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Sample frame: enter image description here

Until EEVEE gets into an official version, I'm trying different settings to test a character animation I made in cycles. Just good enough to see the character and floor shadows. No need for it to be super sharp it's just a test. I need the floor to see how the feet land. Her eyes have no lens so there is no transparencies to worry about.

1920x1080 resize @ 50% if lower difficult to see any details.

Multiple importance off.

There is only the floor and the character with a gray background as a light source.

Renders = 7 samples.

GPU rendering with my GTX1060 3GB
Tiles are maxed for GPU performance @480X270 = exactly 4 tiles per frame.
I got 0.99 frames per second.

CPU i7 2600K
Tiles are maxed for CPU performance @48X27 = exactly 40 tiles per frame.
I got 0.94 frames per second.

What else could I check or uncheck to speed that up even more?

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    $\begingroup$ Why even bother with Cycles? If your goal is to capture shadow under feet you can do that with Viewport AO. It's pretty much the same effect as in here with this grey sky light. Then you can do OpenGL preview render in speeds you won't even have chance to come close to with Cycles.. $\endgroup$ – Jaroslav Jerryno Novotny Oct 24 '17 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Jerryno I need to see the feet connect to the floor but OpenGL doesn't show shadows. I can't tell if her feet are floating above till it gets rendered to see how it turns out. There will be more occasion where I need cycles view as the test. $\endgroup$ – Eric Huelin Oct 24 '17 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ Did you try turning on ambient occlusion for the viewport? $\endgroup$ – MicroMachine Oct 24 '17 at 18:27
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    $\begingroup$ @MicroMachine It does make everything look ugly but that solved my footing problem. I didn't know Blender had that for the viewport. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Eric Huelin Oct 24 '17 at 19:00
  • $\begingroup$ If it looks ugly you can definitely improve that if you need. Follow this: youtube.com/watch?v=Jb_Xf4SWljs (Blender Render - not Cycles) and you can achieve as nice results as in EEVEE. $\endgroup$ – Jaroslav Jerryno Novotny Oct 24 '17 at 19:14
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Ambient Occlusion can be enabled for the Viewport, which can help visualize distances between objects, you can even turn it up if you need:

enter image description here

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I changed the question to fit the answer better, I hope that is acceptable to do. $\endgroup$ – Eric Huelin Oct 24 '17 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Eric! I'd love to see your animation when it's finished :) $\endgroup$ – MicroMachine Oct 24 '17 at 20:59
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    $\begingroup$ Still trying to figure out the Dope Sheet - Action - NLA that is all that is left for me to figure out then I'm good to go. $\endgroup$ – Eric Huelin Oct 24 '17 at 21:27

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