At my current skill level I don't need / can't make full use of raytracing, and on my slow box (500MHz) it takes hours to render animations - I'd be happy if my animations were the same graphical quality as eg quake 3.
Q3 max-detail texture mapping = 25-50FPS, ok quality
Blender's raytracing = 0.05FPS, great quality
I for one would be willing to lose a bit of quality in my draft work for a 500-1000x increase in rendering speed, what's the possibility of it happening?
PRE-ED> I *know* I can do a 120x100 render with all the settings on lowest, but that's *still* slower than 1024x768 quake on highest, and much lower quality...
You CAN make OpenGL preview animation renders (even textured if you're using the 'texface' option in the materials) by SHIFT-clicking that little renderbutton far to the right in the toolbar of a 3D-viewport window (the button looks just like the bigger render-window-button)... You don't get 25 fps, but its very much faster than standard rendering - and results in, well... draft quality.
_________________eXo.Entity - the movie-in-progress-project
Take JamesK's advice, this usually gives acceptable draft quality. And a clarification - Blender does not do any raytracing of any sort. It is a scanline renderer (e.g., it uses shadow mapping instead of raytraced shadows, reflections/refractions are faked with environment maps, etc.)