I am an inexperienced user of blender, and created a scene of a manikin using blender 2.69 and rendered it using cycles to produce a .png image which I was very happy with. I wanted to progress further and incorporate the use of Halo particles with this scene, but discovered that cycles will not render halo particles. (I looked at the 'dupli' option but this won't give the same effect as a BI halo particle when rendered).

Question 1 - will the new version of blender - v 2.74 using Cycles render halo particles or do I have to retreat to Blender Internal - BI (Blender render).

Assuming it probably won't, I opened my blender file and attempted to render my scene using blender Internal. The result was a complete blacked out manikin and only a white floor visible.

Question 2. Am I going to have to start all over again, because I need to use the halo features of BI and using cycles seemed to have put me up a blind alley, or is there something on my current file that I could change/focus on so I can get it to render (and therefore use the halo features) with BI.

cycles rendered image of manikin

blender render attempt of same file!!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You could render just the particles in BI and composite them over your cycles render via separate scenes. See blender.stackexchange.com/q/1756/599 $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ That's because you're coming from cycles and all your materials are cycles node materials.. either delete them and create BI materials or click on the little nodes icon right from the "x" in the material panel... $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 29, 2015 at 22:10
  • $\begingroup$ Since the Gooseberry Branch we have Halos in Cycles with the Point Density Texture. So you don't need to start from Scratch. $\endgroup$
    – Samoth
    Commented Jan 23, 2016 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ Hi Samoth, thanks for your comment, clearly I need to upgrade to the latest blender version! but I'm currently head down in a java/android project, so won't be able to try out your suggestions for a bit, but hopefully this will save me huge amounts of time when I get back to this :-) . $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


To render Halos in Cycles you need two objects: an emitter object with a particle system, and a second object that acts as a domain. The domain object should enclose the emitter object plus the area where the particles will be.

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On the domain object you can use the Texture->Point Density node to control an emission shader that will be used as volume for the domain:

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Select as Object the emitter object and its particle system, plug the density to the strength of the emission shader and lastly plug the emission as the volume for the domain's material.

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Example file:

NOTE: Currently (version 2.76) this method works only on CPU rendering, no GPU yet...


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