Cycles now available


The particles shots are impressive.The other stuff left a lot to be desired.
I supposed if you’re looking for a more or less dedicated render engine for XP, this is awesome.

I’ve tried the alternatives and they haven’t succeeded.

VRay: Handles the particles; Can’t render them w/ motion blur.
Octane: Slow with anything involving volumes.
C4D: Can’t fully take advantage of Xparticles, because it lack a point renderer.

I’m definitely willing to give this a shot.


As pnoland mentioned above, you should judge Cycles on the massive amount of work that has been done over the last 5 years by Blender users. Don’t base it on the Cycles4D one!

As a starting point, check out the Cycles demo reels done over the last few years:




Tangent Animation have recently released a full animated feature done completely in Blender and Cycles:


One of my fave pieces done in Blender/Cycles that shows a 100% cg Sean Bean:


You may notice, they are all firefly free :slight_smile: As Kai covered, fireflies and noise are intrinsic to a pathtracer and it is up to the user to minimise or get rid of them. In Cycles in Blender, you can turn off caustics as well as bias the glossy samples to minimise fireflies…presumably the same options are in Cycles4d?

It is good to see Cycles finally released for C4D, as it is a very nice renderer with a lovely material system. I haven’t tried Cycles4D yet (waiting for the demo), but from looking at the video, it seems that Insydium have done a great job, especially if you are an XP user. My main reason for wanting it is partly because I already know how to use it( also being a Blender user) as well as being continually frustrated with Octane C4D…mainly with the buginess of the C4D bridge and the terrible material system…No problems with the quality of its’ output, but then you would have to try very hard to get crappy output from any of the pathtracers on the market!

A couple of things that do give me some pause about jumping into Cycles4D just yet is that Redshift for C4D is just about to drop, as well as the current limbo state of Blender development. Most C4D users wouldn’t realise that Blender is a transitional state at the moment and this will effect Cycles development for the next year or so. They have only recently started working on the 2.8 version with big plans to revamp many aspects of it. This could take at least 6 months to a year for a beta to arrive, and although Cycles is its own development branch (and it is used by other commercial packages such as Poser), it is developed mainly as part of Blender itself. When Blender was in the 2.7x series, there was a new version every 4-5 months, but the 2.8 stable version will take much longer, which means any new stable Cycles features could be a good year out. Plus the time that it takes for Insydium to implement them in the bridge.

Having said that, if you are buying it for what it offers now, then Cycles is a mostly mature product. Octane users will find that the material system is much more powerful and logical than Octane, but Octane does have the advantage of the DirectLighting system and is general faster as a renderer (from my anecdotal experience). The quality is excellent on both, and in the end workflow preference is the king. I do think that Insydium should label the displacement feature as experimental, since it is actually hidden away in the current version of Blender, as it is not deemed “production reliable” just yet.

I am also of the opinion that Insydium are being somewhat mean with the number of render clients included with a license, considering it is an open source engine. Won’t effect me, as I mainly use GPU rendering, but it could irk some.

One final link is to the Cycles roadmap with some very cool things coming up in the future, such as Disney BSDF, denoising and light groups. Cycles future is bright :


I grabbed a license today…mainly for XP work.

And the licensing works great for my GPU-centric approach…5 GPUs in 2 PC s


@Zendorf : I totally relate to everything you say.

Main selling point for me is XP integration, but in general I’m still waiting to see how Redshift and the new Vray will fare (+ Cycles4D demo obviously) before commiting to any of them.

The noise and fireflies in the webcast were pretty frightening at first ( I mean the guy has 4x970 ti or something and it still wouldn’t resolve noise very well on a simple platonic and an hdr, what happened there?), but the XP demo really got me thinking. So I’m on the edge (as a specialist particle renderer?).

Noise and fireflies being intrinsically a problem for path tracers, I really thing that at some point, no matter how good your sampling algorithms are, all pathtracers should come with a denoiser like Renderman or Vray/altus. Nice to see that Cycles has one on the way. I’m pretty sure Solid Angle is working on one too… (they already had a “blue noise filtering thing” in demo at some point I believe).

(Ironically, Poser’s renderer (now based on cycles) used to be called firefly!!)

Previews are important, but final frame render time is too for me. With Octane (and only one mid-range card) or Arnold (and a sinlge workstation), that was my main gripe. It took seconds to be “almost there” and then “much longer” to be clean.

My other question mark is that Radeon Prorender (now licensed by Maxon) is going to be added in Blender too. I wonder if this might slow down cycles development if forces are split between the two (or benefit both if technologies can be shared…).

A few hundred euros isn’t going to kill me, but I never like to bet on the wrong horse…


Fireflies has nothing to do with complexity of a model.

So a platonic and an HDR, it could be the hdr is shite, it could be they aren’t sample clamping, or they simply chose not to add enough samples, which would be unfortunate for the demo. If you were listening dureing that section though he talks about the hot pixels slider in Octane, which would be their dumbing down oif sample clamping which is what he immediately starts covering within cycles. Its the same way as we address them in Arnold, Prman, clarisse and Mantra.

Also, Blue noise is just another way of distributing the noise equidistant, it doesn’t eliminate noise. I actually wish maxon would add blue noise as a distribution option in the cloner. It is soooo handy for object distribution although slower.


@EricM it is interesting to note that the longterm plan for Cycles is to integrate the denoising code alongside adaptive sampling for the pathtracer. This should enable some smart reusing of samples to gain a decent speedboost. Don’t hold your breath though, as it won’t be happening anytime soon!

By all accounts, Redshift is the fastest GPU renderer on the market, with lots of clever biasing options. I haven’t tried it yet but am hankering for the C4D demo, which can’t be far off. Having said that, I will be grabbing a Cycles4D license at some time in the next year because I really dig the Cycles material system and it should be fun to use alongside XP.


You can sort of fake it with a high clone count and a Push Apart effector in Hide mode.


I am interested in opinions on the nodal material system in Cycles 4D. It looks a bit clunky to me but I have not used this kind of system before. If you want to share a file with a non-Cycles 4D user can the textures be easily converted?


Really? In the videos I saw it looked like one of the better ones I’ve seen so far.


Absolutely! The node based material system in Cycles is one of the main drawcards of using it. It is both easy to use and powerful. For those that find nodes a turnoff, I guess that a material system like this will always be unpalatable. After fighting with the material system in both Vray and Octane in C4D, the node system in Cycles looks like welcome relief to me! The Arnold system also likes nice, but I have never tried it.

It is a shame that the Cycles4D devs didn’t copy the way it works in Blender where you can setup materials either with the menu based system or nodes. The really clever thing is that you can start a basic material via the menu system and then auto convert this to nodes, which is convenient. Half the time you are just doing a basic fresnel mix of a glossy and diffuse shader, so you don’t really have to delve into the nodes.


Is there a Cycles forum at Insydium yet? I’m seeing what I expect in the RT preview but when I try to render to the PV, I get nothing but the background – trying to render the Hair demo file and Hair is selected in the Render Settings.
Any suggestions?



Have you chosen Cycles 4D as the render engine?
Then under Devices on the settings tab, choose your rendering device (a graphics card, the CPU, or combination)
The RT preview has separate settings from the render settings


And yes there is a cycles 4D forum on the Insydium site


See SUPPORT > Help:



Thanks for the help. I’ll take this to the forum.


Cycles 4D Demo Out Now!

Try before you Buy – Your FREE 30 Day Demo of Cycles 4D is now available to download at

Don’t forget to visit our Free Online Video Manual page and Downloads page You’ll be up and running in no time.

Cycles 4D Render Engine Bridge only £185 ex VAT or £157 ex VAT to X-Particles 3.5 license owners. Just enter the Discount Code xp15 and your X-Particles 3.5 serial number at the checkout to receive your discount.


Thanks for the demo! Looking forward to trying out Cycles.

I think the 30 day limit is a bit disappointing for a restricted and watermarked renderer though. At least allow more than one go at the demo - I don’t get much time to try these demos out as I have too much other work to do.


Is cycles able to generate motion blur for changing point count meshes (i.e - liquid meshes) from alembic files?


Im in, if Xparticles has a discount in black friday.