Currently blending – Cycles test in Blender 2.61 beta


I haven’t upgraded my computer yet but having a bit of time on my hands I was tempted again to test Cycles.
The new BETA official 2.61 release shows a friendlier Cycles but I’m still a bit confused with material and even light settings.

From the previous version I had tested, the new update shows more input for materials outside the dreaded node editor but I didn’t get the right bump yet.

I was also sad when I tried to adjust the tree image (just a picture on a plane, I hoped to change it’s brightness etc) and didn’t find a way to do it, not even in the node editor – though I’m sure it’s possible as everyone in the know loves Cycles material complexity.

One more problem I stumbled upon was sunlight through window panes. As you can see, my starter scene has no glass at the moment. With glass, in default settings light from outside would not get through, with shadow disabled for the glass in the object panel, light did enter but I got light specks all over the render that would not go away with more passes. I tried disabling some more stuff but didn’t work. I used for this render (1000 passes -40 min) an emitter object but later discovered now you can use a sun lamp that is set rather like an emitter object. The shadows don’t look the same though, and specks-through-glass-lit-scene problem still appears.

I got a fair amount of crashing, something never happened in previous releases, and other thing that could be improved was I had to switch between edit and object mode or wireframe-rendering mode to make some changes to the model reflect in the viewport rendering.

I am also sad because gennerated mapping does ot work in cube mode, nor does it use texture space, so I had to unwrap the walls for such simple mapping.

But I know this is still beta and I’m starting to get a feel of Cycles in spite of disliking the material system change.

I’ll work some more on the scene details and post in Blender artists to get some help 🙂


  • Carrozza

    I feel your pain about nodes and in my Blender time don’t use them: with a bit of practice we can manage to produce good materials with material panel; watch some tutorials and see what properties nodes produce: there is the key.
    I’d say that 99% of materials can be produced without nodes.

    About windows I had the same situation and with the help of some blenderheads finally understood that the best way to make thin, planar glass is to mix transparent and glossy shaders together.

    I love Cycles so much, is not hard at all when you experiment a bit.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Great for a cycles test. You can adjust color and bright/contrast by adding an RGB node (I think). There are a bunch of nodes I haven’t played with and not really sure of the names of the ones I have used. The node system is complex and the materials can be wonderful, but it does take a bit of messing around to understand them.

    Using a mix node to do a specular on a transparent for window glass without getting the artifacts that the glass material can cause (or turning down the IOR of the glass material).

    Hope you get back to this one. In cycles, it will be a great portfolio piece!

  • Oana

    Thanks Maria and Carrozza! I’ll try your advice when I get back to this. Meanwhile I got entangled in a weird bubble and tomorrow night I might have that video card upgrade I was hoping for so I’ll be able to test stuff faster 🙂