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Blender Default Settings: Rendering
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This is the subtask to discuss changes to Render default settings for 2.70, copied from the parent task:

Render Properties

Renderer: Cycles (Way easier to use, more modern and more rewarding compared to BI)
Dimensions: HDTV 1080p (useable default size. An industry standard)
%: 100% (most of the time you'd want 100% of the set dimensions. Users can lower if they are rendering a preview)
Output path: User/Documents/Render (/tmp/ is not user accessible on most OS's, so we shouldn't litter it with stuff users can't find. And users need to be able to access their animations)


Clipping End: 1000 (100 is very low, you often and up with clipped objects)
Sensor Size: 35mm film (The default doesn't match any useful standard. Better use 35mm film)
Display: Name: ON (useful to know which camera you are looking through)
Passepartout: 75% (makes it clearer what is part of the image and what is not)
Aperture: F/stop - Number: 16.0 - Distance:10 (useful default DOF from film cameras. users can tweak from there)



Event Timeline

My opinion for the Render Properties:

Renderer: Cycles should become the default, but I would wait with this, until we have Volumetrics (for things like Smoke). Otherwise this can be too confusing for new users.

Dimensions: I would go with 1280x720 (720p) and 100%.

Dinto: I disagree.

Even though there are features missing in Cycles, for most users I think it's a better default choice.

  • Cycles is much easier to use. You'll get useable results with much less setup.
  • Materials and Texture workflow is way smoother
  • Node workflow makes much more sense in Cycles when compared to the material mixing kludge in BI
  • There are also many things Cycles has that BI lacks. The BI is not a superset of Cycles

For these reasons, in the grand scheme of things, I'll argue that Cycles is a nicer starting point than BI

I also disagree with using 720p. 1080p is more widely considered a standard, and devices (including phones and tablets) increasingly have resolutions that even exceed 1080p. Again, for most users, 1080p is more useful, because it is more likely to be their output format.

Dimensions : I'll suggest to change the frame rate from 24 fps to 25 fps , as it's more common in web or TV animation.

and for the Camera Display : I think showing the sensor size is not useful in many case, and also the safe areas. It's only relevant if you plan to do an animation for TV screens with small details or typography in the borders. So I'll drop these two...

Apart from that I agree with all your points

@ azap: Good points about the camera options. Makes sense. I'll update the suggestion a the top.

I'm not sure I agree with 25fps though. In Europe 25 fps quite widely used in cinema film, but 24 fps seems to be more widely used globally for film work. Animation was also always traditionally done in 24 fps. The advantage of 24 fps for animation is that it's nicely dividable (half of 24=12 fps, half of that is 6 etc)
With 25 fps you can't divide it quite so nicely.

Ultimately it varies from project to project, only issue is which is more common. More research might be in order

@William Reynish (billrey) , True ! it's a default setting that will always make somebody sad... As I work in video/motion design I found myself changing to 25 fps a lot. In fact it's mostly when I deal with audio. Half of the time I don't care of the 24fps settings and I think in terms of frames , so 25 = 1s , 125 = 5s ect...
But HDTV 1080p is a video format and IIRC not a film format that is more 2048x1080 , so 25 or 30 fps seems more consistent.
Also I believe it's more common to make TV or video work with blender than film, so having a TV/video fps make sense.
In fact it became truely important when dealing with audio, using sequencer or outputing video file. That said, I was not aware of the use of 24fps in animation, and that's a good point... Let see if someone else care about it as I do :)

I think that default should be 720p.
People do not want to do a high quality render of their animation at first try.
They probably would share tests renders before ending their work.

Except for technicals demo or hobbyist jobs, they would not use defaults settings.

Although blender is able to make blockbuster movies.
Most of blender users working for little studios will choose defaults according to their jobs.
It can be illustrations or videos for website.

Most of images posted on BA are not using 1080p format.

And blender users who are able to make good looking HD movies are able to save a startup.blend.

I was thinking CyclesUI: a bad default because it is not able to bake textures.
I have admit that baking is not really used with Cycles (except for few people who use normal maps made with blender).

Now, I think that Cycles could be a bad default for another reason.
Texture painting tools like texture layer manager were thought for BI as default.
Currently, you just have to drag and drop an image on an object to 3D to be able to paint on it.
It does not work wit Cycles UI.
3DView of Cycles UI only show images textures that are connected to a Cycles Shader.
I think that Cycles ubershader should be available to be able to update texture layer manager add-on.
At least, image drag and drop trick should create UVs and a basic nodesetup (image texture + diffuse shader+ material output).

I rather see the default size not as the size of the preview, but as the final render size (so more around 1080p). --> For two reasons:

  1. the percentage slider beneath the resolution settings goes from 1% to maximum 100% and not more, meaning its "reason for existence" is to render smaller previews. (Although I seem to recall that it used to go to 200% in an earlier version)
  2. you want to set your final resolution exactly. Preview resolution is less important, the slider can take care of that, without having to "destroy" your pre-set final resolution.

I also think the default can already now be set to cycles, it is a good starting point for most users. The number of users who need the few features still missing can switch back.
(The first thing I have to do every time I teach Blender to a new user (professional environment) is: click on the text "Blender Internal" in the top toolbar and select Cycles from the drop-down list. My very short explanation if they ask why: "Well, we have these two built-in render engines, you can make higher quality images with cycles and get useable result faster, but the default is this old internal render engine that outputs poorer quality images." Which is sad but true.)

25 fps/ 24 fps: I am pretty sure the number of users for web/TV animation (25 fps) outweighs the number of users for film (24 fps).

I'd wait to set Cycles as standard until there is a monolithic material (uber shader?) in place, with nice commonly used options that new users can make use of without a degree in math and logic. ;)

You are probably correct that 1080p is used more widely, but it's also a big resolution to start with imho.

I think that 1280x720 with 100% is a fair compromise. It's a standard too and a sane value, compared to what we have now with the 50% value.

Regarding Cycles as default:
On second thought I'd tend to agree with you. Cycles is pretty mature and according to the BlenderGuru survey about 70% of users use Cycles anyway. In about every new tutorial (targeting beginners) Cycles is also pretty much the standard nowadays.

We maybe can add a warning label for the Smoke case, so new users don't get confused.

2.70 is a good version to make this change I think.

@Thomas Dinges (dingto): I agree that 720p @ 100% is a way better default than 1080p @ 50% - 720p is a widely used format, whereas 1080p @ 50% is not used anywhere.

I'd be ok with 720p as the default too.

Good discussion :)

Cycles as default: I agree, but there should be clear warnings for features that are not yet compatible in Cycles (volumetrics, baking etc.)
1080p: Am I the only one that likes it as is? I do all my renders at the default 50% for 1080p right up till the final render then increase it 100%.
Output Path as Desktop: Awesome idea! But to avoid it creating hundreds of files all over the desktop, perhaps make it automatically generate a /blenderframes/ folder?
Sensor Size & Clipping End: 100% agree! On bonus note 35mm also matches human eyesight so it's more natural to what we see :)

Moved to Cycles default discussion.
Missed that one :)

Hi all,

While I understand the purpose of this discussion, I think that this should be viewed from a wider point of view. The settings you need as default are depending on the resulting project.

It seems to me that all those settings could be managed by templates files.

Imagine a directory containing several ready-to-use preset blender files easily accessible from the menu and/or from the splash screen. Each of these files clearly identifying the type of project you have to start, with a maximum of properties (all around the UI) already set.

Starting a project (and setting default values) is reduced to the loading of a blender template file. And if users are able to create easily their owns templates for repetitive projects types and save them as files, this could help a lot.

For new users, starting the first project becomes easy. It only requires to select a project type. For advanced users, they only have to use (and re-use) their own self-tuned templates.

Render size:
About the render size, i think at start we use a small size to make a preview render. So we use something like 50 % of the final size.
And i think that because of the actual tendency to have better and better resolution, renders will become bigger and bigger. So for me 1920*1080 is a good preset, with 50 %.

Cycles by default:
Dingto, you said: "Cycles is pretty mature". For me, set to default a renderer who is not mature, is not professionnal and serious.
If users wants Cycles by default (i personally use Cycles by default), they can just change that in they preferences. 5 seconds.

I agree with the "25 FPS". I use that think all the time. It's easier.
And for the passepartout to 75%, i agree with an augmentation, but 75 % is it not too much to be clear ?

@Jean-Michel Leclercq (pcservice) I'd have to disagree with templates. Asking users at the start what they may want later is an inconvenient way of working, since I rarely know the complexity of what I'm making until I'm halfway through it.

If anything rendering presets should be the solution (as they already are), but perhaps used to a wider degree to include settings from different categories. That allows the user to quickly change their settings for test renders and whatnot.

Cycles is mature and only really misses Volumetrics, which we can communicate well in the UI. I don't see a problem here.

Alone Cycles' quality makes it much more "professional and serious" than BI already. ;)

@Jean-Michel Leclercq (pcservice): presets and templates can be useful, but it's a separate topic (and a lot more work). We only decide on the default values when you start Blender here.

@Linus Wiklander (wiklander): please see the separate cycles default settings task.

@Brecht Van Lommel (brecht): I agree. Templates are not UI. And I understand now that you are rather searching for the best "hard-coded" default settings for most users which is a different subject.

@Andrew Price (andrewprice): Good points. Rendering presets effectively should be the solution as they (already) focus on a small set of properties.

@Andrew Price (andrewprice)

Good point about the desktop. I put in a sub-folder, so that it's Desktop/Render

As a university professor who always introduces Blender to undergraduate students in a CG course, I think we should focus on newbie-friendly defaults as much as possible.

Of course we all tend to use more advanced setups and higher resolution for own stuff, but I think the defaults should be a good compromise between speed and quality.

That said, I vote on 1280 x 720. Good resolution, as the rendering time should be not too long. 100% should be the default, as it is not immediately obvious the possibility to create a smaller preview render. Rendering presets will be very helpful for aiding the user to discover this feature later.

About the frame rate, I think 24 fps is the best, as many said before, both for being common and easily divisible. And it is better than 25 (or 30) as it has fewer frames to render per second, so the first animation for a newbie (10 seconds or 240 frames, then) will be faster to render. :-)

Kudos to the Blender team for setting up this awesome space for focused discussion and coding!

Output path
@Andrew Price (andrewprice) @William Reynish (billrey)
I think saving to the desktop by default is a bit intrusive, but I guess it depends on what relationship people have with their desktop... :)
Isn't it customary to output stuff to the users document folder?
Like My documents/Blender on Windows and the equivalent on Mac. I haven't used Linux that much, how does it work there usually?

Render resolution
I don't have a very strong opinion on default size, but I think 1080p is more self confident than 720p. Proper HD instead of the small version. Sends out better signals.
I also think leaving the percentage at 50% is good since it shows the functionality in a more prominent way with the slider visible. Most renders are trials anyway and it's more fun to be able to crank it up more, than it already being at 100% (even though you can type higher values). Just my thoughts.

about render format I think finally that 1080p 50% or maybe 75% is a nice choice... 1080p is a standard for TV (they ask for it even if finally they downscale it for diffusion) even Youtube support it. 720p (HD-ready) for me is a transitional format getting more and more obsolete. Having 1080p at 50% or 75% enable faster preview in rendering or opengl when you are in the beginning of your project.

For the rendering output, what about having it relative to the blend file ? with something like "//render/" , and if you don't have saved your file, it gets rendered to a temporary folder like /tmp/ , does it make sense ?
That said, I like the way it works actually on linux, if you don't set render output it's that you don't care about it, it's nice to be able to make a quick test, that get's rendered to /tmp and get erased when you reboot.

@paul szajner (szap) The issue with the /tmp/ output path is that the user may not know of the tmp folder, or may accidentally forget to change the path, resulting in loss of work.

Having it relative to the blend file is a good idea, but as you say, that requires you to have a saved blend file first.

1080p is indeed a more used format compared to 720p, which is losing in popularity. 1080p is a confident format, whereas 1080p @ 50% is 960x540, which is not a used standard.

With Cycles, the ability to render smaller output images for testing is less useful as the default, because we have the ability to preview the rendered image in the 3D View instead. When the user chooses to render it out, it's more useful to render to a standard format.

When changing the default renderer to Cycles, will this require changes in the startup scene as well?
Material and light defaults?
As I understand it is preferred to use emission meshes as lights for instance.
What are your thoughts about this?

change default motor cycles and set the lighting and render settings and materials

Hope it is the right place to comment,

User usually use 2 kind of render setting, one low rez for testing and client comments and one high rez for quality renders.

It will be useful if a user could set 2 presets (High/Low rez) and to switch between them in one click. meaning that i'll be able to set low rez and high rez configuration and switch between them within one click.
(right now i'm changing (maples,resolution %, anti aliasing and more)

So, is there a decision?

I try to summarize:

  • Set render resolution to 1280x720, 100%
  • Set Cycles as the default render engine

I really think that setting the default to 1280x720 would be a mistake. It's stepping backwards while the world steps forward towards 4K.

The current setup of 1080p @ 50% does produce non-standard dimensions of 960x540, but the percent slider is clearly conveys how and why it works (as @Linus Wiklander (wiklander) said).

Also, I'd have to disagree with you @William Reynish (billrey) about using 3d view for test renders. 3d view only uses one core, so it's far slower (and more crash prone). Plus it renders everything outside the camera too, taking even longer. So unless it's a basic scene, I would imagine most users do a proper render.

So I personally think the current defaults of 1080p @ 50% are perfect.

The 3D View uses all cores as well, but probably is a bit slower due to cache misses and suboptimal load balancing.

@Thomas Dinges (dingto) Really? But how is that possible if it renders as one big tile?

It's basically like the F12 render, when you enable "Progressive Refine". Small tiles, but each tile only renders 1 sample, so you get immediate feedback. Then it refines it.

A poll on Twitter also brought up mainly positive reactions to Cycles as default:

@Brecht Van Lommel (brecht): What is your opinion here? I would add a note to Smoke Simulation, but apart from this we should be fine. :)

On the default renderer, I suggest we add smoke rendering support in 2.71 and make Cycles the default then.

I guess Uber Material seem to be one of those pending features many new users would love, as well. Specially if Cycles is to be the default.
But, to me it seems good if Cycles is default engine for 2.70.

As for resolution, I'm fine with either the current one or 1280x720@100%

Sorry @Brecht Van Lommel (brecht) I couldn't resist.

That comment just made me too happy :)

Waiting until 2.71 with smoke rendering to make Cycles the default seems very reasonable.

First thanks to all the devs of blender.

There is a problem with anti-aliasing linked to internal/cycles option:

  • with 'Blender Render' (internal), it's on 'Anti-aliasing' section, you can choose to activate it, the amount of samples, the pixel filter, the option 'Full Sample' and the 'size' (pixel)
  • with 'Cycles Render', it's on 'Open GL Render' section, you can only choose to activate it and choose the amount of samples but it does nothing (whatever you choose) > I think it's a bug. Anti-aliasing is for 2D render, so it may be used for cycles too ?

but even you can still want to use only compositing to anti-aliase a video, so if cycles is by default, you will have to think to go to 'Blender Render'.

I don't think there is a problem here. Cycles renders are always antialiased. If you use branched path tracing you can separately control the AA samples if you really want to have a non-antialiased image, but once you have motion blur or depth of field disabling antialiasing does not make sense. For a path tracer it's just an automatic part of the process.

For OpenGL render the AA option does work. It does not affect the final render but it does work on the OpenGL render? The antialiasing setting also does not affect compositing as far as I know.

Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) closed this task as Archived.

No resolution or activity in over 3 months,
archiving, listed in the wiki.
Can re-open when we have time to handle this one.