YafaRay Main Features

Global Illumination

Apart from direct lighting raytracing, YafaRay uses Global Illumination to produce realistic renders of 3D scenes. Supported GI algorithms are Pathtracing, Photon Mapping + Final Gather, Stochastic Progressive Photon Mapping and Bidirectional Pathtracing.

Background Illumination

This illumination system is based mainly on light coming from an emitting sky, taking into account the soft shadows calculations also involved. The illumination can be obtained from simple backgrounds, HDR images and complete SunSky solutions.

Caustics effects.

YafaRay uses photon mapping techniques to produce fast yet accurate caustics effects. Caustics is light beam concentration produced by reflective and refractive objects. This option is available in several lighting methods apart from photon mapping. Caustics can be also calculated with Pathtracing paths.


Five shader types are implemented in YafaRay, which are ShinyDiffuse, Glossy, CoatedGlossy, Glass and Rough Glass. They are flexible enough and with many parameters available for each of them to produce a wide range of materials, transparent surfaces and reflections.

Besides, there is a Blend option implemented to mix properties from several different shaders.


YafaRay supports several mapping types, blending of different textures and modulation of material parameters with textures.

YafaRay support several procedural textures as well. A procedural texture is a computer generated image produced by an algorithm and intended to create a realistic representation of natural elements.


YafaRay implements four camera types to reproduce different optic effects. YafaRay also supports raytraced depth of field (DOF) to focus a part of the scene.


YafaRay's volumetric features provide a simulation of light interacting with particles suspended in a region of space. YafaRay uses a realistic physics-based model to render volumetrics, and provides a basis for creating not just believable beams of light, but also smoke, clouds, fog, and other volumetric effects.

You can find a more detailed description of YafaRay features here.