Should you use Daz3d 3Delight or Iray render engine? There are two rendering engines available in the Daz Studio for free after you install it. These engines are 3Delight and NVIDIA Iray. Second one is kind of a “new” to the Daz Studio and was added in the version 4.8 that was released in 2015. While 3Delight was there from, what seems, the very beginning.
Both these engines are aimed at realism and best picture quality. That is why people often find themself asking whether they should use Daz3D 3Delight or Iray. And there is a lot of information about this out there. But most of it is outdated as it was discussed with Iray’s release. What about today’s situation? That is what we are going to look into now.
Daz3D 3Delight vs Iray Comparison
First thing that you need to understand is that Iray is a technology owned by NVIDIA. And this means that you can use it only if you have an NVIDIA graphics card. If you have AMD – sad story, but you can’t use Iray and need to stick with the 3Delight or any other rendering engine that you can install as an add-on.
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The main thing about 3Delight is that it is kind of old. This means that it does not have as much content. It does not even get that many updates or any new things.
While Iray as a new addition – gets all of the attention both from the devs and community. That is to say, that it receives constant updates, there is more than plenty of exclusive products, information about Iray and how to use it, different tutorials. Even on our website we have articles such as Daz3d Render Settings: Basics & Tips and Daz3d Camera Settings Tutorial that explain in detail some aspects of the Iray rendering engine.
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Another big difference would be settings. They are absolutely unique for each engine. And generally speaking 3Deligts settings are worse. Iray has more details, there are more possibilities in your control. For example it fully supports HDRI technology that allows you to simultaneously add a lighting and a background to your scene. You simply can’t do that in 3Deligt. You can read Daz3d HDRI Tutorial: What It Is and How to Use it to understand HDRIs.
Enough about details and information. Rendering engine’s main function is to render, so let’s test it. I have created a scene that should work both on Iray and on 3Delight. Did not use any special features of any of the engines, just simple character, clothes, pose and lights. Here is the result:
NVIDIA Iray render
As can be seen from this comparison – end results are very different. Compared to the Iray render 3Delights lack a lot of things, such as details, colors, reflectiveness and especially shadow quality, as they are too black. Generally speaking, 3Delight does not look realistic at all compared to the Iray.
More about Daz3D Iray
Though all this Iray pros come with a price. And this price is your time. As it usually takes much longer time to render using Iray. Especially if you render a difficult scene with a lot of elements, lights and assets. Sometimes it can be up to 10x times longer.
Source Sparkle Shaders for Iray
These rendering times come from the fact that Iray is an unbiased rendering engine. This means that it does not decide when the render is ready and would render practically forever, if not specified otherwise. So if you plan to use it a lot – you better learn how to use its settings and set up rules for it to stop. We have a Daz3d Faster Render Tips article that can help you with this.
Also, if you know what you are doing – it is really easy to improve on something. For example take render from the comparison before – it is not that good. Here how much better the same scene looks if I just add an HDRI and change one setting, which is done in a couple of minutes max:
More about Daz3D 3Delight
You definitely can make a 3Delight look a lot better than the comparison render. But this includes a lot of fiddling with the settings and changing stuff up. Which is not ideal, because on Iray it is easier.
Also important to understand that 3Deligh does not look bad. It looks different and this can be used as an advantage. Because this unrealistic look can be embraced and used as a style for your renders. To purposely use a cartoonish style instead of a realistic. All this while rendering on any computer with pretty fast rendering times. Does not sound so bad.
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The answer to that question is – mostly Iray. If you have an NVIDIA GPU and want a realistic image – definitely use Iray. It has a lot of advantages and became a main rendering engine of the Daz Studio.
But Iray does not work on non-NVIDIA graphic cards. So if you have one of those or you simply want to – use 3Deligt. There are no disadvantages of doing so, if you like it better. Especially if you know what you are doing. It is not something to be avoided.