Cycles Versus Eevee.

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Cycles Versus Eevee.

Created by Chris_Ae
11 Months Ago
October 14, 2019 @ 11:27 am

So I bought an excellent velociraptor model from TurboSquid.

It was made in Cycles and therefore everything was present and correct when imported into Cycles. I realise Cycles has been sped up with 2.8 - but it's still painfully slow to the point that, I use a render farm to handle my animation - which costs of course. I looked at a free render farm but it was hopeless.

It's certainly true to say I don't know how render engines work - therefore, I do wonder why the model looks SO different in Eevee. The HDRi didn't seem to register on the surface, the model was plastic looking - and the eyes of the model were either so dark you couldn't see them - or they weren't present. That said, believe I found a way to make the eyes appear in Eevee by switching their mode from Opaque to Multiply - or something similar. Before the 'dino-project' I animated a drone in Eevee - and absolutely LOVED how fast it rendered! Wow - I can do my own renders now - and not have to wait fifteen hours!

But then I imported the Cycles model and oh... back to paying for my renders. I hear 2.81 is happening in November and that there's an addition / update to soft shadows in Eevee - so I look forward to that. I've seen workarounds on how to create shadows in Eevee - but why do you have to use a workaround / hack? Why doesn't Shadow Catcher work in Eevee? Or rather, the option isn't there. So, as you can see - I don't understand how render engines work.

Then I had the frustration of not finding a way to make the floor plane transparent in Eevee - so even if I employed a shadow hack using fifty nodes (!) - I couldn't render without the floor plane.

I got really excited when I first used Eevee with a model NOT made in Cycles because of the incredibly fast render times - but I didn't need shadows at the time and the model looked right. I naively expected to import the Cycles velociraptor model, switch to Eevee, create transparent shadows and render myself in a style ten times faster than Cycles. Negative!


11 Months Ago
October 25, 2019 @ 5:02 am

Hi Chris,

EEVEE and Cycles are very different render engines and they have very different purposes.

EEVEE is for real time rendering in the viewport - which is mainly for previewing, pre-viz or creating less 'realistic' renders. EEVEE uses a lot of hacks and shortcuts and GPU 'magic' to make things look great without being physicall accurate.

Cycles on the other hand is a full blown ray-tracing engine and as such is much slower than EEVEE. If you want best quality though and 'realistic' behaviour of light and shadows, reflections and refractions, then you will have to go with Cycles. It's much slower, but you can actually keep the samples a little lower and de-noise your image to speed up rendering times.

I made a video for that not too long ago:

You can create a Shadow Catcher material in EEVEE, but it's not available out of the box (yet). There's lots of workaround you can (may have to do) if you want to use EEVEE for your final renders, but it can work depending on your situation

In the end, if you want best quality for your final render, Cycles is the way to go. If you got a strong graphics card and enable CUDA/OpenCL support (or RTX support) you can speed up performance A LOT

Hope that helps some!



10 Months Ago
November 8, 2019 @ 0:02 am

Came across this, might be useful

10 Months Ago
November 23, 2019 @ 10:00 am

Thank you very much Tobias and havardhv.

Yes, all that makes sense, Tobias.

So, I'm sure we all now have 2.81. Well, the dinosaur model looks way better when switching to Eevee this time. The skin still has a 'plastic' look - but although I'm still lacking a lot of knowledge, even I know that can be changed using the node config.

I followed a workaround to create a transparent floor plane and it works - so that one is now sorted. I personally think the look of the model in Eevee is good enough now - but I still have that problem with the eyes and here's the thing - there's no longer a drop down menu in 2.81 to switch from Opaque to Multiply.

I've read the equivalent in 2.81 is to use a shader node. If someone can tell me which shader node to use and where it sits in the node tree I'll be rather grateful!

Many thanks.


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