Cycles is an physically based production renderer developed by the Blender project. It is designed to provide physically based results out-of-the-box, with artistic control and flexible shading nodes for production needs.
The renderer provides unidirectional path tracing with multiple importance sampling, multi-core CPU rendering with SIMD acceleration, and GPU rendering with NVIDIA CUDA and OptiX & AMD OpenCL. There’s also multi-GPU support, and a unified rendering kernel for CPU and GPU.
This is free and open source software.
- Core Features:
- Unidirectional path tracing with multiple importance sampling.
- Multi-core CPU rendering with SIMD acceleration.
- GPU rendering with NVIDIA CUDA and OptiX & AMD OpenCL.
- Multi-GPU support.
- Unified rendering kernel for CPU and GPU.
- Designed for interactive updates.
- Fast object, shader, light changes.
- Tiled and progressive rendering.
- Layers & Passes:
- Render layers for decomposing the scene.
- Render passes for geometry and lighting.
- Shadow catcher.
- Holdout mattes.
- Hair curves.
- Multi-core BVH build.
- Fast BVH refit updates.
- Subdivision and Displacement:
- Adaptive subdivision.
- Catmull-Clark and linear schemes.
- Bump mapping.
- Perspective and orthographic cameras.
- Panoramic and fisheye cameras.
- Stereoscopic rendering.
- Depth of field.
- Motion Blur:
- Object transforms.
- Meshes and hair curves.
- Physically based.
- Node based shaders and lights.
- Principled BSDF.
- Production tricks.
- Open Shading Language (CPU only).
- Absorption, scattering and emission.
- Smoke and fire.
- Subsurface scattering.
- Homogeneous and heterogeneous.
- Principled Volume.
- Global illumination.
- Point, sun, spot and area lights.
- Mesh lights.
- Environment light.
- Sky model.
- Light portals.
- Image textures.
- Environment textures.
- Procedural textures.
- Bump and normal maps.
- Cross Platform: runs under Linux, macOS, and Windows. It’s optimized for x86-64 and ARM architectures.
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