Follow the light: Introducing path guiding in Cycles

Path guiding is a new feature coming in Blender 3.4 that will dramatically speed up rendering scenes in Cycles that contain complex lighting effects such as multi-bounce global illumination, volumetrics, and even caustics. This session will give a high-level overview of the concepts behind path guiding, how it is integrated into Cycles using Intel’s Open PGL library, and, more importantly, how artists can use this new technique to generate even more beautiful images. We demonstrate the advantages of path guiding on a set of different types of scenes and will give some advice on when path guiding can be helpful and not, as well as what artists need to consider when using it.

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  • Light transport researcher with a focus on advanced importance sampling techniques (e.g., path guiding). Over the years, he gathered experiences in the scientific realm and production. Recently joined Intel to help make state-of-the-art rendering algorithms ready for daily use in production environments. He is the project lead of Intel's Open Path Guiding Library (Open PGL).