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Blender 2.73: Cycles

Cycles improvements include: Improved Area light sampling, faster homogeneous volume rendering, camera inside a volume mesh support, cubic voxel interpolation setting, support for Geforce 9xx Maxwell cards and more ...


Improved Area Light Sampling (comparison by nudelZ)
  • Better area lamp sampling using an area preserving parameterization paper
    This makes an area light sample a bit slower but it is usually more than compensated by the reduction in noise.

Max Bounces setting with 2 area lamps. (comparison by nudelZ)
  • A new "Max Bounces" option was added for lamps, which can be used to control how many light bounces the lamp will influence (fb820c063831)

Volume Rendering

Camera outside and inside a volume mesh
  • It is now possible to render with a camera that is inside of a volume mesh (fe731686fb31b6c)

Linear and cubic voxel interpolation
  • Support for cubic voxel interpolation
    This is helpful, especially for low-res smoke simulations, to avoid artifacts. The setting is per shader, and can be found below the volume sampling method menu, inside the Properties Editor.


  • Optimization for Mix RGB shaders (Mix blending mode), when the factor is 0.0 or 1.0
    This reduces memory usage and improves performance a bit. (cbffc7499ef8)
  • Optimize math node without links to a single value node (6a4a911fc39ffc)
  • Faster rendering of homogeneous volumes, when using decoupled ray marching (157067acbde7)

GPU Rendering

  • Geforce 9xx GPUs (Maxwell) are supported now (a613290775c8)


  • Quick Smoke: Only generates Fire/Smoke nodes when actually used, slightly faster (69e41d473c982)
  • Volume Step Size now has a soft UI range from 0.01 to 1.0, which is a common range to use (489df9830662)
specular color in solid shading mode
  • Support for specular color in solid shading mode, available in the material panel (9124ecb16b2)