What is Blender Eevee?

If we hear the word Eevee, it may not be able to guess what it means unless we are very much involved in the Blender 3D modeling program. On the other hand, if you’re already familiar with this modeling program, you’ve probably heard of or used it.

What is Blender?

Before we start explaining what Eevee is, let’s go to the first step and that is to explain what Blender is. Blender, 3D modelling, animation, rendering, comics, kinematics etc. It’s a program that helps us do it.

This program is completely free and open source, so users can develop the program. In this modeling tool, it allows us to do a wide variety of work for free, and therefore many users prefer this tool.

Blender is ideal for starting learning or creating our own crafts, many tutorials and courses on how it works can be found on the internet.

What is Eevee?

Eevee is a real-time PBR engine that has been available in Blender since version 2.80. Eevee is an OpenGL-based rendering engine. With this engine in Blender we can create amazing digital images with very good result.

When we use the engine in Blender we can have a preview viewer of what it will look like towards the end of the render in real time. If you think this engine can replace the Cycles rendering engine, it isn’t. These two render engines are completely different and both serve different purposes.

The difference between one engine and the other is that the Cycles engine is ray-traced and the light and shadow behavior is physically correct. On the other hand, the Eevee engine is an approach that is more in line with the techniques used in video game rendering engines such as Unreal or Unity.

The main differences between Eevee and Cycles

Below I will point out some of the key differences that both rendering engines offer us in the Blender 3D modeling program.

  • The first big difference is that the Cycles engine simulates light reflected from different surfaces as it actually is. Eevee, on the other hand, works by rasterizing.
  • Makes render time much longer as it calculates light bounces with Cycles render engine. On the other hand, with Eevee, rendering time is greatly reduced using the raster technique, with the cost of getting number-based lighting that makes them look good without having to calculate all the light bounces. The downside to this is that it doesn’t fit the truth.
  • Cycles are great for simulating the physics of light to get realistic results. The Eevee engine is great for previewing materials and scenes that don’t necessarily need to be photorealistic.

PBR materials at Eevee

PBR materials are fully compatible with those of Cycles engine, it can see in real time any change we make in a material. We can not only see these changes reflected in the materials, but also in real time with lights. One of the main advantages and one of the most common doubts among users is whether this slows down Blender. The answer is no, because it has a process guard called UBO (Uniform Buffer Object) that prevents the light information from collecting shaders.

Blender lights

If we use the Eevee render engine, we should know that all Blender lights are fully compatible with this rendering engine. If we look inside the section where we can find the lights, we find three elements unique to Eevee. These items are Light Probe and these are Reflection Cubemap, Reflection Plane and Irradiance Volume. These items are designed to pre-calculate the lighting in a scene using Eevee.

Render settings with Eevee

In the render settings we can change a few things we want to make the final render look the way we want.

Thanks to these configurations, we can configure from the depth of field used by a postprocessing filter and a sample-based method. Motion blur can be created as well as dark, indirect lighting, performance or volumetric.

Blender Eevee rendering engine limitations

Not everything is perfect in the Blender rendering engine, and there are some limitations that we must take into account. Below I will point out some of the limitations of this rendering engine:

  • Cameras: Only perspective and orthographic projections are supported.
  • Lights: The Eevee rendering engine can only support 128 lights in a scene. Only 8 lights can be supported if they are solar powered at the same time. They can only have one color and do not support lightweight node trees.
  • Light Probes: Supports up to 128 active Reflection Cube Maps, 64 active glow volumes, and 16 active reflection planes in the Frustum view.
  • Indirect lighting: Volumetric, does not allow light from irradiation volumes, does not allow light splashes, specular lighting is turned off during cooking.
  • Depth of Field: Alpha blended surfaces cannot be rendered correctly with post-process blur, but will render correctly with the sample-based method.
  • Motion Blur: Motion Blur is only available in post renders and is not displayed in the 3D viewport and thus in viewport renders.

Now that you know about Blender’s rendering engine, Eevee, it’s your turn to put into practice what you’ve done with the 3D modeling program Blender.