Mutterings about Luxrender shadows compared to Iray

Mutterings about Luxrender shadows compared to Iray

Ignore the post’s header picture. It’s an oldy that I used because I had nothing relevant and because I felt a bit like a mushroom today as I typed away in semi gloom.

Anyway, on to today’s post.

Spent most of the day working on my management text book. In the background, however, I put a figure into a simplistic pose in DAZ Studio and played with renderers. Particularly, with Luxrender and Iray.

Here’s the Luxrender version:


Here’s the Iray version:


My daughter wants to know why the weird pose and camera angle. Answer: I was feeling arty.

Anyway, look at the shadows in each picture. The Luxrender shadows are harsh and unflattering. The Iray ones are soft. Whenever I play with Luxrender I find myself dissatisfied with the shadows. I obviously need to actually study a manual instead of fiddling. Alternatively, I really feel that Iray makes shadows so incredibly easy that I don’t need a manual. It’s a real dilemma when picking a renderer to use on any given image.

This said, I prefer the tones of the LuxRender hair but otherwise prefer the Iray hair. And as for skin I firmly prefer the Iray skin in this instance.

Being a fan of black and white for drawing out texture, I thought that I would convert both to black and white and see what I thought. Here are the results:





Yep – still prefer Iray. If anything, black and white makes the difference between the hair much less.

So I really need to learn Luxrender properly given my investment in it.

So which of the render engines do any of you prefer for DAZ?

Oh well, back to writing.




  1. 3Delight for being this robust time-proven and ever-evolving incredibly flexible production renderer; LuxRender for being a free Open Source _spectral_ renderer; and I am not a huge fan of Iray because it doesn’t seem to be CPU-optimised at all – but other than that, it seems quite a solid solution for those who can afford those hi-end GPUs.

    Basically, the best tools are the ones the artist knows best.


    1. “Basically, the best tools are the ones the artist knows best.” Too true :) Mind you, I like experimenting with tools.


  2. I still prefer Lux and Reality though I’m having trouble with importing ibl files into Reality. Have to agree with Mustakettu85 though, the best tools are whatever you know best and feel happiest with. Hope the text book writing is going well.


    1. I have not really played with ibl much. Another thing to look at! The text book writing could be faster, but I suspect that I am being too much of a perfectionist :)


    1. Thanks. Downloading even as I type this :)


  3. Hi Greg, Iray is the one for me. Working in my studio with lights on my subjects, I find that the shadow chart at ‘Lighting Guide’ in most helpful. Plenty of examples and it’s a freebie. Working with shadows is always a challenge and I prefer softness, whether in monochrome or colour. I guess that the beauty of just the camera and adjustable lights is easier on the brain cells than relying on algorithms.

    My poor old brain has trouble coping with the simple functions of CC. There is no way I could venture down the adventurous path you are on.

    More power to you my friend.


    1. Thanks my friend :) I’ve favourited the guide I found on that site. Actually a few guides :) I like deep shadows but softish transitions into them.

      As for Photoshop CC, I aim never to let technology be too challenging (albeit I admit that sometimes its like banging my head against a wall)

      And hopefully I am on my way back now :)

      Thanks my friend :)



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