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Tips 4: What Render Engines Are Suitable For Beginners ?

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

This blog will discuss about the rendering engine used to produce photorealistic visuals. Render Engine itself is actually a software plugin, but I deliberately separate it so it is not too confusing.

Render engines
What Render Engines Are Suitable for Beginners?

There are many rendering engines, both free and paid. Even as I write this blog, there are so many free rendering engines currently revolve that I can't possibly mention it one by one. You can use any rendering engine, for starters, I would recommend using a free rendering engine. Any rendering engine, the logic of the work is more or less the same so later if we want to change the rendering engine we will not experience significant obstacles. It's just that there are a few things to consider when choosing a free or paid rendering engine, namely:

  1. How long has the engine rendering been developed? If the rendering engine has just launched, especially free, my suggestion is not to use it immediately, for fear of discontinuation. It is better to use what has been developed for a long time because the important thing is not to waste time only on free software but newly developed. It's not a problem to try, but don't focus too much on new software just because it's free.

  2. Is the rendering engine updated? This is also important because with the updated version, both free and paid, we know that the developer is still consistent in developing the software.

  3. Does the rendering engine have many tutorials on YouTube? If there are many tutorials on YouTube that use the rendering engine, it will greatly facilitate us to learn especially as a beginner. If there's a little tutorial on YouTube, then it will prevent us from learning and of course we want to maximize and optimize the time we have.

  4. Does the rendering engine have a renderpass / render element? Renderpass / render element is very important for the production stage, with this renderpass, we can improve the quality of our rendering in post-production and even make it easier for us to make corrections when things go wrong. Rather than we have to render again from the beginning, it would be better if we could do it in post-production because it saves more time. The easiest example is if the reflection of the glass is lacking, we can add it easily and quickly, not even up to 5 minutes if we use renderpass in the post-production stage.

There are rendering engines that use the power of the processor from our computer that we are familiar with the name CPU, and some are using the power of the processor from the Graphic Card that we are familiar with the name GPU. I would rather use a CPU because the CPU is more dependent on the RAM we install, if less we can add it, but when using the GPU, we are very dependent on the RAM of the GPU itself and we cannot add the GPU RAM. And GPUs with high RAM is very expensive.

Below are some of the rendering engines that are widely used by 3D artists in the world of Architectural Visualization.

This rendering engine is available immediately when we use a blender, and the results are very powerful, not inferior to other paid rendering engines. Blender cycles can also use CPU or GPU.

Blender cycle render image

Source: Evermotion

Blender cycles render image

Artist: Sun Burn

As you can see, the rendering results of blender cycles are really promising for a free rendering engine, and blender cycles also have a fairly complete renderpass that we can use to improve image quality in the post-production stage.

2. VRay

VRay is a rendering engine that can be said to be very dominant in the world of architectural visualization because it has been developed for a very long time. VRay itself is available for SketchUp, 3DSMAX, Cinema 4D, Autodesk Maya, Rhino, Revit. And VRay also has a version for Blender. In terms of price, VRay is quite expensive, only VRay for Blender is free. Comparable to its quality and flexibility. VRay can also use CPU or GPU. VRay is also a rendering engine with exceptional flexibility compared to other rendering engines. The most complete rendering of all engine rendering. The Hollywood film industry uses VRay a lot.

V ray render image
v-ray render image

Image Credit: 2G Studio

Corona Renderer is a very phenomenal rendering engine because it is very similar to VRay and its usage is easier than VRay. I highly recommend this Corona renderer because it is very fast and the results are very good. Many 3D Artists and companies in the world of Architectural Visualization use Corona Renderer today and the price of Corona renderer is not too expensive and uses a subscription system or monthly subscription, if we want to stop, we can stop at any time. For now, Corona is still using the CPU.

Corona renderer image
Corona renderer image

Image Credit: 2G Studio

This rendering engine is quite well known among 3D Artists in the Architectural Visualization Industry because it uses GPU only. Octane rendering prices are also not too expensive compared to VRay.

Octane render image

Image Credit: Alex Pluta

Octane render image

Image Credit: Bartek Peksa

I personally would still advise you to focus on rendering engines that use CPUs rather than GPUs for the time being. Because later the larger the project that we are working on, the GPU will have its own limits, and inevitably we use the CPU.

The software that I highly recommend for those of you who want to start in the world of 3D Architectural Visualization is to learn to use blender cycles first and then when you understand it, you can start learning to use corona renderer when you start using 3DSMAX. Corona Renderer itself has a free trial for 45 days without any limitations.

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