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Various effects, especially increasing quality of soft transparent shadows and increasing anti-aliasing quality, impact rendering time. Test effects with low settings first, then increase the values for the final renderings.


Image quality

Increasing the number of refractions increases the rendering time.


Image quality

Increasing the number of reflections increases the rendering time.



A higher number of photons emitted by lights produces better results but images take longer to render.




Global illumination


 As the photons bounce around the scene and hit an object, they store the color information. The distance that the photons travel and the strength of the effect is determined by the photon energy. More photons result in more realistic effects and slower performance.

Indirect illumination


Indirect illumination can be time consuming. Use the smallest amount of indirect illumination necessary. Objects send out sampling rays from each pixel in the image and gather the color information on what the rays hit. More rays result in more realistic color bleeding and slower performance.



High settings fully calculate fog effects, slowing down performance.

Contour rendering

Image quality

Additional calculations for contours increases rendering time.

Ray Trace Depth

Image quality

Small Ray trace depth values increase rendering time but decrease memory usage. The rendering time increases because PhotoWorks needs to test the intersection of light rays with more complex objects. Memory usage decreases because PhotoWorks creates fewer objects.





Image quality

Soft shadow calculation with high edge quality can decrease performance significantly, but images with soft shadows look more realistic.


Image quality

Use Medium setting for first look, High as final for most models, Very High for final rendering of reflective appearances like mirrors. Rendering time increases significantly for Very High quality.




Other strategies to improve rendering performance

Instead of rendering the complete scene:

In the Preview window:

Memory Allocation

If a rendering task exceeds available memory (when a large assembly is loaded, for example), cached information is released from memory. The information is recalculated rather than cached, increasing rendering time. Enable memory settings ensures that the system does not run out of memory and so can complete the render operation. Rendering is slower, but the task is accomplished.

Related Topics

Batch Rendering

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