2020 CGarchitect rendering survey reveals developments in arch viz

CGarchitect has released the results of its Architecture Visualization Rendering Survey for 2020, which measures the usage of over 50 render engines in the Arch Viz market.

The results show that V-Ray and Corona renderers from Chaos Group are still the most widely used renderers in architectural production and both have gained market share since last year’s survey.

Among GPU renderers, the use of V-Ray GPUs has decreased significantly since the previous survey, while the use of Unreal Engine, Twinmotion, and Enscape has increased significantly.

Successive CGarchitect rendering surveys show trends in Arch, namely since 2016

This is the fourth time since 2016 that CGarchitect has conducted a rendering survey. This year’s results are based on 2,529 responses.

The data was collected between June 25th and September 11th, both from CGarchitect’s own users and “via Facebook groups and software forums in connection with real-time engines and architectural visualization”.

As the main question in the survey – “What rendering engine (s) are you currently using in production?” – is always the same, you can compare results between years to see trends in renderer usage.

Below we’ve compiled the numbers for the 10 most popular renderers from this year’s survey and calculated the usage changes in the three previous surveys.

Renderer usage in production among respondents to CGarchitect surveys
(Figures in brackets show change since previous survey)
2020 2019 2018
V-Ray 64.9%
Corona Renderer 35.0%
Lumion 25.1%
Unreal Engine 19.6%
V-Ray GPU/V-Ray RT 19.2%
Twinmotion 14.1%
Enscape 10.2%
3ds Max Interactive/Stingray 8.4%
Cycles 5.9%
Cinema 4D 5.5%

Most results are within the combined margin of error for the two surveys: that is, the difference may be due to sampling errors rather than market changes.

Also note that the intervals between surveys are not the same: the previous surveys were published in March 2019, February 2018 and November 2016, respectively.

CPU renderers remain a staple of production: V-Ray and Corona renderer lead the survey for 2020

One interesting finding from the polls is that despite the growing interest in GPU rendering in recent years, CPU render engines remain a staple of production.

The CPU renderer from V-Ray took first place in this year’s survey, as in the last three surveys, followed by its sister application Corona Renderer.

Both see a significant increase in use in the 2020 survey, while the use of Corona Renderer has risen steadily in every subsequent survey since 2016.

With real-time renderers, UE4, Twinmotion and Enscape go up, while the V-Ray GPU goes down

In contrast, usage of the V-Ray GPU renderer, V-Ray GPU, decreased significantly between the 2019 and 2020 surveys.

Part of that may be due to the release of Project Lavina, the Chaos Group’s new application for previewing and exploring large V-Ray scenes that is now used by 1.5% of respondents in production.

However, the real beneficiaries appear to have been third-party tools: Twinmotion in particular, which likely benefits from new owner Epic Games making it available for download for free for ten months.

Epic’s Unreal Engine also saw an increase in usage, although it hasn’t quite returned to 2018 levels.

Another winner was Enscape, Escape’s self-titled real-time renderer for CAD and BIM applications such as Revit, SketchUp and Rhino, which, like Corona, has risen steadily in every subsequent survey.

Eevee, Blender’s new real-time rendering engine, also made its debut on this year’s list, albeit just outside the top 10, and 4.4% of respondents are now using it in production.

Source: Jim Thacker/CG Channel

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