denoiser is really good (in many situations). You can get clean renders with like 8 samples in some cases. Haven’t used it in animation yet though.
    4: NETWORK RENDERING without paying per node! Cycles 4D works with Cinema’s Team Render, giving you the ease and flexibility of Team Render, with the speed increase of GPUs. If you’ve got a few machines, you get a free render farm, just like Cinema’s Physical Renderer. The main limitation is you can’t distribute buckets for a single frame over the network.

    For a really cool example of what Cycles it’s capable of check out the latest from the Blender Institue:

    *One other slight bonus is that that you can work in Cinema & Blender on the same project and only need to know one render engine. For instance I’ll sometimes export my Cinema scene as an Alembic file and then render smoke & fire sims out of Cycles in Blender (and composite them in Fusion).

    Can’t wait to add X-Particle 4 into this mix!

  • Akingbola Oluwafemi December 5, 2017 at 5:23 am

    but you didnt write an article on vray, what about vray? that is what i primarily use.

  • What texture did you use for the wooden floor with the cameras, please? Is it one out of the texture kit? (which one, please?).
    Tx a lot, Peter

  • I was trying to use the pro render but it is not working with scenes with many objects and materials. the gpu gives an error memory (ProRender: gpu memory limit exceeded) . Also try to use the bucket rendering option but it does not work either. Any ideas?

    octane works just fine.

  • I have recently purchased the octane monthly subscription but to be honest I’ve no idea what I’m doing when I use it. I don’t want to spend a long time learning it if it’s not the right renderer for my needs – is there one you’d recommend as best for a newcomer to anything other than what comes with C4D?

    I’m just an independent fine artist working on images for my own portfolio, not in industry or or freelance or anything, so I don’t have a lot of frame of reference for some of the technical bits. I am saving up to buy everything greyscalegorilla sells though ?

  • Let me start by saying I have only used the built-in renderers, and am pretty much a C4D novice. I’m trying to decide what 3rd party renderer to learn. I just ordered a dual GTX 1080 laptop from Origin with the intention of using a GPU renderer, and have pretty much narrowed my choices down to Octane or Redshift.

    Is the consensus that Octane won’t fix the issues people are complaining about? It seems like a good renderer that has been around for a little while and has pretty good resources and community.

    Another plus to Octane (I think) is that they have “integrated plugins” for most popular 3D software. I use Sketchup sometimes for quick stuff (there basically is no built-in renderer), and might end up learning other 3D software in the future, such as Maya, Blender or Rhino, and getting familiar with one renderer that I can use with other software seems like a pretty strong benefit.

    Redshift does seem pretty good, but there are only a few 3D packages that it works with, and I doubt there are nearly as many learning resources or options for buying textures, etc.

  • I’ve just upgraded to R19 to be able to use ProRender but I use ZYNC render by google to actually render, I have tried using ProRender directly on my imac and it cant cope, there are no plans from Google to support ProRender, do you know any render farms that might support it? We are buying new pro macs shortly at work that I am hoping will be able to cope with the renderer but I like using render farms as we dont have a standalone machine to use and no plans to have one. No one seems to support it 🙁

    • Sorry, I don’t know of any render farms that are supporting Pro Render. BUT, I haven’t looked around much either. Have you checked Pixel Plow?

  • No Corona renderer no Vrayforc4d. Of course you don´t need those because you are not archviz artist. GSG is limited to animations only when it comes to Cinema 4D.

  • Hi guys,
    thank you for good article. I’m long time user of VrayforC4D and as was mentioned above the problem with support is very painful so I finally start to looking for different render. Under impression of this article and good words about Redshift and yes, Greyscalegorilla use it 🙂 (excited) I installed last version of RS demo on my brand new machine (GPU P4000) with fresh installation of latest version of R19. RS is rendering but view port doesn’t work correctly. To get it operate as usual I have to restart not into only C4D but whole computer. So I looked at community at RS site and start to read all the issues in the pipeline and my impression leads to decision not being volunteer tester and wait some time and then give it a try once again.

  • Excelsior article… I came from Rhinoceros and 3DS MAX with Vray and Corona and now I want to learn C4D for motion graphics and his good relationship with After Effects (until now this is what I read before to start to learn C4D) so… I have 2 computers with i7 4930K, 16GB DDR3, SSD units and 980ti for each one… with this configuration… what renderer do you think that I should use? I already did read the comments, vray and corona it seems to be discard and it´s fine for me, so… Arnold or Redshift for motion graphics with my configuration? Thanks. PD. Sorry my bad english but in my country we speak spanish and my english is a little forgotten. Greetings

  • Thank you for the super helpful article! You have made my life a lot easier through reading this! Lol. I was just wondering:

    Could you please elaborate on Arnold having “weak caustics”

    That is a really cool natural looking effect the way it plays with light and I’m just curious to know why/how Arnold is weak in that department. Are there any ways to work around that and compensate for it to achieve the same or better results as other renderers? Thanks for your help again!

  • terryranson@mac.com May 16, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    Are there updates to you “short answer” based on the current state of development in these renderers? I am using Nvidia on a hot rod mac setup (which oddly causes total incompatibility with pro render, go figure), and I had been using Octane for the speed and easy realism. But I’m looking to step up. Redshift seems like the best move for me. Again, any updates you your reco?

    • I think a workflow that includes Redshift and Arnold is the best option (if you can afford it). The two compliment each other well and can handle nearly anything you throw at them. If you can only choose one, I’d test both and see which one suits you. thanks for checking out the post!

  • Could you please elaborate on Arnold having “weak caustics”

    That is a really cool natural looking effect the way it plays with light and I’m just curious to know why/how Arnold is weak in that department. Are there any ways to work around that and compensate for it to achieve the same or better results as other renderers? Thanks for your help and for this great article!

  • Hi Guys.

    Great article.

    Do you have any links or advice for those of us on Macs looking to set up a eGPU solution to run octane?

    I’ve heard it can take a few workarounds but I can’t find a good write up on this anywhere…


  • Hello Chad

    I would like to say thanks for your job.. I like Greyscalegorilla 🙂
    I was trying to work with Octane. But I think there is very weak setting option. And some issues where I would like to change. Also Im affraid of more complex renderer, let say street with buildings in very high quality and 2-4k texutes. In some test renders I was limited with GPU (For now only 2 GB). Also noise support is very weak and sometimes materials not working very well, mainly in rescalling. However I really like that fast render update and I speed up my workflow like a 100times. Can I achive this with redshift?
    Do you thing for my purpose is better to use Redshift? I do not want spend so much time for learning something which after developing my skills will be weak. Also I do not know if it my bad skill but working with AOVs layers in C4D is no problem for me but in Octane it seems not that good and simple like in C4D.

    Thank you for your time and any help you can provide me.

    Kind regards

    • I think that the best way to find out if a renderer will work for you is to grab a demo and try it out. I always recommend folks “try before they buy”. That way there aren’t any surprises. As for what you’ve laid out here it could be your hardware that’s holding you back. Octane should be able to handle the scene you’ve described but no GPU renderer is going to do well on a single GPU card with low memory. So I imagine if you have a single GPU with only 2GB of memory, you’ll have a similar experience in Redshift. Good luck!

  • Hi Chad!

    Such a great article, super helpful to hear your insights.
    Can you speak a bit towards final render speeds using Redshift/Octane? I know IPR speeds are really quick. But on the other hand I have also read that final renders might not be that much quicker that CPU based rendering. Is this something you can share your experience on? Thanks!

  • I am looking to start using Octane but I’m on an iMac, what is the best route/set-up to make it work flawless on my computer? Can it run on AMD, no right? Rep from Octane said no… So what is the best Egpu set up case and cards, and best option for plug and play so I don’t have to worry when I update my OS.
    Thank you GSG and GSG fans!!!! ?

  • Hi all Gorilla ,I loved your all !

    I am C4d arnold user for a few years and I attend your most supports from youtube and this site also Twitter ( nick) ,also chad tutorial in renderer apps variation I loved it all.
    I need recommendation from you ,I have only Hp laptop with 2Gb card and 12 Gb ram core i7 ,so I want to upgrade it my laptop ,but not more expensive .
    I don’t want leave Arnold renderer it is so perfect renderer .
    SO what is your recommendation for me to buy a laptop ( pc ) requirement or something what you say to me .

    Thank you all !

  • Cycles 4D – mentioned in the list but not seen it in the comments yet so thought I’d give some input on it.

    I got it a couple of weeks ago as the first GPU renderer for my new system and R20. Currently it has to use a bridge to work in R20 due to not being a python based plugin and so stability is a bit of an issue or facing delays in production time. The live preview is good and not too slow, but needs pausing or closing to make changes without crashing. For large scenes (physically that is, not amount of models) it takes a long time to render, a simple infinity floor scene with a chair takes 85 seconds, add a large object to the scene and it jumps to 9+ minutes so it has a learning curve with optimisation to go with the node based material learning.

    Definitely has pros to it but cons are I wouldn’t advise it for animation unless you use a render farm or have a lot of graphics cards, I’ll update this post when they make a full R20 compatible plugin if there’s any improvements.

    Intel Xeon Skylake W-2155 3.5-4.5 turbo boost (10 core),

    32GB Corsair DDR4 RAM

    1 x Nvidia Quadro P5000 16GB Graphics card

    Windows 10 64 bit on Samsung Pro Evolution 970 SSD

    Love the article Chad and you guys at GSG really are amazing with all the help you put out.

  • Novice question: Which renderer is good on a MacBook?

    I’ve tried using Octane but it doesn’t seem to have the right driver.
    Any advice?

  • Hi guys,
    Thanks for your video, they do help a lot.
    I am a Mac user and i am wondering if it would worth to invest on a PC as a node and keep working on my mac ? I thought about Team render link.
    I love the mac Os but I m not naive about the hardware ….


  • Hey Chad I see you guys have a guide to redshift for people who want to learn but why havent you guys made a guide to octane even though its being used so much on instagram ? Is it because of the octane effect?

  • Hi! I’ve been done a test about Vray Vs Redshift (in Max) after your tips and tricks about RS on youtube. I’ve been watched the official video about how get rid of noise in Houdini.

    Hardware specs:
    Dell 7559 / I7 6700HQ / Nvidia 960m (4GB) / 16 GB dd3
    Resolution 2800*1500

    Scene 2 AI37 Archinteriors

    Vray Next (brute force/LC) at 2% = 2:18 hours
    Vray Next GPU (brute force/LC) at 2% = 2:18 hours (the same above but with a less powerful GPU compared with my CPU I guess.. soo good result)

    RS 2.6 with tweaked samples for GI/lights/materials from general settings: 3 hours (and still some problems like yellowish sunlight but because of my conversion I don’t say anything about it)

    So, after other work on it:
    Fstorm with one-click conversion = 2 hours but still too immature for production.
    Vray Next with IM/LC proper settings (conceptually close to RS right now) = 49 minutes with no visual differences.

    So, my conclusion:

    Until RS 3.0 (with automatic sampling similar to what was introduced in Vray 3.3 for Max) I guess that it is a step back to old Vray-biased workflow where right now all the trial and error time (and learning time necessary to reduce that time) does not compensate the requested effort.

    My two cents, cheers.

  • really helpful stuff in there!
    thx a lot!

    But I am a mac user, so was looking for a renderer as well, and at the convention i went last week, they mentioned to give corona a try. any thoughts there?
    because there is nothing about corona in here or in any article.

    thx in advance

  • i used redshift’s trial version on 3ds max its amazing and very very fast for example i rendered a realistic ferrari with one son light in 3 seconds with 1660 ti GPU

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