With more and more EEVEE demos popping up in the internet, it comes the time to shed some light into what is the Blender 2.8 EEVEE project and what is possible with it.

How can I use EEVEE for my Cycles project?

Even if you plan to use Cycles for your final render, EEVEE is still a valuable asset during your production. Animators can work with fully textured characters, see contact shadows and reflections. Layout artists can design a shot with lighting and depth of field. All in a responsive real-time engine.

Additionally, other tasks can use a full-shaded drawing, like texture painting and sculpting. In that sense EEVEE is very similar to the old Material viewport shade mode.

Is EEVEE a complete render engine?

Yes. One of the goals of EEVEE is to replace the Blender Internal renderer with real-time rendering techniques. There is work to be done, but EEVEE already supports rendering still frames, animations, compositing and sequencer.

In its early days of development you could only export your work with the OpenGL render, or screen capture software. But since now EEVEE got integrated with the rendering pipeline, you can expect more high-quality demos to appear online in the coming months.

Can I use Grease Pencil objects with EEVEE?

Yes. The Grease Pencil developers are working on top of the latest blender 2.8 changes, updating the Grease Pencil branch on a daily basis. The upcoming Grease Pencil objects are rendered as part of an overlay pass very similar to Freestyle. And just like Freestyle, they are fully compatible with EEVEE. Effects such as bloom, depth of field and shadows on Grease Pencil objects are not implemented yet.

Does EEVEE support animation?

No, since Blender 2.8 has no animation support yet. However, this is coming very soon. Animation support is currently under development, available for testing via the command-line option --enable-copy-on-write

So, with the exception of the video above, most of the EEVEE demos to date are using camera/object motion only, not skeletal/character animation.

Which Cycles material nodes can I use with EEVEE?

All the material nodes are supported with the exceptions of Velvet and Toon. The most popular choice for shading is the Principled BSDF node. This is in part because of how “PBR” friendly this node is. Game artists are already familiar with the PBR workflow thus making it straightforward to setup good-looking materials with existent PBR textures (albedo, metallic, …). Using this node gives you a pretty close look when switching from EEVEE to Cycles and vice-versa.

What is a Light Probe?

Light probes are a new object type that allows you to simulate the environment reflection on your objects. This is a technique common on video games. You can use this for mirrors (planar reflection), light bouncing (irradiance grid) and general environment reflection (spherical reflection).

Why does the shadow in EEVEE look different than in Cycles?

EEVEE has no support for real soft shadow yet. Instead, it implements a filtered shadow. Although we would love to have smooth shadow calculation it’s proven to be too big of a technical challenge for the time being.

Will we have Ambient Occlusion/Sheen/… in the Principled BSDF node?

Yes. Although some of this may be incorporated in the Output node instead. The Principled BSDF shader in EEVEE is still incomplete. We are aware of this and we aim at feature-completion for the promised Beta release after the Code Quest.

Code Quest

Is Blender 2.8 only about EEVEE?

Definitively not. Although EEVEE is currently in the spotlight there are plenty of other projects in the works to be excited about! Such as: new dependency graph, assets engine, view layers & collections, workspaces, application templates, 101 project, 2D animation with Grease Pencil, and much more. Follow the progress of Blender 2.8 in its dedicated website.

Can I try it?

Always! Daily builds are available on Remember, Blender 2.8 is under heavy development. Backup your files and don’t save important data with it, as files might not be compatible with previous/future versions.

How can I help?

The easiest way is to support and follow the Code Quest. Developers and experienced artists are welcome to join the Blender 2.8 project in our usual channels. And if you think we missed anything, let us know in the comments so we can update this F.A.Q.

41 comments 5,073 Views
  1. Thanks for the update ! Why doesn’t EEVEE support the toon BSDF ?

  2. I imagine it’s just waiting on implementation. One of Eevee’s goals is to replace BI, and BI’s strongest feature is (arguably) NPR rendering. No one will be happy if they remove BI without a suitable replacement for NPR rendering.

    To be fair, the toon BSDF in Cycles isn’t very useful, unless you’re willing to get down in the weeds with compositing and per-light sampling. And then, I’m really not sure it offers any advantage over compositing with a regular diffuse shader.

  3. It’s really odd that the Does it support animation section starts off with a big “No”. It’s actually “Yes, but all of 2.8 is really buggy right now so it doesn’t work yet”.

    • If you start blender 2.8 without command line, you can animation object properties like location, rotation, scaling of objects. But you can not animate object data properties like mesh shapekeys or camera focal length. Modifiers are not supported. It means no armature modifier. No support of character animation.

      If you start blender 2.8 with --enable-copy-on-write command, object data properties and modifiers are supported. But there are other problems. Bones are invisible in object mode and edit mode. They are only visible in pose mode. It means that rigging have to be done in 2.79. And no rigging adjustment can be done in 2.8. And 2.8 is more buggy and easier to crash.

      So, I think situation is rather closer to a “No” than a “Yes”.

  4. Wasn’t there just recently talks about how freestyle would be retained after Internal is gone and how it isn’t that compatible with Eevee? And now the compatibility is perfect?

    Or are the issues just about getting the freestyle to show up in viewport in Eevee mode? (So it works for offline render just like for Cycles but not for IPR?)

    • You are misinterpreting the point of the article about Grease Pencil.
      Grease Pencil pass in 2.8 grease-pencil-object branch is compared to Freestyle pass in 2.79.
      It is Grease Pencil pass that is working perfectly.
      Work on support of multiple renderlayers for compositing broke Freestyle pass support in 2.8, currently.
      It should be temporary. A Freestyle pass is a minimum goal.
      Question of a NPR realtime engine like freestyle is still open.
      What is sure is that all Freestyle features can not be realtime.

      • I smell BS.
        Don’t be so outdated please.
        Realtime FS is in the works.

        • No BS. The author of the twitter and the STANDALONE software that allows realtime render Freestyle like is a student that recently proposed port his software to Blender, reutilizing what is possible to reutilize of freestyle.

          His proposal is located here:!NPR/2018Summer/

          There’s a good chance that your existing scenes will not be compatible with the updated freestyle, if this GSOC is accepted, and merged in time for 2.8.

          • I think you misread the BS I’m referring to.
            I and few others worked with Yiming Wu for the proposal.

            “Question of a NPR realtime engine like freestyle is still open.”

            This issue still open because all the core devs don’t talk to us.
            There are over 10 of us heavy NPR users who know the proposal in and out.
            We have been heavy on the issue for years (since Nov 2012).
            The proposal is public, and presented at BCof.

          • From what I’ve seen the NPR proposals by Light BWK and others have effectively been very detailed feature requests. Which is fine, but it’s one of many requests, and developers engaging with it still means they would be doing 90% of the work themselves to implement the feature and postponing other things they are planning.

            The code being developed by Yiming Wu is something that developers can engage with, as he is doing most of the work and clearly has a good understanding of the technical details. If users can find a developer that is willing to invest months of work into their favorite features that’s great, if not it’s not that unexpected.

        • Until I can see a render with textured strokes, variations according to distance from camera, objects and strokes produced for ridges and valleys ; I will continue to say that a realtime NPR engine is not a guaranteed equivalent to current Freestyle.
          Months ago, module owner of Freestyle explained that he did not see how all features could be made realtime.
          I saw this proposal on mailing list. It could be a GSOC of this year but confirmation that proposal was accepted did not happen, yet.
          Freestyle was a GSOC in 2008 but only integrated in official release in 2013.
          Today, nobody have doubt that work on this. But we can seriously doubt that would be in 2.8.

          • This is correct. Realtime line rendering is possible, but supporting all the Freestyle features in realtime is not going to happen (for one, Python is not that fast). A system that is equally powerful for many cases seems possible, but it would be a different system. If that still should be called “Freestyle” or something else is just semantics.

  5. Thanks for this FAQ! You guys are doing a great job. Can’t wait for more!

  6. I have noticed a few things with eevee so far:
    1) on production scenes, it takes between 5-10 minutes to actually enable (on a ryzen 7 machine)…
    2) the sun lamp have weird shadows.
    3) transparency with image textures is not very clean
    4) node groups dont work properly
    5) object info / random doesnt work

    but… looking good overall everyone! good stuff

  7. Why recently macOS builds are so slow?
    I can run earlier versions on my MacBook Pro but now the viewport is running so slow even with the default cube on it that I can’t play or test those newer versions.

  8. for npr, we only need the possibility to plug color correction nodes to the output of a shader

    • Very astute statements good sir!

    • Conceptually it is simple, in practice it is difficult to combine with Monte Carlo sampling that path tracers like Cycles are based on. Eevee is based on that to a lesser extent as well to keep the viewport responsive. Applying color correction on noisy Monte Carlo samples will not give good results.

      The two solutions are:

      • Avoid too noisy samples, which means disabling some features and advanced rendering algorithms in an “NPR mode”. Particularly things like glossy reflection, AO and soft shadows that are rendered progressively in Eevee and Cycles are problematic.
      • Apply the color correction in a compositing step after rendering, in which it is difficult to handle e.g. transparency and mirror reflections. Potentially this could be done in a way that the user is not even aware it’s a compositing step, it could still be specified with shader nodes and potentially open the door for some interesting artistic effects by filtering across pixels.

      A reasonable balance can be found, but there’s technical challenges here that users are not aware of.

      • when we make the demand to have an output color for a shader in cycles, the response was : not possible, it should take two passes, because we must calculate all the traces. the implementation in EEVEE is the same ? but, we are near realtime, so two passes are not too time eating. otherway, i used a lot of time AO and output ramp after the shader in BI. so, if this is simple in EEVEE, why not let the users manage whith it.

        • I don’t know which specific response you are talking about, but the problem and possible solutions were and still are the ones I described above. Eevee being faster does not fundamentally change anything, that’s never what the problem was about.

          The fact that Eevee relies less on Monte Carlo sampling is what makes it a bit easier to add shaded color manipulation, although there will still be limitations to it.

          • i often use noise (and more) to add material to my 2d shaded objetcs. if, like you say, it’s possible to add color manipulation with eevee, give us this possibility, without presuming how the artists will use it (so we can use all the shaders, or almost all, to create 2d shading). and we will use compositing for the limitations (like post processing effects, etc…) after that.

  9. Nothing about BGE?

  10. For game-style NPR (e.g. Dota2), Energy-Conserving Wrapped Diffuse shader (extended version of half-lambert shader) and fake rim light shading are needed.$rimlight

    For anime-style NPR (e.g. Guilty Gear Xrd), well-controllable cel shader is needed.

  11. WYSIWYG Toon Shaders and freestyles in real-time would be amazing

    So with the Toon shader you really want to control the shadow color independently of the light this is super important along with specs kicks and rims.

    Awesome work guys

  12. Hello,You’r awesome guys, I’m already dreaming about Blender 2.8
    I want to ask that, Is Blender 2.8 going to have tools like substance painter for texturing ?

  13. What are the minimal System requirements to use Blender 2.8 AND or WITH EEVEE ????

    • Hey just jump in and try it – I got very pleasing results on my 5yo laptop 1MB GT 540M albeit with a single human figure OBJ exported from DAZ3D. That was monthss ago when contact shadows were just in and they looked great. I couldn’t use armatures and render out or composite then so I’ll be back now!

  14. Why replace BI? I dislike cycles as it is. But hey, let’s do what GIMP 2.8 did when “upgrading” from 2.6 and *beep* up everything to make it “better” without making it actually better. It’s the old “make it easier by making it harder” that Windows does, which is why I have used Linux since 2000. I’ve spent years perfecting my BI techniques, and POOF, gone? Learn another system to do exactly the same thing? Why?

    Leave well enough alone. KISS

    OK So now I’ll get hate mail and “just get used to it” replies

    • It’s because no developers have stepped up to maintain Blender Internal, and once Eevee is mature (e.g. with NPR support) there will likely be very few users left. Working in realtime makes a massive difference in usability.

      If it was an open source project on its own it would have already been abandoned, but because it’s part of the larger Blender project it has been kept working by the core Blender developers. This is not sustainable in the long run, and making important improvements to the viewport, layers, texture painting, particles, .. is significantly harder if Blender Internal needs to continue working.

      If we could just leave it alone, that would be fine, but it doesn’t work that way.

      • I think Blender Internal should be given a fighting chance to live. Yes, when the time is right, remove it from Blender. But how about wrapping it as external render engine? I have heard it would be a big task, because it is so close and dependent of Blender core, but it would be a great opportunity ro create best support for external engines and a gift to community. After extraction, there could emerge people to support it outside of current developers.

        • If no one emerged in the past five years, it seems a bit risky to do a big project to make BI external in the hope that it will be different now. Realtime feedback in Eevee is such a big improvement in usability that it’s hard to imagine people will be motivated to improve BI.

  15. hi thanks for this update great stuff!

    ive been trying EEvEE and noticed that rendering animation of moving objects i get a bunch of lines width and height of render window and viewport during animation – shows up in animation render and open GL render but not if do a image render
    it goes away when turn metallic down to zero or if put roughness at zero – is it something obvious or just early days?

  16. I have a recent MacBookPro with AMD 560 GPU (4GB) (that works great in 2.79) and as someone else mentioned in this thread, the eevee viewport is extremely slow now, like 1 fps at most and the GPU doesn’t even seem to be used. Rather I get the impression that it is using a software fallback. Is this known? If so, what is the reason? Can and will it be solved?

  17. I love blender. I have so much fun with just playing with the default cube… But my Mac cant handle real for just working on a project. I really want to see Eevee be the best. I just need it to have a solid/material view. Cause I cant do anything in the latest builds! Im very excited for eevee. But mac is all I have atm…

    I dont want to miss out on blender 2.8 cause I have a mac! Please! If this can be fixed or if your planing to add it, please add it asap. Other then that Eevee looks very promising and I hope to be able to play with it soon!

  18. Another Mac user here incredibly excited about eevee but gutted the Mac versions don’t seem to be getting developed yet. Are blender gradually moving away from Mac support?

    • No one has spent time yet to optimize Eevee for Mac, and the same is true for some other hardware and platform combinations. There should be time during the 2.8 code quest to do more OpenGL optimizations and testing on various platforms.

  19. Will it be possible to use eevee as a standalone engine? I’d like to use it for VJing purposes, meaning that I want to create video output in realtime.

  20. Hi guys, really a _great_ job!

    You are most likely aware, but just in case: motion blur is not apparently taking into account rotations, only translations, at the moment (2.80 builds downloaded 2018-03-18 and 2018-03-12), which is why I see motion blur in the animation of the race_spaceship example and not in the wanderer one.
    BUT it _was_ taking into account rotations some time _before_, according to this video published 2017-05-12:

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