Render Modules Update

The Blender development team keeps growing, and we are in the process of improving the organization and hiring new employees to accommodate this. For me personally, this provides an opportunity to focus again on what I’m most passionate about.

My new role – as principal engineer – will be focusing on rendering development in Blender, and I will spend most of my time as a software developer working on Cycles again.

My previous role was as chief software architect for Blender. I will continue to be available for advice on software design for any part of Blender. But I will no longer be as much involved in organizing, reviewing or signing off on development projects outside of rendering.

There were two rendering module teams in Blender:

  • Render & Cycles: includes Cycles, Blender render pipeline, color management, materials, textures, etc.
  • Eevee & Viewport: includes Eevee, 3D viewport drawing, OpenGL & Vulkan.

These will be merged into a single Rendering module team. This is an organizational change, and one that has already happened for the most part. We’ve been holding weekly rendering meetings for planning and discussion of both modules, and will continue to do so.

Note that Cycles and Eevee remain separate renderers. We will to work together to ensure feature compatibility and make changes that benefit both native and external renderers.

The module owners are Clément Foucault, Jeroen Bakker and myself. Adding Jeroen as a module owner reflects his existing high involvement in both modules, and together with Clément his focus is on the Eevee & Viewport part.

For Cycles there are various active individuals and companies contributing to the module. Kévin Dietrich is currently working on Cycles with a grant for specific interactive rendering optimizations, and we’re also looking to hire another developer for general Cycles and Blender render pipeline development.

Rendering is an area that benefits from long term continued improvement. We have much work to do lowering render times, handling bigger scenes, simplifying settings, adding more advanced and easy to use shaders, and good interop with the rest of Blender and other apps. In the end it’s all about making an idea into a beautiful render as seamless as possible.

We are looking for artist module members to join the rendering modules, particularly to help test new features, make demo files, and create release notes and docs. More developers are also always welcome, especially to help with bug fixing, code review and incremental quality of life improvements.

– Brecht Van Lommel

  1. there is a new initiative for Lighting data files of luminaries:
    One has to check how it fitts to IES standards..

  2. Cycles MUST DIE – its slow, denoiser is useless – it makes artifacts and kills small details. EEVEE – is the future of rendering. It is very sad that blender team spends their time on such a useless things like cycles

    • The shortcomings of the real-time renderer remain unsolved, and although he is undoubtedly the star of the future, there is still a need for cycles to develop

      • EEVEE is the thing that brings new users to blender, it made blender step into mainstream production/ for example in archviz eevee could make very good results very fast, that makes archviz process up to 3 times faster and much cheaper. Also EEVEE is very good for TV and other media stuff – just for the same reason – speed. Gigants like Epic, Ubisoft, etc are in BF only because of EEVEE. Many 3dsmax/maya users came to blender only because of EEVEE and sculpting. Not because of Cycles. I really hope that blenderteam one time will realise that cycles is a ballast that should be in the past, just like blender internal…

    • I think Cycles needs an overhaul and scale-up to handle bigger projects but that’s the issue you need time, money & developers to do that.

  3. Can cycles enable hardware Ray Tracing on amd’s rdna2 gpu?

    • Duuuuuuh, Cycle is a pathtracer which is a raytracer, so your question is absurd like asking “Can we activate the fly function now on the futur planes ?”

  4. Thanks for all the hard work done so far. Really impressed with Blender and it’s progress. Feature wish list-wise, an easy way to keyframe global transparency of an object with multiple textures applied to it would be very useful :)

  5. Thank you for your work Brecht and render team! Are there any plans for improving glass materials and specifically caustics in Cycles?

  6. Guys, you may rethink about artist-driven global illumination like Corona and FStorm are doing,
    actually it’s hard to get photorealistic results out of the box.

    And inspiring by LuxCore or Corona some irradiance caches may help speeding up rendering (means, overall illumination is additionally corrected by path tracing. The cache is sort of a guide, especially for architectural interiors and more complex scenes with characters or products. Also, animation production would be more affordable.

  7. Hey guys. I hope Blender becomes better at handling scenes with huge polycounts and objects. Coming from 3dsMax Blender is quickly overwhelmed here.
    Also for game development you should really fix the terminator issue. The offset is mostly a bandaid but I think the underlying structure needs to be changed. This is a lot to ask for and I just wanted to thank you for the hard work you put in.

  8. Great! It would be nice to have the option to exclude objects from the lighting of the lights like in V-Ray or Corona.

  9. Thanks for the update Brecht, and wonderful to hear not only that Blender is growing, but that the growth is enabling developers to focus on areas they care most about. Looking forward to future updates and even more delicious rendering cake :D. In fact my obligatory feature request is that Cycles will be able to physically manifest delicious cake (using all cpu and gpu cores of course).

  10. glad to see the news!

  11. Hi
    I will be happy to find a render queue in Blender. It may help Blender artists to earn a lot of time putimg several Blender projects in a queue. Congratulations for constant beautiful job.

  12. Congratulations Brecht!!
    I am very happy about the news!

  13. Appreciate for your hard work. I’m happy to see more about cycles updates.

  14. Oh, that’s great news, Brecht’s (and Clément’s) big rendering commits are always the ones I’m super excited about. 😄

  15. Awesome, maybe soon we will finally see light linking in Cycles!!!

  16. Congratulations Brecht!

    I’m glad we count with you now focused into Cycles! :)

  17. Good news! Looking forward to progress updates.

    Don’t try to finish all tofu the known improvement needs by 2.93 release, 3.1 will do fine. ; )

  18. Hey Brecht! I would be honored to join the rendering modules helping in any way. Regards! Joni

  19. Nice !
    This means a fully working and complete shadow catcher on the way and more perfs :)

    Can’t wait to see Blender completely drop opengl for vulkan too.

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