R21 First Impressions


First off, the denoiser. As expected, it’s not a magic bullet; if you don’t have enough samples, its like running a Photoshop blur filter over the image, However, give it enough information and it does a much better job. As an example, I’m doing a large cityscape animation (currently rendering in R20 the background) and even with four progressive passes it’s still pretty noisy. I just did a quick test, and If I’d had R21 yesterday, I reckon I could have used two passes plus denoiser and it would have been: 1) better looking, and 2) finished this morning. So denoiser can be like having double the CPU cores. Kinda.

More experimentation to be done – especially using with ProRender – but so far, it’s a tentative thumbs up.

EDIT: Okay, so I may have been a bit hasty. It still adds jitter during animations, but at least I’m losing one progressive pass – and the images do look nicer.


On the other hand, if you had Redshift - you could have had it all done before dinner - last night : )


I’m on a Mac, so Redshift would have been useless (currently).


Ah well!! Good luck luck with the denoiser then : )


Most of the stuff i do for personal work is modeling for 3D printing. In R21 the caching layers in volumes make life a lot easier for me. Especially with larger models the speed up is very noticable. In general the volumetric workflow has sped up my modeling a lot. STL sizes have balloned though.


First thing new project launcher(Quick start dialog) opens anyway at start up, if even no check on(not show on startup)

2nd - no python 3.7 :sob: , September of 2019 :roll_eyes:

i’m disappointment :wink: :sunglasses:


Python 2 is still standard for all vfx pipelines. Afair Python 3 is scheduled to replace 2 in the next year or so.
You can find more on these standards here


Thank you
Autodesk, Blender are using 3.x


Anyone try X-Particles yet? I noticed Insydium hasn’t made their announcement (by the end of August) yet.


Denoiser does look a little bit like magic…

On my setup, Prorender was taking forever to get rid of the last bits of grain. No more. It feels like it’s actually usable now at least for stills.


Those new caps and bevels improvements are excellent!! It works even with the crappiest fonts :slight_smile:


For those wondering about X-Particles, looks like Insydium has announced compatablity



Now available downloads



My god, ProRender with Denoiser is indeed like magic. Now if only they could get it to parse the scene and compile shaders more quickly. But it’s definitely usable for stills. I’ll have to investigate doing animations with it.


I just installed R21 and dabbled with it for 1h.
What strikes me most is the new interface. Sleek with lots of buttons and core functions now easily accessible. The search itself is quite cool: type « knife » and an arrow will show you where exactly the tool is located.
It really feels like they did a UI/UX in depth diagnosis and carefully thought out what needed to be changed.
What I dislike so far: the help menu now takes me to the online help. But what if I’m not connected?? Where is the contextual offline help that we all love?


Yes, totally useless for an off-line machine. That was the second thing I tried that annoyed me, the first being having to sign in to get my license with a machine that I want to keep totally off-line.


Just playing around with it for 10 Minutes:

  • Yes, I also liked the old offline help much more.

  • One thing that I also missed with R20 and which hasn’t been added with R21: context help for the nodes. There is still no way to get to the help for a node or one of its parameters directly :frowning: Realy hard to get to know this system that way…

  • ProRender: havent had access to it before (Prime), so this is my first test. But given my limited hardware (2016 Laptop with I7 / GeForce 960M !), it surprises me regarding speed, even though I only tested that simple bottles scene. I don’t know the other renderers out there, but I like what I see. Faster than Physical in any case

  • I can’t get volume rendering to work with Prorender. Just wanted to fill a sphere with a simple gradient, but doesn’t work. Unfortunately, even on Cineversity there are no videos regarding this :frowning:

  • Yep, Denoiser is great


ProRender volume rendering is mainly for openVDBs, I think. Haven’t had chance to try it in earnest, yet.


Volume rendering is a bit tricky and indirect to set up. Here’s a quick guide for a simple setup:

  • Add a random field, set a noise type. Add a Volume builder, and make the field a child of it.

  • Set the volume builder type to “fog”

  • Set the render engine to prorender, and node space to prorender

  • Add a Volume tag (Tags > Material Tags > Volume tag) to the volume builder

  • Create a new volume node material (Create > Node Material Presets > Volume)

  • Select the volume tag; it has a slot at the top where you can drag your volume node material

  • Adjust the settings of the material (I decreased the density to 10)

And render!

R21_Volume_test.c4d (222.1 KB)


I don’t think so. The node material has a volume slot and you have a volume node into which you can feed density and color. Makes sense on the first look. But I can’t get it to render non-opaque. As soon as I apply a noise or gradient, the preview gets completely transparent, but the render gets completely opaque. There is also a volume material preset, which renders nice in Preview, but not in the render. And similar to last year, when nodes were introduced, the new ProRender-nodes seem not be covered by the help :frowning: And there seems to be nox example scene. But maybe I am just blind