Death takes a pawn, revisited

Rendered using Cheetah 3D 7’s unbiased “falcon” renderer.

A long time ago there was a thread on the Cheetah 3D forums linked to a gallery image named “Death takes a pawn”. I loved the idea, and did one of my own. It’s one of the images that is randomly shown as this blog’s header, along with a more recent render done with Blender’s EeVee renderer.

My original Cheetah 3D render was ray-traced with radiosity, it wasn’t especially quick and the resolution of the render wasn’t huge. The version above was testing Cheetah 3D’s newer unbiased “Falcon” renderer.

Here’s the version rendered with an older version of EeVee on a 2015 Macbook Pro

The more recent Blender image was rendered in near-real-time, and features subsurface-scattering and volumetric lighting (two features Cheetah 3D users have been waiting for for years). It looks pretty fantastic until you notice some fairly severe artifacts in the shadows.

So, I wanted to try the render again, but cannot find the scene file. I can’t find the “Death Takes a Pawn” scene file for that matter. Oh well, it made for a good test of how usable I find Blender’s modeling tools these days. (And the answer is: aside from the poly build tool which is a nightmare, pretty damn usable.)

Here’s the Blender 2.93.3 render, done on a Windows gaming laptop with an nVidia 1660 Ti.

So, basically, EeVee freaking rocks. Unlike my previous version, I figured out how to turn on screen-space reflections, indirect light baking, tweaked the resolution of volumetric effects and shadows, and a whole bunch of other (annoyingly scattered) settings to allow EeVee to shine. (Although, even at its worst, it didn’t have artifacts like the older render). This 1080p version rendered in a second or two. The 4K version took a bit longer, maybe ten seconds.