The Features section is being updated for the upcoming Blender 2.80 release. Information may change.

Cycles is Blender’s ray-trace based production render engine.

  • Unidirectional path tracing with multiple importance sampling
  • Multi-core CPU rendering with SIMD acceleration
  • GPU rendering with NVidia CUDA & AMD OpenCL
  • Multi-GPU support
  • Unified rendering kernel for CPU and GPU
  • Meshes
  • Hair curves
  • Volumes
  • Instancing
  • Multi-core BVH build
  • Fast BVH refit updates
  • Adaptive subdivision
  • Catmull-Clark and linear schemes
  • Displacement
  • Bump mapping
  • PBR – Physically Based Rendering
  • Node based shaders and lights
  • Principled BSDF
  • Production tricks
  • Open Shading Language (CPU only)
  • Global illumination
  • Point, sun, spot and area lights
  • Mesh lights
  • Environment light
  • Sky model
  • Light portals
  • Designed for interactive updates
  • Fast object, shader, light changes
  • Tiled and progressive rendering
  • Render layers for decomposing the scene
  • Render passes for geometry and lighting
  • Shadow catcher
  • Holdout mattes
  • Denoising
  • Perspective and orthographic cameras
  • Panoramic and fisheye cameras
  • Stereoscopic rendering
  • Depth of field with support for anamorphic bokeh
  • Cameras
  • Object transforms
  • Meshes and hair curves
  • Absorption, scattering and emission
  • Smoke and fire
  • Subsurface scattering
  • Homogeneous and heterogeneous
  • Image textures
  • Environment maps
  • Procedural textures
  • Bump and normal maps

FreeStyle is an edge- and line-based non-photorealistic (NPR) rendering engine. It relies on mesh data and z-depth information to draw lines on selected edge types. Various line styles can be added to produce artistic (“hand drawn”, “painted”, etc.) or technical (hard line) looks.