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I am about 4 months into learning blender and I'm still very much new to everything it has to offer.

So, the company that I work for (a real estate remodeling and custom furniture fabrication company) would like to be able to walk out clients through 3D models of the spaces that we have designed for their upcoming real estate projects IN REAL TIME.

The problem that I've run into (I use Blender 2.81 and the Cycles render engine) is that the CPU I'm using takes a very long time to render the screen in real time while using Cycles. Every time I move the viewport the screen has to re-render and takes quite a long time during which it looks just very pixelated. I can render still-frames that look quite realistic, but what my company wants is a 360 degree space that we can essentially walk clients through in real time.

Am I using the wrong render engine? The wrong render options? Is there a solution to this or am I wasting my time? Thanks in advance for the help!

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm still using vers 2.77a . The time Blender and Cycles take to render would take my rendering tasks out to a month or more! (?) (30,000 frames is not unusual) I therefore render out everything using the Open-GL rendering engine. This employs the computer's hardware and whilst a long way short of the finess afforded by Blender's internal engine and/or Cycles, it still does the job very well. Rendering times are typically about 1/4 playback speed so shorter sequences are rendered in seconds, longer sequences taking just minutes. $\endgroup$ – Edgel3D Dec 19 '19 at 4:54
  • $\begingroup$ To add to the above - for real time walk-through's you might find it easier to make your models in Blender and export those to a game engine, do the walk-through in one of those. $\endgroup$ – Edgel3D Dec 19 '19 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ Hello :) Since Blender 2.8 there's the Eevee render engine, that seems well suited for this. It works real-time, so it can be (and is) used as viewport preview. I'd go with that. $\endgroup$ – Jachym Michal Dec 19 '19 at 7:46
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Walking through real time, with near-render quality, would be possible with eevee rendering engine added with blender 2.8. Depending on your computer, this might be enough.

More viable way would be model everything in blender, export it to a gaming engine - Unity for instance. Unity has a pre-made scrips that will not require you to program, to enable basic walk functionality, however it will take some work to move project between Blender and Unity, depending on how complex it is (screenshot would be helpful for better estimate).

If I was you, I would model the entire scene, including materials while making sure my objects have uvmapping configured. I would then bake all the textures for every object to keep as much information as possible.

After that, I would re-create the scene in Unity by importing objects, applying textures and re-creating materials (materials do not move between modeling software and game engines, they are almost always exclusive to only one software and whenever you move something you have to re-create it). Unity has different material capabilities than blender so it will probably be impossible to make it 100% identical, but with baking (which enables you to save a lot of info as textures - stuff like shadows, ambient occlusion, emission, colours, lotsa stuff) it should be relatively close.

Using game engine has a added benefit of being able to generate the application that client can take home - it can be exe file, phone app (with a bit of work) or even a webapp.

Skillset you'd need would require: Modeling, UVMapping, Baking, basic Unity3d usage.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your time and knowledge! I switched to the Eevee render engine, and after tweaking a few of the options, I have a result that I think will work for the purpose I need. Unity sounds promising, but I really needed a fast solution and Eevee seems to be that. I will definitely look into improving my process in the future, and it sounds like Unity will work amazingly after I spent some time learning that soft. $\endgroup$ – KeithandtheTeeth Dec 19 '19 at 16:09
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I would look at UE4 for this one, it's builtin lighting is just nice and what you want done can be accomplished with very minimal coding in UE4, even to the point of having said demo being a thing that could be put online as a multiplayer.

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