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thea considered before maxwell? love their approach and results but deterred by their flexibility.


maxwell gave great results, but it was always very slow. maybe for stills its ok, but i don’t have that much time to wait for animations. With thea’s speed there is a a lot i don’t have to farm out, which is great.

If you have any articles or videos you can point me to which talk about maxwell and its use in fast paced environments i’d love to have a look at it. but so far i don’t see it like that.

what kind of flexibility are you talking about?


Good write up. Only quibble: Iray also allows for CPU + GPU rendering.


really? did not know that. But to be honest right now iray is not a contender on any level. The current beta for c4d is a prototype at best. and it take so long to clean up noise, i didn’t even get there. was waiting for like 3 minutes on a cube with a luminance plane.. and still noisy..

maybe in a couple of updates it’ll be better, after all it does have nvidia’s budget behind it.. but for now.. meh..


would love those blue bolded titles to be links to the render engines 😛


I’d like to see standard and Physical in there. And is it true that VRAY for C4D pretty behind from other versions? Great write-up otherwise.


standard super fast for simple scenes. physical faster when you have more detail, blurry reflections etc.. But this article is about 3rd party render engines. Maybe next time i can compare physical and standard. although i feel people like nick from GSG have covered this in their presentations.

also due to the fact that since the new reflectance channel got introduced where i cant edit multiple reflectances at the same time, ive stopped using standard renderer for the most part.

Great info Aleksey. Thank you for taking the time to put this together.

A question regarding bias engines…are Octain, Thea, and Maxwell unbias and all the others biased?


Thea has both biased and unbiased engines in the package. Its actually 5 engines in one. but the GPU ones are unbiased. some biased engines have brute force mode ( its ussually much slower). Also im pretty sure arnold is unbiased. Corona offers unbiased rendering option. you should check out each render individually.

Nuno Costa

Go Indigo!


do you have any videos that show c4d integration? i couldn’t find anything recent.

Hi Alekey, just stumbled onto your site. Great stuff! Will continue to come back for info.

Super important Q for me: VRAY FOR C4D – Do you know if that particular incarnation of Vray is going to be RT anytime soon, for GPU rendering? (and whether it’s going to be like Thea for both cpu/gpu?) They’re apparently some third-party company licensed out to make vray, so there’s no-one to call, and their info on the website is basically nil.

Thanks so much!


Hey Alan, well from what i hear on the interwebs, the beta is out for people who purchased the vray master course or something. Im not sure if its hybrid gpu+cpu at the same time. I think it has a render engine with is gpu based and one which is cpu based. But its just my opinion. I might be wrong, it might be hybrid.

the guy to get in contace with is named stefan, maybe you’ll have some luck through here: // ,if you didn’t find the info on official site ( i know there are like 3). he also frequents c4dcafe so maybe try on there.

yep just started with thea today … trying to make skin shaders 🙂 thanks for the thea review!

Hey Aleksey,
great write-up. I was a VrayforC4D user for 9 years & got totally fed up with tweaking settings etc to cut artefacts & render times, as well as the glacial pace of developments & sometimes confusing instructions (non-native English speaking)
Swapped to Maxwell which I love (now with GPU in release 4!) but like you came around to also using Thea- awesome CPU/GPU
acceleration, materials, animatable shaders/settings in C4D (can’t do that yet in Maxwell) great for getting high-quality Maxwell like animations done in reasonable time. Fast & responsive developers for C4D.
..avoided Octane & Arnold for similar reasons, & as I dislike the materials setup too.
Would recommend Thea to anyone thinking about an alternative.

Can you compare the speed between Thea vs Octane ? 1GPU+1CPU vs 2 GPU 😀


sorry only have 1 gpu. But it also heavily depends on what gpu and CPU you are using. so there really isn’t much point.

What about Corona Renderer definitely one of the best engines on the market and the c4d plug-in is ace!


I will have to try it again myself. Last time i tried it, it was quite underwhelming. But seeing as chaos group bought it, i guess it has made some serious progress :))

What do you think are it’s main strengths? I know its cpu based, so that makes it harder to scale. With gpu engine, you plug in another video card and bam, double the performance.

Great writeup. Blender cycles can also render on GPU + CPU at least inside blender 2.8 and 2.79 last beta. I will give redshift a try.


thanks! Yup, cycles recently introduced that in c4d too. Great times. So much choice 🙂


“This is something that Arnold and Houdini’s Mantra are famous for. They can handle Astronomical sized scenes without crashing.”

Come on.. Arnold 6 is pure dogshit in terms of speed and stability, so i’ve loaded in simple 3D Scan from threedescans website which has less than 3mil polys to test some shading in Maya 2020, then Arnold started eating my RAM, it went over 16GB and started eating memory from my SSD and soon enough it crashed. While something like V-Ray or Octane would’ve easily handled 50+ of these models.


I guess things change 🙂 I haven’t really heard anything positive about Arnold recently. The hype around it seems to have died down in the twitter verse too..

Things change so fast in this world. It’s a full time job to keep up with all this info 🙂

So thanks for the update.

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