New Physical Renderer Is Faster Than Standard In Some Cases

September 23, 2011

Seems that Physical Renderer is getting a bad reputation for being slow. In this short video, I wanted to show you how much faster the Physical Renderer in Cinema 4D R13 was when calculating things like Sub Surface Scattering and Blurry Reflections. In some renders, the Physical Render was over 300% faster than standard with the same results. Of course, other features like Depth Of Field, Global Illumination and Motion Blur add to the render time quite a bit, but for SSS, Blurry Reflections, and Ambient Occlusion, you may be better off trying the new Renderer.

Tutorial Focus:  ,
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  • Nice to know… thanks for the info!

  • Keep up the good work, ive learnt so much from you.

  • Maybe it’s time for Maxon to considerate a little more help of the GPU’s, like others are doing…Good info, Nick, thanks!

  • Yes! Super pumped for the SSS tutorial!!

  • lol i would love if i took 1 minute to render one frame, with my dual core + 128mb gpu + 4gb ram, i take 1h to render one single frame :/, so any time you took is speed light comparing to my times 🙁

    great tip gorilla thanks 🙂

  • Wow! That’s way faster! I wonder why…

  • Hey, what’s happened to your Hair!?

  • Good news Nick! Thanks for the great info! Now I know that C.A. is not your cup of tea, however will you at least be reviewing the new C.A. tools or doing any tutorials on them?

    • Yes, Chris is planning on making some tutorials about the new Character tools soon.

      • Hi “The Gorilla” I really enjoy your tutorials, but when I was doing this one and the other called “How to model a pin sculpture……” I couldn’t find the physical renderer. I’ve got the C4d R12. I’ll agree all the answers.

      • Heya, good tutorial, please can you give me a dl link for the dragon model used in this? would really appreciate it 🙂

  • Nice, this is exactly what was needed.

  • OMG your hair, whats happened to your hair.
    Also why is there only 2 render buckets when using the physical renderer and 16 with the standard?

  • Vray is still faster, more stable, and far better quality. The fastSSS2 implemented in 1.2 is ridiculously fast and looks damn good.

  • Thanks for the Info. Just another Reason for me to update soon 🙂

  • haha I knew id see some comments about the hair, this is such an important topic… no really, im serious.

  • Vimeo suck maan, for those who have low internet speeds 🙁 🙁
    who agrees me..??

    any ways, 😀 yet another, cool video nick 🙂

  • Nick, where we can download this very nice model of dragon and statue?

  • awesome tuts greyscalegorilla !

    excuse me but can you give me a link for your dragon model please thanks you excuse me for my english i am french

  • Great thing to know. Thanks Nick! Was a bit gutted about the rendertimes of the physical renderer when it comes to depth of field. I’ll keep doin’ this in post wherever I can. Especially on animations and high-res for print.

  • Hey Guys

    I am a beginner to cinema 4D R12 and am planning to buy a GeForce GTX 560 Ti Graphics card for my PC especially for Cinema 4D R12(No gaming!!).

    Can anybody please give any comments on how that graphics card(GTX 560 Ti)performs with cinema 4D R12.

    My Current PC Specs are:

    Processor :AMD Phenom II X4 945
    RAM :2GB (will upgrade to 4GB)
    Graphics card :GeForce 9400 GT (Current One)
    Motherboard :ASUS M4A785T-M
    Power Supply :500 Watt SMPS

    I know it kinda sucks but that’s what I am stuck with right now,cuz I am still a student and can’t go for high end cards.

    Let me know if I have to make any more changes for the C4D R12 to work a little smoother.

    (I am still a beginner so don’t need any huge changes though hehe!!)

    Thanks again!

  • hey howdy! probably too late here. but maybe someone can help me, when creating a spline path, especially when using the free hand tool to draw a spline there seems to be problems with the line staying intact, as soon as you specify a path it just kinda falls apart, not horribly bad but frustratingly bad! i much oblige you to provide me with some help.,na jk. if you can thank you .

    • sorry this is regarding the line grow from cs tools, since its a recent post nick, i figured someone is more likely to provide some help here. thanks.

  • Hello, Nick!
    Thank you for these video.

    I use Maxwell Render for my renders. His physical engine is much more correct than those of Cinema 4D.

    So here is a question: now, with new C4D physical render there is a reason to use Maxwell Render? What is the difference between Maxwell and new C4D render engines?

    I would be very grateful to you if you share any considerations on these matter.


  • Scene: Grey Floor and a Sphere extruded to look like a disco ball (no textures, sky-map with HDRI image.

    Physical with Indirect Ilum: 2:03 (No settings change)

    Physical with Global Ilum: 1:34 (No settings change) – imho, GI looks 10x better than II-

    Standard with Global Ilum: 0:10 (No settings change)

    I don’t know why, but for calculating lighting, standard render was 900% faster

    • Also, did my own test of the video (Disco ball with, first SSS, then Blurry, then both, -all with ambient occ -) with just a grey floor and a standard light with area shadows.

      Just SSS: Phys: 0:25 Stand: 0:20
      Just Blurry Ref: Phys: 0:18 Stand: 0:17
      Blurry and SSS: Phys: 1:23 Stand: 1:20

      One note: On both the above tests, the AA for the standard render was set to geometry, not Best, (on my screen, that was the closest to the phys Adaptive LOW setting), which plays a HUGE role in render times.

  • Thanks … Nice Tip

    Processor :core i7 2.8 (4.8GT )
    RAM : 6GB
    Graphics card :GeForce GTX 480
    Motherboard :Inter
    Power Supply :750 Watt SMPS

  • Interesting, thanks Nick.

    As a Newbie I’m confused what the new physical renderer has as default settings regards AO and GI

    In the Standard you had to take both these feature from the effects folder and activated them

    It not that clear to me in the the new physical renderer what options you have activated.

    I always wonder if I should activated from the effects folder as I did with the standard anyway

  • Your hair!
    That being out of the way, I have to say that the pysical renderer is a lot slower in most of the cases.

    If you are doing simple (no offense) motion graphics, I’m sure it is a fine addition to the set of tools already at hand, but if you need an alternative for cinematic production quality, the new kid on the block isn’t up to the job.
    A really simple scene without texturing took 4 times as long as the old renderer to get down to an acceptable level of noise.

    It’s a great start and an excellent alternative for stills, bit not really an option for animation.

    I’ll use vray until Maxon has done all the tweaking that needs to be done.

    • Did some test renderings too and the render times of the new physical renderer with indirect lighting doesn’t even come close to the standard render with GI when both renders should be close to another. As visualsushi said: the physical renderer needs more passes to get rid of the grain. Something GI doesn’t have to do. One mayor issue is that you can’t save the GI solving in a file to speed up the process.

      • Did another rendering. Indirect illumination with ray depth of 2 and sample division of 8. After 15 hours of rendering (12 Gig RAM, 8 cores = 16 threads) still some grain visible. this has definitly to improve in the future, when I should use this for print production.

  • can u post an example of video / animation with the new physical render??
    it would be great 🙂

  • Thanks, nick!

    Great explanation with how different the renderers are.

    This might be off topic, but I’m really interested in refraction.
    Could anyone refer me to how this works and a tutorial?
    I need it for my project….


  • It’s a nice improvement, but vray4c4d is just so much better….

  • I LOVE YOUR SITE. This explained more to me about physical renderers. Thank you. ^_^

    Off topic, but how did you manage to keep your videos on Vimeo? Our Plus account was deleted because we had ads on the site, which violates their terms of service on profiting from Vimeo videos. Am I missing something?

    • I’m looking into the new Pro Account for exactly that reason.

      • Waitaminute.

        You’ve brought *tons* of traffic to Vimeo. They should pay YOU. 😛

        The Pro account is cool, but keep in mind that you are limited to 250,000 plays. If you limit your videos to your domain, then it’s cool. *But*…if you plan on keeping them embeddable, then you might run into alot of trouble if any of your videos go viral. $200 gets you an initial 250,000 plays, but then you have to shell out another $200 for only 100,000 plays. Yikes!

  • hi nick. i have question. how can i do this logo animation. watch please.. this movie 1:15 min. thanks.

  • I’ve just tried Chris’ new fracture tutorial. The physical renderer is actually 25% faster here!

  • Just noticed an improvement to hair rendering when using physical render and indirect illumination.
    You get 3d shading effect on the hairs, looks so much better than the 2d sprite like renders of old.
    Lovin the new camera settings, so easy to get the great focus /dof. You can even get the phys camera focus/dof, then do quick renders using the old /dof render option.

  • All I heard throughout this video was, “Sub-surface scattering”


    But thank you for this.

  • im using physical render with just simple balls aligned and i was testing the depth of field, it has just gone over 5 hours.. i have quad i5 processor 2.4 GHz, but really its just a still, basic image and it is taking really long

  • My experience is COMPLETELY different.

    With physical render, just motion blur/medium setting took almost 20 minutes.
    With standard rendering, the same thing took 24 seconds to render.

    I’m on an iMac with 2.7 gHz quad Core i5, 8 gigabytes of RAM.

    About 5000% slower just for some motion blur. I’ve experienced this slowdown consistently.

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  • is that a TopoChico mexican water bottle behind you? haha

  • Hi, Nick. Can you explain about Cinemaman render. I hear this render have some connection with Pixar’s RenderMan. And that render become more and more better lately.

  • HI GSG,

    this tutorial is so great.

    Wasn’t there a download of the Tutorial document? I’m looking for it.



  • You save my life.

  • Very nice! Thanks so much!

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