In this series, we have taken you through some of the different render engines that are out there – and now you want to know which is the best. Of course you do! You can check out our conclusion below, and read about our in-depth analyses of Arnold, V-Ray, mental ray, and Redshift.

After all of my experiments with lighting and rendering, it’s hard not to pick the obvious winner. Arnold and V-Ray have definitely got a faster workflow than mental ray does: but then Redshift comes swooping in with its really easy workflow and speedy renders. I do believe that you can get excellent results with mental ray, but for convenience and to save time, you really want to use either Arnold, V-Ray or Redshift.

What do I render with? Well, my personal preference Redshift. After that, it’s all about V-Ray, as it keeps fast throughout the entire lighting process. I think both V-Ray and Arnold both give an excellent, grain free result, but as Arnold takes a lot longer to render – and we all know the pressure of a deadline –  I think it using it would be more efficient. mental ray will allow you to tweak almost every setting but you can get lost in the process, and if you are not careful lose a lot of time on the rendering.

We’ve put together this rather fabulous Render Engine Comparison Table together so that you can make a fully informed (and potentially biased) decision on what render engine you want to work with:

Render Engine comparison results table

Final Arnold render

Final Arnold render

Final mental ray render

Final mental ray render

Final Redshift Render

Final Redshift render

Final Vray render

Final Vray render

Of course, this is my personal experience on this scene, and you might find that with another workflow a different render engine may be better for you: Arnold or even mental ray for that matter. My advice is to try and explore these different engines and see what works best for you.

Have fun lighting your scenes and discovering the render engine for you!

Tired of waiting around for those pesky renders to finish? All of us here at YellowDog were once, which is why we created the YellowDog Platform. We believe that there is enough cloud computing power for everyone – you just have to know how to access it. Read all about how we’re changing rendering forever here.

 

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