E-Cycles 2021 For Mac V2.92

by Mathieu in Scripts and Addons

Focus on your Art

The fastest and easiest photorealistic render engine for Blender. 100% compatible with the Cycles render engine and with continued CUDA support on Mac! You can use all your materials and add-ons while rendering on average 2x faster out of the box with NVidia GPUs. Features state of the art denoising technology, a streamlined UI for fast workflows and much more.

  • 100% compatible with Cycles
  • support for CUDA on Mac (requires a MacOS version supporting CUDA and a compatible GPU)
  • render on average 2x faster on NVidia GPUs
  • state of the art denoising technology
  • streamlined UI for ease of use and fast workflows

E-Cycles 2021 - 2.92 - New features and improvements:

  1. highly optimized viewport rendering for complex scenes. You can see the new viewport in action – along with a lot of other new features showcased – in a heavy architectural visualization scene by the iMeshh team in this video (Viewport Light Groups require at least OpenGL 4.3, a compositor version is available which work on CPU too): 
  2. reworked quick settings panel: all viewport options are now directly accessible in the viewport itself, making them faster to access and leaving room for extra options in the quick settings – for example, to easily scale the resolution of your image,
  3. better defaults out of the box: new scenes will now default to Cycles with GPU rendering. E-Cycles will use CUDA by default if available. If you’re using CPU you can simply switch to this and save your preferences!
  4. the compositor light groups will now update when tweaking the light groups values, even if no compositor window is opened. You can now easily see the effect of your changes,
  5. Physical Glare is now available as a new mode of the glare node. It is based on the physical properties of the human eye, and gives very high quality results!
  6. higher noise/signal ratio in many standard archviz scenarios for even faster rendering using less samples,
  7. a huge load of polishing, bug fixing and typo clean-ups to make the user experience even better!

E-Cycles gives you:

Extremely fast rendering, right out of the box and CUDA support!

Thanks to code optimizations, rendering with NVidia GPUs and E-Cycles is equivalent to doubling the number of GPUs in your machine, on average. E-Cycles 2.92 for Mac on top offers continued CUDA support.

What’s more, thanks to a new option called "Persistent Data", for fly-through animations where only the camera moves, E-Cycles only needs to do the pre-processing step once for all frames. In the example above, rendering takes just 3 seconds per frame on a single GPU. In this case, the persistent data option saves 7 seconds of pre-processing per frame.

State of the art denoising technique

E-Cycles AI-Denoiser requires between 4 and 10 times less samples than other AI-based denoisers to get a similar level of quality.

Using less samples for the same quality means a proportional speed increase for your renders – that’s on top of the ‘regular’ speed increase E-Cycles offers on NVidia cards. For comparable image quality, with both the regular speed increase and the new AI-Denoiser, you can get up to 25x faster rendering. And it's a one click setup!

Comparison of Cycles with OpenImageDenoise (left, 40 seconds render time) and E-Cycles with its AI-Denoiser (right, 9 seconds render time) by Marvin Luebke


100% compatibility with Cycles materials and add-ons

Most render engines require you to convert your materials, and even then, they’re mostly incompatible with add-ons that contain assets. With E-Cycles, you can focus on your art and start creating the second you start the program.

All your existing scenes, assets (e.g. E-Cycles + TerraScape) and add-ons ( e.g. E-Cycles + Graswald) will work out of the box!

2 engines in 1: Render Profiles for easy usage and 3-click optimizations

Switching between real time render engines and path tracers is time consuming and prone to errors. For producing high quality fly-through animations, E-Cycles can match the render speed of the most common real time render engines, while offering better quality and a faster scene setup.

For still images, there’s no need to convert all your materials and assets to export to a path tracing engine – just simply select a higher quality preset.

Premiere lift group (a company that works with Zaha Hadid and Porsche, among others) switched from Unreal Engine to E-Cycles for their still image renders and animations.

Animations by Ryan Plunkett at Premier Lift Group. More renders are available on their website, all made with E-Cycles.

Optimized viewport rendering

Viewport rendering in E-Cycles has been improved and optimized a lot. Many archviz scenes will render in near real time and converge very quickly, letting you see the smallest details at an unmatched speed.

Smart Clay and AO presets

For even faster rendering and fast previews of your geometry and lighting, E-Cycles offers 2 new types of rendering kernels: AO and Clay. Both presets will also automatically setup material overrides for you and then switch to those kernels, for up to 4x faster rendering – on top of the 2x base speed increase – for up to 8x faster rendering.

How does the speed-up work?

Thanks to code optimizations for efficient memory access and better usage of the massive core count of GPUs, using E-cycles is on average like doubling your GPU(s) count. You can just hit render and immediately benefit from up to 2.5x faster path tracing.

You can use these optimizations to either A) keep the same quality and halve the time required to produce images or B) to render with higher quality settings using your previous time budget.

Some new optional features allow up to 41x faster path tracing. Thanks to a new preset system, you can quickly switch between preview renders done in seconds and high-quality photorealistic renderings. Does your client want more realism? With just two clicks to select a profile, you can hit render and you’re done. Video tutorials are included to learn how to get the most out of E-Cycles and optimize your workflow.

What the artists say

"E-Cycles lets me render & proof huge print ready assets locally on 3 gpus – no renderfarm required!" – Paul, CG Artist

Made with E-cycles


Render by Petra Mikulicic https://petramikulicic.artstation.com/

Render by Marco Iozzi https://www.marcoiozzi.com/


Render by Marco Iozzi https://www.marcoiozzi.com/

Render by Torsten Dudai https://dudai.artstation.com/

Render by Hyesung

Nebulae by Gleb Alexandrov

"Cookies & Milk", original by Pixar and ported to E-Cycles by Matthieu Barbié

Render by Rashed Abdullah https://www.artstation.com/artwork/VdxDxZ

Bedroom by Luan3D

Dark Interior by Entity Designer https://blendermarket.com/products/dark-interior-scene

Render by Johannes Wilde

Render by Planungsdetail

Render by Albert Shamseev

Render by Entity Designer

Render by Luan3D

Render by Luan3D

Render by Marco Iozzi https://www.marcoiozzi.com/

Render by Marco Iozzi https://www.marcoiozzi.com/

Render by Petra Mikulicic https://petramikulicic.artstation.com/

Render by Petra Mikulicic https://petramikulicic.artstation.com/

Render by Petra Mikulicic https://petramikulicic.artstation.com/

Render by Torsten Dudai https://dudai.artstation.com/

Render by Helmy Ardiansyah - Studio HV


Animations by Ryan Plunkett at Premier Lift Group. More renders are available on their website, all made with E-Cycles.

What about CPU rendering?

All features but the base speed-up will work on CPU.

You can benefit from the new AI denoiser, render profiles, dithered sobol and more for up to 10x faster rendering on all platforms and with similar quality. Features like Light Groups, clay and AO rendering etc. also work on CPU and can massively speed up your workflow.

Pre- and post-processing:

E-Cycles is on average like adding another GPU to your configuration. And just like adding another GPU, E-Cycles will make the rendering phase faster. Pre-and post-processing are done on the CPU in Blender, so these will be just as fast as before in E-Cycles.

What about future versions and ARM support?

If CUDA support can be offered on Mac with 2.93 and enough users stay on Mac, a new version of E-Cycles for Mac will be made available. Each point release will be a separate product. ARM Macs are not supported yet.

Known limitations present in Blender and E-Cycles:

  • If you use a gamer GPU, scenes have to fit into the GPU memory for good performance. The NVidia drivers only allows fast system memory access on Tesla and Quadro cards.
  • CPU+GPU works, but generally won't give any benefit.
  • Multi-GPU configurations and NLM denoising: there is a bug in Blender 2.8x and currently 2.9x when using multiple GPUs with CUDA and the old denoiser (or its passes). This can slow down rendering. Solution in E-Cycles: using E-Cycles AI-Denoiser

E-Cycles-specific limitations:

  • For performance reason, E-Cycles includes a full version of Blender; this will be the case until there is a suitable render Engine API to allow the integration of an external renderer with optimal performance.
  • Support is only for the E-Cycles parts. Bugs also found in Blender builds are to be reported to the Blender Foundation on developer.blender.org
  • The overall speed-up on low sample renders (under 64 samples per pixel) are usually low. Scene export, compositing and file saving are most of the time the bottleneck here. Using E-Cycles AI-Denoiser and lowering the sample count even further can help to speed-up renders in this case.
  • The out-of-the-box speed-up is mainly for Path Tracing. Branched Path Tracing may also benefit from a speed-up, but this may vary depending on the scene.

System requirements:

Same as Blender plus:

  • For the base speed-up, any NVidia GPU supported by Blender with latest drivers.
  • A 64bit version of MacOS** supported by Blender.

** For CPU rendering, any MacOS version supported by Blender will also work with E-Cycles. For GPU rendering, please check the official Blender 2.83 builds first to see if your GPU is supported for Cycles rendering (in edit-> preferences -> system -> device). For CUDA rendering, MacOS Mojave is required. Blender 2.91 dropped CUDA support for Mac, E-Cycles 2.91 and 2.92 still supports it.