ProRender Tips


Hello Folks
Here are some ProRender quicktips.
Some are basic GPU Pathtracer workflow topics, others are prorender c4d related:

  1. Dont use the color channel within shaders. instead use the pbr material where all shading happens within the reflectance channel.
    other effects like luminance and bump can still happen outside of the reflectance channel. Why ? this leads to less noise in your images. Thus faster rendering.

  2. Smaller Iteration Refresh Intervals lead to longer render times and vice versa in the OFFLINE Picture Viewer / Final Result Render. So if you want to have a faster render time in the Picture Viewer
    use bigger values. Or use the option Never

  3. dont use small light sources ( hard to calculate for a pathtracer and creates hotpixels )

  4. the renderer is best suited for an exterior scenes or common scene with a sky like product visualization scenes.
    indoors are slower but can be made faster by using GI Portals on windows ( Option in the Shader ).

  5. prorender supports the compositing tag partly ( no inclusions or exclusions )

  6. the firefly threshold kills hotpixels, but also looses detail when set too sensitive. Lower = more sensitive.

  7. Radiance clamp clamps the brightest allowed pixels in your scene of all sources. prevents some hotpixels.

  8. adjust the ray epsilon value accordingly to the scale of your scene. 1 mm can be too big for still life pictures where for example
    a glass has a contact with the table.

  9. more than 1 gpu for the viewport preview can be slower. So try to use only the recommended one.

  10. AA samples influences render speed a lot. In many cases even the most.

  11. big textures / hdrs can quickly fill up your vram thus this would lead to an error and the scene wont render.
    This is of course hardware dependant.

  12. dont use perfect sharp reflections. give always a little bit of roughness ( prevents hotpixels )

  13. dont make lights or luminance planes too bright if u dont need to. instead play with their size.

  14. dont use too low tessellation for your geometry otherwise shading will have artefacts.

  15. tonemapping works only if 32 bit is turned on in the output settings. Its also working with the Live Preview in the Viewport

  16. The Exposure and Shutter Speed is set in the Tone Mapping Photo Linear, not in the Camera itself !

  17. Camera DOF is controlled in the Camera by FSTOP

  18. The most usefull tonemappnig modes are Photo Linear and Reinhard

  19. make sure your geometry has correct facing normals. prorender is sensitive to this.

  20. for realism try always to use IES or Area lights. Especialyl the PBR Light which is a modificated Area Light.

  21. Some Shaders are baked for ProRenderer others are GPU Native calculated like the Gradient Shader or Noise Shader

  22. The noise shader in the Bump Channel is also baked

  23. you control the resolution of shaders through the Default Texture Resolution Values in the Render settings
    or within each shader with an override ( shader baking )

  24. you can force a shader baking on native gpu computed shaders like gradients by putting it into a shader like Layer Shader

  25. to match the ogl viewport with prorender you need:

  • display mode Gouraud Shading ( Displays Area light Reflections ) or Quick Shading
  • a sky object with a shader on it
  • if you need light use the pbr light
  1. ProRender supports the most widely used Sphericla Camera modes.

  2. Options that Prorender doesnt support will be grayed out.



Thanks a lot for this!

One question regarding the Bump and Normal maps: in the PBR Reflection channel are slots for the two …do you ignore these and always plug them into the Bump material slot?

Second: Do the multipass maps from standard or Physical match with Prorender? I guess not completely?



I use Cycles 4D and it produces terrific fast results even on my Mac Pro Dustbin. The new denoise function is really terrific for reducing noise and by balancing this with iterations of the scene samples you can get a nice fast render. In contrast and rather disappointingly Pro Render just seems to be very very noisy even with a huge amount of iterations.

It would be great if someone could chime in on what they feel are good settings for Pro Render ( yes I know every scene is different) but more general things like what is a base for offline iterations. For instance we have the default setting as 100. For final rendering should this be set to 500 or 1000 or are these figures way too much with little benefit to the final picture quality. How does anti aliasing affect the iterations too.

Again I know every scene is different and the above tips are really handy to know, but I guess I am looking for advice on whether my old machine is up to the task with Pro Render (probably not I guess) and if I need to dedicate some funds to new AMD hardware to really get the best from it.


ceen you can use one of both bump channels.
prorender doesnt have multipasses, but you can render an Ambient Occlusion pass by switching the render mode from Global Illumination to Ambient Occlusion

rsquires. iterations dont tell you when the image is noise free. instead use the stop condition “Threshold” the smaller the values are
the longer the image will render. its checking the noise distribution and using the threshold to decide when your preferred noise levels are
achieved. as written before AA samples amount strongly influences the Rendertime.


I was just wondering if the multipasses from the other c4d engines (standard) match with the Prorender beauty pass if you jeave out DOF for example. If for example ZBuffer, Masks and Motion vectors fit one could theoretically render anims and add camera effects in comp.


there is a pixel offset between those


Cycles can use the two old AMD cards in the dust bin MacPro to render with the full feature set?


not really it uses the CPU but it’s still quick to render to the picture viewer. You can have the GPU render it but it’s slower.Viewport preview is good too but I have no idea what to benchmark it with. Sure it would be amazing with Nvidia cards.


not really it uses the CPU but it’s still quick to render to the picture viewer. You can have the GPU render it but it’s slower.Viewport preview is good too but I have no idea what to benchmark it with. Sure it would be amazing with Nvidia cards.


Thats exatly the same impression i get from ProRender too. I also use Cycles and its much faster noise-free. Im working on new PC with a GeForce GTX 1070 and a GTX 1080.


That would be an accurate description.


Makes it seem then like a not-ready for prime time feature? I suppose the only reason for including it is to get us over the learning curve so future more useful iterations of the engine can slide more easily into existing pipelines?


this is basicly our thinking with releasing prorender now. we have been very open with the fact that the first version is not going to be a full production renderer, but its capable enough for everyone to get used to it while we cram in all the missing stuff. follow Christophs tips and you should get some nice renders :slight_smile:
(i cant stress this enough: forget the colour channel exists and instead use a difuse base layer as the new colour channel and use the new preset light)



does that mean, that we will see all the missing parts in iterations of future point-updates? Or do we have to wait the hole year for r20 to see any development (like volumes and mulitpasses)? The redshift-alpha was great in terms of constant updates. Every other week there were new things to discover or at least some fixed bugs.
I do not really see the benefit to learn a new render-engine now, when i have to wait a hole year to use it. Plz do not get me wrong. My initial tests with Prorender are very promising. I like the ease of use and the look of the (still very noisy) results. And i like the idea to have everything working nicely together under one roof.

bye e


That is complete bullshit, typical sales mislead. Maxon had to entice MSA and upgrades so half-assed a “feature” by incorporating an incomplete pile of shit. Posting rendered images up to the release that while looking good were absent of honest render performance stats and when upon release nobody can seem to render a cube, plane and hdri with acceptable results in less than a minute.

How is this release even considered capable when the slow physical render outpaces this GPU renderer. In fact how is this performance remotely acceptable when the Blender implementation blows Maxon’s implementation out of the water.

What makes me more angry than paying an upgrade with few significant enhancements, is the incorporation of a steaming pile of crap that Maxon will now likely defer to R20 and expect another payment to then get what you say “cramming in all the missing stuff” which equates to “releasing an actual working product”.

Even Autodesk releases better technology previews… just fucking sad.


when they announced it as not yet production ready i thought it’s just missing stuff like AOVs, being able to render hair, volumetrics, caustics, stuff like that. but releasing a render engine that’s practically unusable in it’s current state really puzzles me. it’s kinda like saying here’s something for you to practice how to ride a bicycle and giving you just a frame without wheels or even a saddle. learning should be fun, and waiting a whole day for a simple noise free render just isn’t. the fact alone that there’s not a single tutorial on cineversity about prorender up to now is really suspicious.

what puzzles me even more is that users are so quiet about it. before every release there’s some sort of rant-competition going on in forums, but now that r19 is released and there’s actually something to be vocal about… well… silence, at least almost. i’ve always defended maxons decisions and told myself that they probably know exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it that way. but for prorender i really have no explanation. maybe i’m just too stupid to use prorender properly, but i’ve not seen a single render yet by any user made with prorender, and it’s been over a month now. not here, not on any other forum, not on twitter, not on facebook. if anyone out there made some renders with prorender, please show them and tell us about the render times and your experience with it.


I share the same sentiments about it, however, I am in the midst of learning Cycles4D. I recently switched my C4D work to a decent mid-grade PC with a GTX 1070 card. I know that is not a high-end setup, but it’s been enough to let me see what is in store for the future and I’m really enjoying Cycles thus far. I’ve only run into one issue, and it has to do with getting reverse AO (pointiness shader) working.

That being said, I know I’m knew to GPU rendering, but ProRender thus far has left me thinking I won’t be using it at all until it’s “production ready”.


Rick Barrett posted a Quick Tips video on Cineversity last month that is very helpful


did it help you getting acceptable render times with prorender?


NO… it was about what NOT TO DO in ProRender… it basically highlighted the flaws of ProRender and why it shouldn’t have been released.