Thursday, September 24th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

2020 CGarchitect rendering survey shows trends in arch viz

Originally posted on 24 September 2020. See the results of CGarchitect’s 2021 survey here.

CGarchitect has revealed the results of its 2020 Architectural Visualization Rendering Survey, which measures the usage of over 50 render engines within the arch viz market.

The results show that Chaos Group’s V-Ray and Corona Renderer are still the most widely used renderers in architectural production, with both gaining market share since the previous year’s survey.

Among GPU renderers, V-Ray GPU has seen a significant decrease in use since the previous survey, while use of Unreal Engine, Twinmotion and Enscape has risen significantly.

Successive CGarchitect rendering surveys reveal trends in arch viz since 2016
This is the fourth time that CGarchitect has run a rendering survey since 2016, with this year’s results based on 2,529 responses.

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

Since the main question in the survey – ‘Which rendering engine(s) do you currently use in production?’ – is always the same, it’s possible to compare results between years to identify trends in renderer usage.

Below, we’ve collated the figures for the 10 most popular renderers from this year’s survey, and calculated the changes in usage across 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%

Results shown in red indicate a fall in usage greater than the combined margin of error for the two surveys; results in green indicate a rise in usage greater than the combined margin of error.

All of the other results fall within the combined margin of error for the two surveys: that is, the difference may be the result of sampling error rather than any change in the market.

Note also that the intervals between each survey aren’t identical: the previous surveys were published in March 2019, February 2018 and November 2016, respectively.

CPU renderers remain staples of production: V-Ray and Corona Renderer top the 2020 poll
One interesting finding from the surveys is that, despite the growing interest in GPU rendering in recent years, CPU render engines remain staples of production.

V-Ray’s CPU renderer takes the top spot in this year’s poll, as it has done in the past three surveys, followed by its sister application Corona Renderer.

Both see significant rises in usage in the 2020 survey, while usage of Corona Renderer has risen consistently in every successive survey since 2016.

Among real-time renderers, UE4, Twinmotion and Enscape rise while V-Ray GPU falls
In contrast, use of V-Ray’s GPU renderer, V-Ray GPU, fell significantly between the 2019 and 2020 surveys.

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

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

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

Another winner was Enscape, Escape’s self-titled real-time renderer for CAD and BIM applications including Revit, SketchUp and Rhino, which, like Corona, has risen consistently in each successive survey.

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

Read the full results of CGarchitect’s 2020 Architectural Visualization Rendering Survey