In this chapter we explore the knobs that come with RenderMan, for trading off rendering speed versus image quality or memory consumption.

7.1 Tradeoffs in Rendering

Manufactured objects as well as human endeavor involve a familiar balance between quality, time and resource consumption. Conventional wisdom is that you can have two of “faster, cheaper, better” but not all three at once. If each of these measures is located at a triangle corner, the ideal compromise is to end up right in the center of the triangle.

This turns out to be the case in rendering as well, which involves tradeoffs between execution speed on one hand and memory usage or image quality on the other. Execution speed refers to the time it takes to render an image. ...

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