I have created a scene in cycles render mode. I have followed the instructions on how to bake all the objects, and everything looks great in texture mode. I can smoothly move through the scene. However, when I am starting to render it, it is taking the information from render mode, and not from texture mode. This is very slow. Did I do something wrong? Is there a way to make the render animation take its information from texture mode?
You can trigger what is called an OpenGL Render in any of the Viewport Shading modes (solid, textured, wire, matcap,...). Switch to the mode you want first (in your case Textured Mode, make sure the output settings in the render panel are set correctly, and use the
Render OpenGL Animation or
Render OpenGL Image button from the 3D Viewport:
That should only take a few seconds to complete on short animations. If you need to tweak the quality, you can use the menu in the Info header bar:
You can set Anti-Aliasing and the background transparency directly from there.
Rendering, is the process of making something that looks most realistic. All photons are calculated, reflections, materials glossiness etc. Cycles has a lot of complex materials just look here http://www.blenderguru.com/articles/cycles-shader-encyclopedia/
And the fun thing those can even be combined and become even more complex.
It can render life like animations, as if taken by a camcorder, in fact its even possible to combine video and rendering. (creating a life like walking dinosaur in your street that's possible).
Besides Cycles there is also Blender Internal (top of your screen) it has a different way of creating materials, and its slightly faster but less realistic.
As for a quick texture preview render option, you might go into the top of your screen when using cycles, top menu under render go for OPENGL render, its more texture a like, but by default you''l see some wires as well. It can be used to render a preview of your animation more quickly. for example if you want to do a fight scene and just make sure all movements are smooth, try that. This does render the viewpannel, note that there are some extra options hidden in the normal 3d view, several options can be enabled for better openGL rendering, like options for shading and mesh display (to have depth blur ), and to remove edge lines (which normally for edit mode you would like to see but not for a demo movie. Those options are on the right side of the 3d pannel itself, find the + symbol to expand it.