Blender Cycles

Cycles is a rendering engine that ships with Blender. It is an excellent open-source alternative to the other rendering engines on this list, however, it is considerably slower.

Blender Cycles is great for indie users or small teams who need to create Baked Lighting models and scenes on a budget. It is however much slower than its paid counterparts and its visual fidelity is not quite as polished either.


If you are going to use Blender Cycles we cannot recommend enough using the SimpleBake Addon for doing so. It massively improves the UX of baking in Blender by removing many manual steps for assigning textures, UV unwrapping, cloning objects that are being baked, and more.

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