Ashikhmin-Shirley Distribution

I know 2.71 hasn’t even officially been released yet, but in 2.72, there’ll be a new distribution model for glossy shaders, Ashikhmin-Shirley, and all three models have now been made available for the anisotropy shader too. I played around a bit and came up with this little comparison:

(Best to open each of these in a new tab to compare them easier)

Anisotropic Shader

Continue Reading…

World Volume Tests

Most of you have probably downloaded the 2.70 RC by now and probably started playing around with volumetrics in cycles. Immediately you probably noticed how slow it renders, although that was probably expected. Here are the results of a little test I did to find out exactly how to speed up volume rendering for the world up so that it’s actually usable.

The very first and foremost thing you need to know about volumetrics is the difference between Homogeneous and Heterogeneous volumes. Basically, a volume where the density is driven by some texture is a heterogeneous one, and a volume with consistent density is a homogeneous one. The difference in render time and quality is… well, quite drastic:

Homogeneous vs Heterogeneous

Homogeneous (2m 40s, 512 samples) vs Heterogeneous (1h 4m 55s, 128 samples)

Yep, you read that right. Under 3 minutes for homogeneous volume and over an hour for a quarter of the samples in the heterogeneous volume. The heterogeneous render seems to have a less dense volume, and I guess it does since it was driven by a noise texture where I couldn’t easily control the density and honestly couldn’t be bothered to wait long enough to give it a decent try. Continue Reading…

Report Broken “Online Manual” Links


In the right-click menu on (almost) any button is an “Online Manual” link. While useful, many of them don’t work – but that’s where you come in!

If you ever stumble upon any of these broken links, just let me know in this thread or in the comments below. It’ll show an error in the info bar similar to “No reference available ‘CyclesRenderSettings.seed’, Update info in ‘’ or callback to bpy.utils.manual_map()

In the next couple weeks I’ll be fixing as many as I can.

My Wishlist

I’ve made a wishlist of sorts of all the things I wish Blender had, most of which are related to cycles or rendering in some way.

I’ve only recently started taking coding seriously, but I figured I’d better write down all my ideas before I forget them. This gives me a nice place to track what’s been done and what still needs doing, and organize things better for my own sanity and of course hopefully attract the attention of a more experienced developer ;)