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Archicad + Cinerender - Is Cinerender obsolete?


Hi all and Happy New Year.

Some of you know me from my Archicad Youtube channel - asmtechbase - and some through courses they have signed up too.

I can see that a lot of Archicad users still use Cinerender, because there are a lot of people downloading the free texture pack that is on offer through my website.

Now, even so I think with a direct Link to Twinmotion or Enscape, you don't really need Cinerender anymore. But, there are plenty of users that are quite happy to stay "inside" Archicad for all their 3D render work. I totally understand this as it seems easier and the user is familiar with their working environment.
Because Archicad's Cinerender is using now Redshift as a render engine it is a bit faster too. Not comparable to Twinmotions or Enscape speed but faster never than less.

The question that is coming up now, do I invest and spend time on a new Cinerender course? The current Cinerender course I have is based on creating outdoor/exterior images. This course even today is still very much up to date. What I do contemplate is producing an INTERIOR Cinerender course for interiors only, what are your thoughts on this?

It would be great to hear your thoughts and if you are too busy you can always do a quick v
ote in the poll re your interest in an interior Cinerender course. Link to click here.



AC 3 to 26 -Windows 7 - 24GB - 8core 4.4Ghz
Erwin Edel

Interior and exterior artist impressions require different approaches, so I would say there is value in having a course.


For us the 'switch' to cinerender from at the time Artlantis, was prompted by having similar quality option built in (no extra software license needed). I would guess more companies have the same approach.


I haven't worked with redshift yet, but we are pretty settled in using cinerender. It does help that we have workstation PCs with Xeon processor, which is well suited for cinerender.

Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten

Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5

was going to give up with cinerender a while ago, because of twinmotion, and mostly because of my ancient hardware. I was on Mac. And I still am, but now I use a cheap HP Z4 18 core for final renders.


Cinerender is slow, like almost every other CPU based renderer today feels slow. But it's still good for some. Especially the lighting is pretty good still, if you manage to get the settings allright with everything at every corner there is to tackle. It's kind of mostly realistic, and almost reproducible in real life. I know it lacks a lot of fines, but still - it's built in.


Carsten makes good tutorials. I've watched a few on modelling solutions of popular architectural subjects of today. He's using mostly the traditional ways of modelling, and they are straightforward and intuitive ways of achieving. All tricks within the basic tools available in Archicad.


I'm not saying I couldn't figure it out myself with these 3D's. But these videos are free, and you get a good grip of it with Carstenem. And then some inspiration comes with it too.


It's just that I don't have much time to watch them unfortunately.


It's the same with Grasshopper/AC connection for me. I'd love to dive in there, but there's no time for it. Need to make a living first.


And same goes for the GDL too, blah blah.

A realized project with 3D viz accompanied. Somethin like 8 years ago. We didn't know about GPU rendering that much by that time.


Cheers Carstenem !


ps. I still use cinerender in every project I've got. At least in some stages I do.

AC25, Rhino6/7+Grasshopper, TwinMotionMac Pro 6,1 E5-1650v2-3,5GHz/128GB/eGPU:6800XT/11.6.5 • HP Z4/Xeon W-2195/256GB/RX6800XT/W10ProWS

Thanks Erwin for your feedback. I agree with interior v exterior.

Doing an exterior with Cinerender/Redshift engine can look quite good but the problem is the assets, especially the landscape. There is NO library part in AC that renders realistic in regards to Landscape. This is unfortunate, because a lot of the realism comes from the actual environment.

If you have ever done a photomontage, then you know what I mean. Adding a new designed building into an existing photo, even with an average rendering of the building, it actually looks ok.
You render the same building with AC assets (trees, plants, cars, etc) and it will look a lot less appealing, even so you have not changed the buildings rendering quality.


AC 3 to 26 -Windows 7 - 24GB - 8core 4.4Ghz

Hi Mika, good to hear your experience with Cinerender and thanks for watching some of my tutorials and letting people know about, in this topic, appreciated.

The swimming pool images looks great especially considering it is 8 years old, nice. I think as I mentioned with Erwin in my reply the problem with Cinerender comes when you do external renderings in regards to landscape, see my reply to Erwin.

Same here, love to get into Grasshopper but just can't find the time and I still think it is too complicated for main stream users.


AC 3 to 26 -Windows 7 - 24GB - 8core 4.4Ghz

Hi. Eventhough we use a variety of solutions depending on the situation, personally im quite fond of the Cinerender engine. Maybe its because of its straightforwardness and non pretentious interfase. We use it a lot specially for initial stages and quick conceptual images, but wouldnt mind if we could get the most out of it. So yeah, we would find a tutorial for interiors quite useful.


Redshift access in Archicad is limited by license. So not every Archicad user will be able to access Redshift. Cinerender is still very relevant, IMHO. There is a time and place for external and internal rendering systems, but since it's included and works out-of-the-box, I find it still relevant.

--- stefan boeykens --- bim-expert-architect-engineer-musician ---
Archicad-user since 1998
my Archicad Book

For the run of the mill renders, we don't try to make things look realistic. We use the 2D 'cardboard' people and so on. Embrace the limitations and make them work.


We can have a very long discussion about the uncanny valley and so on, but I didn't think that was the point of your post!


I'm sure individual users will all have their own needs and so on, but I'm very content with having found a way to make quick renders (under 2 minutes) for exterior shots at 195x135 mm 300 dpi. This size shows up fine on HD displays and mobile devices and still prints out decent on a full size A4. We don't need additional software, so no extra costs and no need to learn to use another interface and so on.


Interior renderings are typically only done for sales brochures and we budget these at 4 hours of work (dressing up + post production) for the first shot and assuming we can re-use assets, we charge 2 hours for additional shots. The rendering times on those are higher, obviously, but we don't really babysit those.


The quality is lower than the 'pro' artist impression companies (also down to assets), but we are also a lot cheaper and the product still sells. It's up to our client really, if they want to outsource or keep things in house with us.

Erwin Edel, Project Lead, Leloup Architecten

Windows 10 Pro
Adobe Design Premium CS5

Thanks again Erwin and yes that was the point of the post!

It is interesting to hear your workflow and budget, which I am sure are very useful for other users too, thanks.

As for the renders or render quality. I agree fully you don't need to do high end renders all the time especially if you do this as an "extra". With extra I mean, not being a professional 3D Visualization Studio but still add some decent looking renders for your client. I know form earlier days most clients do appreciated to get any 3D renderings, no matter the quality, as most of them struggle to understand the design just from drawings.

Glad you mentioned the assets as this is one of the 3 keys I teach to create a nice looking image. The 3 Key System I teach is - the 3D model - the textures and the lighting of the scene. If any of these "3 Keys" are not up to scratch it will "drag down" the other "2 Keys".

For interiors this is even more enhanced as there is nowhere to hide if you know what I mean? Like you can't hide some of the design behind a tree as example or there is no environment which helps you to enhance your image.

Anyway it is good to hear Cinerender seems to be still alive!


AC 3 to 26 -Windows 7 - 24GB - 8core 4.4Ghz

Hi Stefan, I knew Redshift has not been rolled out to all Archicad users when it came out but I thought by now everybody has access to it, interesting.

I can see from responses here and the poll that Cinerender is still used quite a bit which is great to hear. Having the render built in and being familiar with it certainly is a plus.


AC 3 to 26 -Windows 7 - 24GB - 8core 4.4Ghz