To render your scene, switch to the "Cycles-Renderer" tab above the viewport and you should see a window similar to this one (but with a black viewport):
This is where you can render your scene with the Cycles path-tracing rendering engine. This is the same renderer used by Blender to create highly realistic images.
Cycles is not a real-time renderer, which means rendering an image takes time. The amount of time required, depends on the complexity of the scene, your hardware, the specified sample count and various other factors, and can take anything between several seconds and minutes.
If you want to get a quick preview render, click the "Render Preview" button. This will render an image with a very low sample count and low resolution, which will give you a rough idea of what the final render will look like. To render your final image(s), press the "Render Image(s)" button.
When rendering an image for a new project or a new map for the first time, Pragma may appear frozen for a few minutes, this is because some additional asset conversions are required for the Cycles-renderer. Subsequent renders should not take as long.
The render options to the right can be used to change the resolution of your render, sample count, number of frames, etc. You can leave most of these options on their defaults in most cases, but here are some of the more important options:
- Device Type: You can render with either your CPU or your GPU. This option only affects rendering speed, the end-result is the same. If you have a modern GPU, you may want to consider switching to GPU rendering.
- Samples per Pixel: The higher the sample count, the higher quality your render will be, at the cost of rendering time. If you notice weird discolorations in your final render, or if you're using advanced render features (like subsurface scattering), you'll likely have to increase this value to get good results.
- Resolution: The resolution of the render. You can choose between the presets, or hold the alt-key and click into the field to enter manual values (e.g. "1000x1200"). Higher resolutions will result in longer rendering times.
- Sky override: This defines the background sky image if you're rendering an outdoor scene (or an indoor scene with windows). The choice of sky is important and can have a tremendous impact on your scene, choose it carefully! Both equirectangular HDR and PNG images are supported, but it's important that the images have a 16-bit color depth (HDR colors). You can also leave this field empty to use the map's skybox for the sky instead.
- Sky Strength: The intensity of the light emitted by the sky image.
- Max transparency bounces: This field is usually not important unless you have a lot of overlapping transparent objects in your scene. If you notice black spots around transparent objects, try increasing this value.
- Light intensity factor: Controls the global light intensity of the scene (excluding lighting caused by the sky).
- Number of frames to render: If you intend to render an image sequence, set this value to the number of frames you wish to render.
- Output Format: The image format that the frames will be saved as once rendering is complete. If set to HDR, no tone-mapping will be applied and the image will be saved with the original 16-bit colors.
- Enable camera frustum culling: If enabled, objects that are outside of the visible area of the camera are not included in the render. This can improve rendering times, but may also cause incorrect lighting in some scenes (especially indoor scenes).
- Tone mapping: The tone-mapping algorithm to use to transform the HDR colors to sRGB space. Some tone-mappers have additional parameters to tweak the result.
Once rendering is complete, the image will automatically get saved to your harddrive. You can press the "Open Output Folder" to navigate to it in the system explorer.
In general it is not recommended to render a large sequence of images or images with a large sample count / high resolution directly in Pragma, but to use the external render tool instead. Please see that section for details.
VR / 360 Scenes
To render VR or 360 images, change the "Camera type" to "Panorama". This opens two new render options:
- Panorama Range: The horizontal view range in degrees for your scene. The vertical range is always 180 degrees.
- Stereo: Enable this to render images for VR. This will render the image twice, once for the left eye and once for the right, which will also double rendering times.