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Cycles and Yafaray

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Cycles and Yafaray

Post Wed May 04, 2011 9:34 am

Hello,

Like many blenderheads, I've been impressed by the Cycles demo that have shown up here and there in the past few days.

Let's the buzz cup pass, let's talk about rendering capabilities. I'm a Yafray/Yafaray user for so long I don't consider changing my renderer because of a demo video.

What I would like to know is, what are the factual arguments for comparing Yafaray versus Cycles ? Of course the almost realtime rendering is a good thing for Cycles, but what beyond that ?

Eg : I didn't play in an advanced way with Yafaray blend shaders, but Samo is used to say it's the most capable shader feature for Yafaray. On the other hand, the nodes shaders used by Cycles are told very capable too (I didn't use them, I've stick to 2.49b so far because of modeling tools)

See my work and my tutorials on : http://www.thomasbaron.net

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Re: Cycles and Yafaray

Post Wed May 04, 2011 9:46 am

The motivation is going to double competing against the 'protegee'
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Re: Cycles and Yafaray

Post Wed May 04, 2011 10:53 am

tom120934 wrote:What I would like to know is, what are the factual arguments for comparing Yafaray versus Cycles ?


They are totally different beasts, I would not compare them. Cycles is in a very basic stage right now, it's not a demo, more like a pre-alpha, so it's no use to compare them. And even when it will be production ready, you could only compare it with Luxrender / Octane (tech-wise).

But if you are comparing them userbase-wise, than Cycles will not be a reason to forget Yafaray (unless the development really stops). I know I'll be using both :D

tom120934 wrote:Of course the almost realtime rendering is a good thing for Cycles, but what beyond that ?


Beyond that? Let's forget for a moment that Cycles is currently just a "skeleton", with very basic features and as such is not very usable. What it should and will be:

* absolute integration with Blender, even now you can delete, copy, transform objects, apply modifiers, while the thing is rendering, which is by itself amazing.
* interactivity - building shaders in real time, immediate feedback on lighting, shading & tonemapping (cuts the workflow time at least in half)
* node based shading, which is the most flexible, fast and powerful way of creating materials. Only coding is more powerful than nodes. Every scene parameter will be exposed to the shading pipeline, thus allowing to create amazing stuff.
* physically based rendering / camera, integrated tone-mapping, GPU rendering, etc, etc...

I'm very enthusiast about it. The node-based shading alone is worth to drool over the keyboard :) and those of you (Blender users) who never experienced Octane, will be blown away by the interactivity of the work flow and how much time you can save with it.

1024x512px, pathtracing 1024passes = 3 minutes on GTX 460. Ofc. the materials are very basic, but look at realistic DOF :P
test5pp2.jpg
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Re: Cycles and Yafaray

Post Wed May 04, 2011 11:10 am

In this moment I envy everyone, who have GeForce....I have Ati Radeon and I can test Cycles just on CPU....and heavy force of Cycles is in GPU....Shame...Must be patietn and wait for OpenCL...

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Re: Cycles and Yafaray

Post Wed May 04, 2011 2:16 pm

@_Mo_ : Thanks for the explanation. My point is, I just don't like the hype about a new renderer coming in. It's by far too easy to show an alpha release like you said to blame the others long-time-existing renderers. What I'm looking for is knowledge about the differences and the pro and cons of each renderer. I'm sure there is some good ideas in Cycles to be reused advantageously by Yafaray.

@Samo : protegee ? You mean, some renderers are more considerated by the Blender dev team than others ?

See my work and my tutorials on : http://www.thomasbaron.net

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Re: Cycles and Yafaray

Post Wed May 04, 2011 4:21 pm

tom120934 wrote:@_Mo_ : Thanks for the explanation. My point is, I just don't like the hype about a new renderer coming in. It's by far too easy to show an alpha release like you said to blame the others long-time-existing renderers.


I'm not sure what you mean by blame the others? Blender internal is old and not suitable for photo realistic renders. Cycles will be a replacement / complement for BI. This development is an absolutely good thing, IMO.

It seems that you are concerned with the future of Yafaray? Well simply put, people will still use Yafaray as long as it will offer something that the others can't. In light of this and the developments in the FOSS CG field, Yafa devs should maybe asses what is the situation and future placement of Yafaray.

Cycles is long from being usable, but since BF is behind it, the day will hopefully come when it will be full-featured and the default renderer in Blender. When it will be so, less Blender newcomers will start to use Yafaray or Luxrender, because Cycles together with BI will provide enough power. But old users will still use Yafa I suppose (provided that the condition of offering something that others can't, is met).

tom120934 wrote:What I'm looking for is knowledge about the differences and the pro and cons of each renderer. I'm sure there is some good ideas in Cycles to be reused advantageously by Yafaray.


Currently it's of no use to talk about pros / cons of Cycles, because it's only a proof of concept for now. But download a build from graphicall and test it - you will not remain indifferent. The ultimate pro is integration; I believe that I spend more than half of my time doing test renders. In Yafaray it takes a lot of exporting and waiting for the result. In Octane for example it still takes to export the scene, but changes to materials and lighting is interactive and instantaneous, so strike out material & lighting based re-renders. Cycles will take this further, not even needing to export the scene to get immediate feedback. A huge time saver.

Yafaray could do with some tighter integration with Blender, for example being able to use the texture nodes pipeline, or when it will be possible to create custom nodes, migrate the shading to a fully node based workflow. There was some talk of OpenCL acceleration (it was a GSoC project, I believe), etc... But the problem is that there are only a few developers.
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Re: Cycles and Yafaray

Post Wed May 04, 2011 5:41 pm

tom120934 wrote:@Samo : protegee ? You mean, some renderers are more considerated by the Blender dev team than others ?


yes, Cycles is a yet another free raytracer like YafaRay, Luxrender, Sunflow, Toxic, etc. This means that Cycles will endure the same dilemas, challenges and difficulties those projects have been facing for quite some time.

Namely: lack of developers with skill and will to work on the raytracer core structures, dispersion of efforts, a very fragmented market, developers getting hired by commercial engines or studios, bad signal to noise ratios in foss communities, small user bases, brand building, adapting to future rendering techniques and paradigms, maduration of the application, real hard competition, integration with Blender, integration with other 3D packages, documentation, project funding, etc.

The obvious difference is that Cycles will use the Blender Foundation umbrella to mitigate some of the aforementioned pains. That's why I call it the 'protegee'.
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Re: Cycles and Yafaray

Post Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:09 pm

I'd like to bring this thread to Q2 2013 now ;)
In light of present Cycles improvements, can anyone update this thread, please?

Basically I'd like to know
1. if today one can say that one renderer can replace the other (at least up to 95%),
2. and if not, maybe make a summary of features/reasons they should be used in combination (through the help of the compositor maybe?)

Any other relevant info you want to share would be greatly appreciated,

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Re: Cycles and Yafaray

Post Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:45 pm

I feel that cycles has come a long way.
I use yafaray and/or cycles for interiors.
Something yafaray is very good at but cycles is struggling with.

Even though the speed of cycles has improved enough that with a little tricks you can have a nice interior scene in not to much more time than with something like yafaray (or similar solutions)

yafaray you know it will be crisp. No noise. In cycles it still is hard to tell on indoor scenes.
I would love to have the interactivity of cycles but the crispness of yafaray though. When you render with

But this may be only my personal findings.
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Re: Cycles and Yafaray

Post Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:44 pm

I have noticed that too. Quality wise, Cycles struggles a bit in indoor scenes compared to YafaRay, but in path tracing and IBL scenes it achieves impressive results.
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Re: Cycles and Yafaray

Post Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:11 pm

Hi there!

Cycles has matured enough to be on-par or better than any other FOSS solution for any purpose of usage. The only niche field Yafaray could be better is interior (ie. use cases where light sources are difficult to reach) archviz, where you can achieve very nice & fast results with photonmapping. But that's only if you compare just render time and dismiss development time.

When comparing renderers people tend to compare just their absolute speed in rendering final scene X. But that's not even half of the story. What's even more important (and more expensive) is the time the artists spends on setting up the scene, create shaders, prototype lighting, find nice camera POVs, do render tests... Artist time is much more expensive than render time. And renderers with immediate feedback like Cycles or Octane, offer so much workflow speedup, that the possible difference in render times becomes irrelevant.

After working for some years with Octane & Cycles, I don't see myself ever going back to something that doesn't offer the (GPU) speedup & interactiveness of development or the flexibility of node-based shading & texturing.
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Re: Cycles and Yafaray

Post Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:05 pm

I was not comparing render times, I was comparing only quality of results in indoor scenes by looking at works on Blenderartists and I believe YafaRay right now delivers better results. BTW indoor scenes is not a small niche IMO. I don't know what it is but Cycles diffuse shaders in indoor scenes look always "botched", maybe it is the fact that people are using filters to kill noise but those at the same time are killing diffuse detail.

I love YafaRay diffuses. Good diffuse shading is very important IMO because it gives depth, consistency and shape to the scene. I put a lot of effort in my scenes to make diffuse components "vibrate". And noise is one of the main enemies of diffuse shading because many times both become stronger in the same areas. With tools like Cycles and Arnold you are limited about what kind of lighting setups you can efficiently use, which is basically image based background lighting. They are not that good racing against complex noise as YafaRay and I believe biased solutions will always prevail in complex GI cases.

With Cycles you are hardware limited too. You must use Nvidia GPU solutions and CUDA. Besides when comparing engines remember that there is not a level playing field either. Cycles is much better integrated, they don't use python output like us and they have much more resources at hand (and subsidies btw 8) ).
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Re: Cycles and Yafaray

Post Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:34 pm

Btw.. That someone pay me the salary of Brecht .. I will take YafaRay at the level of VRay .. at least.:)
Well.. is joke :)
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Re: Cycles and Yafaray

Post Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:08 am

Indeed. It is great that Blender users have got an excellent rendering tool like Cycles and that subsidies are actually used to make Blender a better tool but that kills any hope of healthy competition and survival for any FOSS raytracer or 3Dapp out there. In the long run that could be an issue rather than an advantage as Blender will compete alone against propietary solutions.
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Re: Cycles and Yafaray

Post Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:09 pm

Samo wrote:Indeed. It is great that Blender users have got an excellent rendering tool like Cycles and that subsidies are actually used to make Blender a better tool but that kills any hope of healthy competition and survival for any FOSS raytracer or 3Dapp out there. In the long run that could be an issue rather than an advantage as Blender will compete alone against propietary solutions.


I totally agree.
I add: GPU is now very fashion but not for production on archviz industry imho.
Yafary has it's place since it's much more adaptable to the industry.
Blender is not supporting a strategic asset like yafaray and that will be clear on long term.
But in the end the main responability came from blender users...
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