by K-Cycles in Scripts and Addons

Getting Started

System Requirements

Only Windows, Linux and Mac are supported.

GPU rendering best performance with Nvidia 30x, 20x, or 10x series.

CPU rendering supported but without the GPU speed improvements.

CPU supported for the "Ultra Lighting", “Ultra Denoiser” and Post FX.


  1. Unpack the K-Cycles in any desired location.

  2. Create a desktop shortcut or run directly the ”blender.exe”.


1. Install the latest Nvidia drivers and reboot the computer.

2. Go to Edit->Preferences->System->Device select “OptiX”. Turning off the CPU usually gives better performance.

3. Under “Render Properties” select the “Cycles” render engine.

4. Select “GPU Compute”  device.


Issue with Cycles is not available, addon problems, certain UI items or settings missing. Need to do a reset/clean of the Blender settings:

1. To reset or clean Blender settings first by deleting (can’t go back) or renaming your C:\Users\XXXX\AppData\Roaming\Blender Foundation\Blender\ 3.00, 3.10 or 3.20" folder. If their issues don't rename back, keep adding addons until you find the problem addon. 

2. There have been times when the first time running K-Cycles the Nvidia Opitx kernel needs to compile and it can take a few minutes. Let it finish. It is only done once. After that it should be fine.

GPU Memory Tips

K-Cycles can use slightly more GPU memory for its performance optimization. Large scenes that do not fit in the available GPU memory will get an “Optix” error. Here are some tips.

  1. If the viewport preview render is active, switch it to solid mode before doing a final render. It can cut the GPU memory usage in half!!

  2. Check the current available GPU memory using GPU-Z utility or Task Manager under the performance->GPU section.

  3. Close other applications that are using GPU memory.

  4. Run K-Cycles from the command line. No UI reduces the use of GPU memory. See docs at: https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/latest/advanced/command_line/render.html.

  5. K-Cycles Ultra Denoiser Multi-Pass is going to use more memory to store all the passes to get the best denoising quality. If very low in GPU memory can turn this option off.

  6. If unable to “Simplify” the scene like described below and low GPU memory, changing the K-Cycles GPU Boost from "Max" to "High" will reduce GPU memory with slightly reduced rendering performance. Or go to "None" and won't use any more than standard cycles-x and still faster render than cycles-x, but noticeably less than "High" or "Max".

  7. In the render options in the "Simplify" section use "Texture Limit" to something like 1024 or 2048. If the scene contains mesh objects with subdivision, reduce the “Max Subdivision” to 2 or 1. Last when using particles, reduce “Child Particles” to 0.5. Do both for both viewport and render. 

  8. Another option for better control without “Simplify” is to manually change object geometry subdivision and particle total count. Geometry objects using "Subdivision'' reduce up to level to 1. If using particles, reduce their amount.

  9. Look at reducing the size of HDR.

  10. Instead of using "Simplify" for texture limits, reduce manually the size of texture image files for better image quality. Keeping important textures at higher resolution. I have used the free version of ImBatch, a great utility. Go to the texture folder and sort by size/resolution and drop the large files into ImBatch and resize. Then with Imbatch(free) I drag all the images that don't need closeup or are not important and resize them to 1kx1k or 2kx2k. Also HDR can be resized and save a lot of memory.

  11. If using micro displacements try increasing subdivision "Dicing Rate Render" to 1.00px.

  12. The key is to reduce as much as possible for things that are not critical for the scene image quality. It takes some time, but these tips can reduce the memory dramatically for many large scenes to make it possible to fit in the available memory of the GPU.

Blender VSE Tips for OpenEXR MultiLayer

The Blender VSE (Video Sequence Editor) can use OpenEXR MultiLayer image sequence, but it requires some initial setup.

The process for VSE video rendering of OpenEXR MultiLayer files is:

1. Start a new Blender file and set Render settings (Frame Range, Output type - e.g. MPEG/H.264, Output File).

2. Switch to the Compositor, choose Use Nodes and delete the Render Layers node.

3. Add an Image node and Open all rendered OpenEXR MultiLayer files.

4. Connect the Image node to the Composite node.

5. Switch to the VSE and add a Scene Strip (strip length defaults to frame range set earlier).

6. Switch back to Default and click Render Animation.


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Using K-Cycles

The different K-Cycles Modes:

1. Default - (Highest Quality), K-Cycles performance with highest quality without presets.

2. Medium - (with presets), Faster K-Cycles performance with intelligent rendering presets.

3. Fast - (with presets), Fastest K-Cycles performance with intelligent rendering presets.

4. Manual, K-Cycles performance needs to adjust manually the settings.

The different GPU Boost:

1. Auto - (Automatic GPU boost), Automatic GPU boost, use the ideal GPU boost for maximum rendering performance with less memory for the GPU in use.

2. Max - (Maximum boost), Maximum GPU boost, use more memory and maximum rendering performance.

3. High - (High boost), High GPU boost, use slightly more memory and high rendering performance. At about 90%-95% performance compared to “Max” boost.

4. Low - (Low boost), Low GPU boost, use slightly more memory and good rendering performance.

5. None  - (No boost), No GPU boost, least memory use and default rendering performance.

Faster Viewport Updates & Navigation:

Faster viewport updates, navigation and responsiveness but, will lose viewport rendering performance. Turn ON when viewport rendering updates are needed often. Useful also, when moving scene objects, adjusting camera view, etc or navigating too different areas of the scene in the viewport. Turn OFF when the viewport is static and are adjusting materials, properties, etc.

K-Cycles Ultra Lighting

1. Solo Mode: View only each individual lightgroup.

2. Remainder Mode: Adds a Remainder lightgroup with the rest of the lights not in other lighgroups it does not have individual lights.

3. Add Selected Lights Lightgroup: Creates a lightgroup and adds the selected lights or emitters on the viewport or outliner. A collection is added by selecting it on the outliner.

4. Add World Lightgroup: Creates a world lightgroup and add the world data.

5. Add All Collections: Creates multiple lightgroups organize by collection name with the lights belonging to that collection. Finally it adds a world lightgroup.

6. Remove All Lightgroups: Remove all the lightgroups. Caution there is no undo for this action.

7. Add New Lightgroup: Add new empty lightgroup.

8. Remove Lightgroup: Remove the selected lightgroup.

9. Move Lightgroup: Move the selected lightgroup up or down the list.

10. Add Selected Lights:  Adds the selected lights or emitters on the viewport or outliner to the selected lightgroup. A collection is added by selecting it on the outliner.

11. Remove Light: Remove the selected light or emitter from the selected lightgroup.

12. Outliner Light Update: Select light to the outliner and viewport.

13. Add Linked Objects: Adds to the linked list the selected mesh objects on the viewport or outliner to the selected lightgroup. A collection is added by selecting it on the outliner.

14. Remove Linked Object: Remove the selected linked object from the selected lightgroup.

15. Invert Linked Objects: Invert all the linked objects from the selected lightgroup.

16. Dbl-Click Lightgroup Rename: Double click to rename the lightgroup.

17. Editable Light List: Enter directly the change value this action will generate a new rendering

18. Use Tone Mapping: Enable the tone mapping options for the selected lightgroup.

K-CyclesX Animation Denoiser

Before doing animation denoising follow these steps.

1. Output File Format requires OpenEXE MultiLayer.

2. Enable “Denoising Data” pass in render layer settings

3. Render Animation without Denoising.

4. Now click on the “Optix Denoise Animation” and a dialog popup will show.

5. May take a long while depending on the total frames.

6. Dialog popup will close when the animation denoising is done.

K-CyclesX Ultra Denoiser

1. Multi Pass: Use multiple passes denoising to achieve the highest quality.

2. Transmission: If using “Multi Pass” enable glass/transparency is used in the scene.

3. Volumetrics: If using “Multi Pass” enable when volumetrics is used in the scene.

4. Individual Passes: Individual enabled light passes are denoise. Will take more time, denoised light passes can be used in the compositor or image editing application.

5. Prefilter: “None” for improving detail and it is faster. If the albedo and normal passes are noisy then “Accurate” will prefilter guiding passes before denoising it can avoid image artifacts at the expense of some loss in detail and slower denoising. “Fast” will lose the most detail and faster. Recommended setting is “None”, unless image denoiser artifacts show, then use “Accurate”.

6. Input Passes: Passes used by the denoiser to distinguish noise from shader and geometry detail. The Recommended setting is “Color + Albedo +Normal”.

K-Cycles Post FX

All the K-Cycles effects are applied at the end of the viewport render preview samples. After preview render stops adjusting any effects settings is immediate.  Viewport/Final rendering for K-Cycles Post FX effects does work with CPU/GPU with/without any denoiser. The post fx effects are applied before the compositor. Legacy K-Cycles post fx effects in the preview viewport render requires “Optix” denoiser to be enabled.

K-Cycles Post FX Presets

K-Cycles Post FX presets are like other presets in Blender. On the right of the Post FX header or individual effects like Bloom or other effects is the preset button. The Post FX preset button adjusts the settings for all the Post FX. The other individual effects presets settings are specific to that effect only. There already is a "Default" preset to reset the settings or create a new preset with the "+" or delete a preset with "-". To apply a preset click on preset name. The effect values apply immediately on preview render without restarting the render and the preset window stays open. Can have many presets and quickly switch between them. These presets can be saved and shared with other users. See picture below:

K-Cycles Post FX Transparency

K-Cycles Post FX transparency with Film->Transparent is supported with all the effects. Great for decal, sprites, animation, parallax and other. Make sure to use "OpenEXR" file save format with “RGBA” color and color depth float(Half) is enough. This format captures the full dynamic range of the effects.

K-Cycles Post FX Mask

K-Cycles Post FX Bloom, Flares and Tone Mapping support masks. Allows to include/exclude objects and collections to have Post FX applied.

See picture below:

1. “+” Click on the “plus” sign to add select object/s on the viewport or outliner to the mask list. A collection is added by selecting it on the outliner

2. “-” Click on the “minus” sign to remove the currently selected item on the dropdown box from the mask list.

3. “” Click on the “left and right” arrow to invert the selection mask.

K-Cycles Bloom & Flares


1. Mask: Add, remove, invert what objects/collections to have Post FX applied.

2. Bloom Level: Filters out pixels under this level of brightness for the bloom effect.

3. Flares Level: Filters out pixels under this level of brightness for the flares effect.

4. Blend: Blend the bloom effect into the scene. Default value is 0.5. Setting the value to 1.0 allows viewing of only the mask/effect being applied to the image.


1. Power: Intensity of the bloom.

2. Spread: “Wide Soft” Creates a wider and softer bloom effect.

3. Size: Bloom spread distance.

4. Color Tint: Color tint applied to the bloom effect.


1. Power: Size and intensity of the glare flare.

2. Rays: Number of rays for the glare.

3. Rotation: Angle of rotation of the glare flare.

4. Thin Level: Reduces the thickness of the glare rays.

5. Intensity: Intensity of the glare flare.

6. Color Shift: Color variation to the glare flare.

7. Color Tint: Adjust the overall color tint of the glare flare.

8. Softness: Softness level of the glare flare.


1. Power: Size and intensity of the anamorphic flare.

2. Rotation: Angle of rotation of the anamorphic flare.

3. Thin Level: Reduces the thickness of the anamorphic flare.

4. Intensity: Intensity of the anamorphic flare.

5. Color Shift: Color variation to the anamorphic flare.

6. Color Tint: Adjust the overall color tint of the anamorphic flare.

7. Softness: Softness level of the anamorphic flare.


1. Intensity: Intensity of the ghosts flare.

2. Color Shift: Color variation to the ghosts flare.

3. Color Tint: Adjust the overall color tint of the ghosts flare.

K-Cycles Tone Mapping


1. Exposure: Controls the overall exposure of the image.

2. Contrast: Adjust the contrast of the image.

3. Highlight: Adjusts the bright image areas.

4. Shadows: Adjusts dark image areas.

5. Saturation: Adjusts the amount of color saturation of the render.

6. White Balance: Controls the white balance of the image.

7. Color Tint: Adjust the overall color tint of the image.

8. Blur: Adjust the amount of blur on the image.

9. Sharpen: Adjust the amount of sharpening on the image.

K-Cycles Lens


1. Distortion: Adjust a bulging or pinching effect from the center of the image.

2. Axial CA: Adjust Axial chromatic aberration variation in the length of each wavelength of light.

3. Lateral CA: Adjusts Lateral Chromatic Aberration color fringing. It only affects the edges of the image.

4. Vignette Intensity: Adjusts reduction of the image brightness toward the periphery of the image.

5. Vignette Size: Adjusts the size of the vignetting.

6. Film Grain: Add photographic grain/noise to the image.

K-Cycles Mist

Setup “Mist” in scene:

1. Enable K-Cycles Post FX “Mist”.

2. Select the active “Camera” in the “Outliner” window.

3. In the “Object Data Properties” under “Viewport Display->Show” enable “Mist”.

4. In the 3D viewport select “Top” view “Wireframe” mode.

5. In the  “World Properties” under “Mist Pass” adjust the “Start”, “Depth” and “Falloff”.

6. The length of the “Mist” effect is visible in the viewport.

The next steps are optional to help visualize the Mist effect in the viewport.

7. Open another “3D Viewport” with the camera view visible.

8. In the preview render to view the “Mist” effect alone, set the viewport render pass to “Mist”.

9. Now set back the viewport render pass to “Combined” and adjust K-Cycles “Mist” settings.


1. Blend Start: Blend start of the effect into the scene.

2. Blend End: Blend end of the effect into the scene.

3. Exposure: Controls the overall exposure of the mist.

4. Intensity: Controls the overall intensity of the mist.

5. Color Tint: Adjusts the overall color tint of the mist.

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Sales 4200+
Customer Ratings 72
Average Rating
Dev Fund Contributor
Published over 1 year ago
Software Version 2.93, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2
License GPL
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