I just started learning Blender and I noticed that there are two engines "Blender render" and "cycles render". I'd like to know what is the difference between them in term of Tools, interface (not really rendering time)? I wonder can i first learn Blender Rendering and then switch to Cycles render and use it as easy as trained Blender render? If they do differ so much, please list main advantages and disadvantages. Thanks.

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    $\begingroup$ Go for cycles unless you have a really really bad computer. Cycles is far superior, and does many important things by default that are quite complex to do in the internal render engine. Furthermore, hardly anyone makes tutorials about using the internal render engine since it is so in superior. $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2014 at 15:10
  • $\begingroup$ I got it, thanks. So I shouldn't go with this book cdschools.org/cms/lib04/PA09000075/Centricity/Domain/81/… it has nothing about Cycles Render? And, yes my PC hardware is ok. $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2014 at 15:27
  • $\begingroup$ @AitbekMyrzakhmet that is a good starting guide for blender. I would not base my choice of render engine solely off of that book. I'm writing a answer now. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Nov 18, 2014 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ @David I don't see where, other than speed, internal comes close to cycles. $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2014 at 15:49
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    $\begingroup$ @GiantCowFilms I totally agree, I am a huge fan of nodes. Cycles's node system is the main reason I switched from Mental Ray. $\endgroup$
    – PGmath
    Nov 18, 2014 at 20:25

1 Answer 1


As newbies we started with cycles(side note, we still are newbies). Cycles looks incredible. It seems to be the most common for achieving photo realistic renders in blender. The draw back is that, it is a little slower. And if set for shorter render times, it can introduce noise. The blender internal render engine is a fast and solid render engine. It can take a little more tweaking to get photorealistic results. In some cases photorealistic results can not be achieved. It has some features that have yet to be ported to cycles or in some cases are just now being imported to cycles, i.e. freestyle, halo and volumetric lighting. The blender can be much faster choice for animations as far as render time. We chose to focus on cycles first and work with the internal render engine as needed. We have been happy with our choice and results. If you need features from one engine that are missing in the other blender has a compositor at its disposal for combining images. We still have so much to learn. We will be looking into other render engines as well.


Cycles Pros

  1. Easier to achieve very photorealistic results

Cycles Cons

  1. Much slower than the internal engine
  2. Can introduce noise as artifacts

Blender Internal Pros

  1. Much faster than cycles
  2. Has some features that are not present or not as mature in cycles.

Blender Internal Cons

  1. Not as easy to achieve photorealistic results.
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know about halos, but both volumetrics and freestyle have been implemented and are (mostly) fully functional in cycles. $\endgroup$
    – PGmath
    Nov 18, 2014 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for that PGmath... We should have been more clear with our sentence. "It has some features that have yet to be ported to cycles or in some cases are just now being imported to cycles" and "Has some features that are not present or not as mature in cycles." You are correct with better wording. ;) $\endgroup$
    – CVbeats
    Nov 18, 2014 at 20:04

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