I’ve done a couple of tutorials lately on Efficient Cinematic Lighting on Gnomon. He doesn’t use indirect lighting, rather area lights as bounce lights because they render quicker. I didn’t think this could be done with Cycles, but after watching a tutorial by Andrew Price I learn that one can dial down the number of bounces, even down to zero which is equivalent to no indirect lighting.

So I tried it on this scene, and cut a render time of over 4 minutes with one bounce down to under 3 minutes with no bounces but using area lights instead. The area lights don’t seem to add anything to the render time, and I get slightly more control over where the bounce light is. I must explore further.

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