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2024 Technology Preview Program

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Limitations of current Redshift's integration in Archicad

Minh Nguyen
Graphisoft Alumni
Graphisoft Alumni

Redshift is currently included as a Technology Preview with a few limitations in Archicad 25. Nevertheless, it brings significant benefits in terms of performance compared to Cinerender.

At the current stage of development, the following phenomena can be experienced when using Redshift:

I. Surfaces

The hierarchy between layers doesn't appear because the blending mode between multiple layers works inconsistently.

With two layers, it works if the second layer's blending mode is NormalIn the case of the first layer, some blending options still don't work (like Sat, Burn, Color, Dodge). But with this combination, effects and textures can work well together (but they can be channel-dependent).

In case you need to use more layers, the mix between them may not work well.

There is also inconsistency between the use of different layers.

Fresnel: it will override the surface texture
Cinerender Redshift
Fresnel - Cinerender.png Fresnel - Redshift.png
Gradient: complete misalignment of the texture in case of 3D types
Cinerender Redshift
Gradient - Cinenrender.png Gradient - Redshift.png
Colorizer, Filter, Fusion, Layer, Posterizer: these are texture options that are built on other textures so there may be inconsistencies

Posterizer - Fresnel

Cinerender Redshift
Posterizer - Cinerender.png Posterizer - Redshift.png
Procedural: mostly misalignment of the texture


Cinerender Redshift
water - Cinerender.png water - Redshift.png


Simple Turbulence

Cinerender Redshift
Simple Turbulence - Cinerender.png Simple Turbulence - Redshift.png



Cinerender Redshift
Venus - Cinerender.png Venus - Redshift.png



Cinerender Redshift
Variation - Cinerender.png Variation - Redshift.png
Shader Effect and Sketch: may not work correctly


Cinerender Redshift
Projector - Cinerender.png Projector - Redshift.png


Sketch - Art

Cinerender Redshift
Art - Cinerender.png Art - Redshift.png


Sketch - Cel

Cinerender Redshift
Cel - Cinerender.png Cel - Redshift.png


Sketch - Spot

Cinerender Redshift
Spot - Cinerender.png Spot - Redshift.png
Alpha channel may not work as expected on macOS

To render transparency, it is recommended to turn off Image Alpha option.

alpha mac redshift.png

Other channels only work in a simplified way (not all additional parameters will work) 

  • Luminance 
  • Transparency
  • Reflectance
  • Normal
  • Bump

For the default basic textures, it is recommended to have the following settings:

  • Air: Color layer in the Alpha channel doesn't work, the texture is completely invisible in the rendering
  • Foliage - Wild grapes / Leaves Tree Small: the sun highlights the texture, thus Reflectance channel should be turned off in Surface Settings
  • Concrete - 02: rendering with Low quality preset will result in much worse texture (higher quality will provide better texture backing)
  • Insulation - Fiberglass: Alpha channel in Surface Settings should be turned off
  • Metal - Nickel: the texture becomes black in the render. To avoid this, the Reflectance channel should be turned off (other metals may differ from defaults due to alpha and reflectance layers)
  • Pavement - Brick Moss: the texture can be fine-tuned without using the first Noise layer in the Color channel (Surface Settings) or by modifying the Noise layer's Blend Mode and Blend Strength value
  • Water - Wavy/ Pond: Reflectance channel should be turned off 
  • Glass - Lamp: the surface will not illuminate nearby surfaces


II. Light Sources and Objects 

Area Light: it only works with Rectangle and Disc shapes in Redshift

Redshift cannot render other shapes, or the light cannot illuminate

Area Light.png

Parallel Light: there is no shadow behind the light source in Redshift


parallel light_cinerender.png

parallel light_redshift.png

Window Light: the light source does not illuminate nearby surfaces without Global Illumination, or becomes too bright.


window light.png

window light_redshift.png

Sun Object: it is not entirely similar to Cinerender


sun object - cinerender.png

sun object - redshift.png

Effects: they are not supported:
  • Visible Light
  • Noise
  • Caustics
  • Lens Flare (works in some cases)
  • Clipping
  • Noise
  • Illumination Related Special Effects
  • Shadow and Surface Related Special Effects (if Ignore Diffuse Channel option is ticked, the render is black)


III. PhotoRendering Settings

1. Basic Settings 

  • Shadow quality: doesn't work due to limitation of Shadow Casting from Detailed Settings.
  • The Sharp - Blurry slider of the White Model does not work, because it is related to the limitation of Depth of Field effect.

Basic Settings.png

2. Detailed Settings

By design, after selecting the Redshift option the parameters in these settings will disappear.

Shadow Casting


Shadow Color

Physical Properties







Cel Renderer
Color Correction
Depth of Field
Distance Fog
Lens and Filters
Monochrome model (works only in case of White Model)

Spherical Camera

Use Stereo Rendering


General Options (some parameters can be set under Trace Depth tab)


IV. Other

  • Redshift cannot render 2 or more images at the same time.
  • Redshift's render with HDRi sky might be darker than Cinerender's. Additional sunlight should be used in this case.
Lukas Zeleny



it looks promissing and im looking forward to use it but for now I struggle with redsift render because it produces only full black screen. Where could be the problem?


my specs are:

Archicad 25 4013

win 10

GPU quadro M1200

CPU i7-7700HQ

Eduardo Viana



The image will eventually appear. It's strange but the image show up a few minutes later almost ready, just post-processing the global illuminatio (it seems).


I normally only use Cineware for white model look renders, although not with the white model effect enabled because I like to keep control of the materials.

RedShift is a lot better, at least for this type of rendering. Better lights, no bugs on surfaces, more crisp images globally speaking.

I hope it will improve a lot soon

Eduardo Viana

Maybe spoke too soon 😅




Lukas Zeleny

I have tried simple test scene which shoud be finished in seconds, it shows that render is finished but is black. I have vaited 20 min but nothing apeared.




I have the same problem. Full black screen on one of the computers I use. And a Warning! "Your hardware configuration does not support Redshift by Maxon" on my laptop.

Does anyone know what are the minimal spec requirements for Redshift?

Barry Kelly

Does anyone know what are the minimal spec requirements for Redshift?


This is from the Redshift web site...



Minh Nguyen
Graphisoft Alumni
Graphisoft Alumni

Dear All,


Thank you very much for your questions!


From my own experience while testing Redshift, lights work very differently in comparison with Cineware. It will require some adjustments to the scene (in terms of lighting and materials) to get the same result.


Furthermore, the system requirement (especially Graphics card) is very high also. To get the best out of Redshift, apart from making adjustments where it's necessary, a mid to high-end card is definitely needed.

We also published the system requirements for Redshift here in case you missed it.


Best regards,



Robert Nichols

I'm confused - not seeing any options for Redshift rendering after having upgraded. The new build is 4013, right? I don't see a Redshift option in the Engine popup in Photorendering Settings dialog. I've checked that I'm using default OEM Work Environment profile. What am I overlooking?


iMac, Mac OS 11.5.2

64 gb RAM

AMD Radeon Pro 5700 XT 16 gb

Lukas Zeleny

Hi Robert,

you can find it in Render section of Photorendering window not  in Engine.




I get the same black window with an error message that is so difficult to read, even when I saved the render I zoomed it wasn't big of a help. However there is a part in the message that says 128MB and when I looked at my graphic cards, it's the dedicated GPU memory of the Intel processor internal graphics. Somehow Redshift is trying to use the onboard graphics and is unaware of the existence of my second Nvidia GPU. And I think I'm right because finally I succeeded in rendering very small frame of just 320x240 pixels, 480x360 also but when its up to 640x480 I get error again(18-05) r.12t - Picture1 (2).jpg320x240.png640x480.png

Minh Nguyen
Graphisoft Alumni
Graphisoft Alumni



If you have an Nvidia GPU and an integrated Intel GPU, it might be the case that the Nvidia Optimus kicks in to save power in certain situations. You may want to take a look at this article about how to force an application to run with the dedicated GPU.


Best regards,


Lukas Zeleny

Someone has a similar problem as me? I don´t see any error message, only black screen.


Hi Everyone!

In one of my previous comments, I said that Redshift doesn't work on my laptop. /Warning! "Your hardware configuration does not support Redshift by Maxon"/

Fortunately, I managed to run the renderer.
My video card is NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1050Ti
I downloaded the CUDA Toolkit /, installed it and then updated the drivers of the video card. Then added Archicad to the Applications using CUDA. This worked for me!

Unfortunately, I am still unable to produce a good quality render. All the materials look like plastic...


Did Graphisoft issue an updated template and/or surface library with the new Redshift surfaces?


Hi. My quick tests shows some weird anomalies in final image, got hot pixels oll over the frame etc. Gpu is 1070ti with 8gb vram (will do test on my zbook with quadro 6gb later), so this shouldn't be a problem, specially with low count polygon scene like this. 1st image is redhift render, 2nd is normal cineware, where things are ok.

test-redshift.jpgtest-standard.jpgWhat's happening here?

Minh Nguyen
Graphisoft Alumni
Graphisoft Alumni



Thank you for the question and I am very sorry about the issue!


This looks very strange to me. During my testing, I have never experienced such a problem.

If you turn off the sky and lower the rendering resolution, I'm wondering if it works?

If not, I would like to kindly ask for your project file for a closer look.


Looking forward to hearing from you!

Best regards,



it's low-res, 800x600 pix render test with three walls and a slab. on my z book with quadro p3000 i don't even get to this stage, just black screen with redshift render.

Karl Wir_n

From the text above:

  • Redshift's render with HDRi sky might be darker than Cinerender's. Additional sunlight should be used in this case.

I found that the checkbox "Sky Visibility"  is causing this. If you uncheck it, things work better. See my examples. First with Sky Visibility , than two pictures without:

Sky Visibility checkedSky Visibility checkedSky Visibility uncheckedSky Visibility uncheckedSky Visibility unchecked, Different HDRISky Visibility unchecked, Different HDRI


Karl Wir_n

Just to clarify my post with the pictures above. It seems that leaving Sky Visibility checked doesn't affect reflectance, only the color channel. The slab that the sphere rests upon is completely black in the first picture. On the other pictures the background becomes completely black, since Sky Visibility is unchecked, but the slab is now correctly lit.


Just to let you know, i think found the root of noise problem after playing with some render settings (and some power settings in nvidia driver too, but this doesn't affect render):

ironically, it is de-noising feature, when optix option is selected, causing render to be total mess. If altus dualpass is selected (or probably denosing is set off completely), render does work fine and it is dramatically faster then regular cpu rendering, at least in my case with nvidia 1070ti. But quality of the render is worse then standard maxon cpu render, somehow glass reflection are not working, sky texture also 3d grass seems is not present in  render etc.

Please, sort this out, graphisoft.



The best solution would be to create an interface allowing the synchronization between Archicad and Cinema 4D. There is no need to make Archicad more complex.

Version history
Last update:
‎2023-05-15 02:43 PM
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