Frequently Asked Questions - User FAQ

It depends on the configuration of the scene and the quality you're are looking for your render. In general, scenes are divided into open scenes like outdoors, where the background could be a main light source, or scenes mostly or totally enclosed by a mesh, like house rooms.The best lighting methods in those cases are:

  • Direct lighting will work for all cases. Fast!
  • Pathtracing is mosty convenient for open scenes (outdoors, open studio lighting) and enclosed scenes with big arealights or big windows with incoming background lighting.
  • Photon mapping and Bidirectional should be used with mostly or totally enclosed scenes like house rooms.

This option only works in photon mapping. When is enabled, the diffuse photon map is used to calculate the glossy reflection instead of ray tracing around. The glossy reflection will be calculated faster, but with less precision, due to the approximate nature of the photonmap. Therefore, this option is advisable for glossy reflections with a low exponent (high blur). Also this option enabled will tend to produce reflection flickering in animations.

For animations you'll need a well balanced dense photon map, if not the low frequency noise produced by the photon map is able to surface trespassing Final Gather sampling. Also if you set glossy reflections 'as diffuse', it means that the photon map will be used to calculate the glossy reflection; if the photon map is low quality, the glossy reflections will flicker as well.

Select an object in Blender, enter Edit Mode. Then go to:
Mesh menu -> Scripts -> Solid Wireframe
This script duplicate any object as a wireframe mesh.

YafaRay uses a feature of Blender called 'ID property'. This feature is used to add extra 'tags' of information to all kind of Blender data. The exporter code adds YafaRay-related tags to the scene as a whole, and to particular scene objects and materials. More information in the link below:


Photon mapping requires that thickness in objects is correctly modelled. In this way we avoid estimation problems when searching for neighboring photons.

If you are using a glossy material, and there is an area light source (area. sphere, mesh) in the scene, or you are lighting the scene with a background, noise of the glossy reflection depends on the number of samples used for those light sources and background, the more samples the less noisy, but the longer render times.

Any of your works rendered with YafaRay is your sole property, and can be licensed or sold under any conditions you prefer. If your are rendering someone's else model, be sure you respect his/her copyrights and you properly credit him/her.

YafaRay can not load Blender encapsulated textures. If your Blender file has got encapsulated data, you must unpack first (File>External Data>Unpack). YafaRay will load textures from the created 'textures' folder.

During the rendering process, the Blender back console shows up messages when a texture image can't be found by YafaRay, pay attention to them. If your Blender file is unpacked but YafaRay can't load a texture, be sure that the path selected in the 'Image' panel points to the actual location of the image in your HD.

YafaRay supported formats are tga, jpeg, png, exr, hdr.

When 'Show map' button is enabled, it shows the radiance map created by photon hits. This option is useful to discover low-frequency noise patterns and gaps on the photon map. This information isn't relatively important in still images, since Final Gather will be able to smooth and average most of the noise of a photon map, even with low-quality photon settings.

However, to avoid noticeable flickering on animations when using Photons + FG, it is very important to have a well-balanced noise-free radiance photon map. Use radius settings and increase the photon count to cut low-frequency noise in photon maps.

This problem happens because mesh normals are pointing inside. In edit mode, select all with A key and use CTRL+N to recalculate normals outside. Also be sure that your glass material is using a right Index or Refraction (IOR). More information about glass:

Because YafaRay materials are different from Blender materials. Many Blender material options have no corresponding option in YafaRay materials and the other way round. Therefore, to avoid the confusion which option was to set where, it was decided it would be easier to have the YafaRay material settings completely seperated from the Blender settings. But: Materials are still created and assigned to objects using the Blender interface. Once a material is created, it can be changed in the YafaRay interface. The textures of a material are still set in the Blender interface, most mappings are supported.