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Here is a primer for this question with a good explanation of the differences between Eevee and Cycles: EEVEE and Cycles render lighting differences

I understand (roughly) the difference between the way Cycles and Eevee handle lighting. My question relates to my desire to convert a relatively complex city scene from Eevee to Cycles.

One of the limitations is that Eevee only allows 128 lamps. I ran into this limitation when trying to extend the scene quickly by making instanced copies of sections of it. Using mesh lighting does not result in shadows being thrown convincingly or light reflections from objects, so it was necessary to use a point light in connection with a mesh light for street lamps. Mesh lights do not for example create reflections off volumetric textures.

If I want to convert the scene to Cycles;

  • Do I have a similar limit of lamps (point/sun/area/spot)?
  • Or since the street lamps or mesh lights already exist, should I disable the point lights as the mesh lights will work in the same way as a light source?
  • Or should I use them in conjunction with each other as I did in Eevee?

My guess is that I probably should disable the point lights since the mesh lights ought to work realistically and the point lights only add to rendering time by creating an unnecessary light source.

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  • $\begingroup$ blender.stackexchange.com/questions/65157/… $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Dec 30 '20 at 12:15
  • $\begingroup$ Hello :). Cycles has no limit on number of lights, and mesh lights do indeed work very well on their own. $\endgroup$ – Jachym Michal Dec 30 '20 at 12:18
  • $\begingroup$ Hi - thanks to both of you. That takes a bit further along, but I'm still not quite clear on whether to persist using the lamp for a light source or the mesh. I'm currently using both. Does anyone know what impact using both has on rendering times? I am guessing (from Duarte's post that the lamp light source) will reduce noisiness. I will of course try both, but is there a "best practise" for lighting dark scenes, lamps versus mesh? $\endgroup$ – DrIgnatiusCole Jan 1 at 11:16

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