Yafaray is a ray-tracing rendering engine that uses the Monte Carlo method (which depends on random sampling to speed along computations) in calculating a scene's light.

Strengths [Weaknesses]


Yafaray is a fairly well-known renderer and some commercial render farms officially support it, so you can submit jobs and have Yafaray work for you in the “cloud”.


Yafaray has a number of optimisations to help you get good performance without relying on OpenCL or CUDA. It has advanced features like volumetrics, several texture types, and various illumination types.

Easy Setup

Yafaray is a serious renderer, and yet quite simple to set up with Blender.

Weaknesses [Strengths]


Yafaray is a serious, professional renderer. If you're just learning how to model or light, it might be overkill as an initial rendering engine since it may produce unexpected results if you don't understand the rendering process. A simple “never fail” renderer, like Blender's inbuilt default, might be better to start on.


Installing Yafaray is heavily dependent upon the version of Blender you run, so check on http://yafaray.org to see what the latest version released for your version of Blender that you run.

If the version available on http://slackbuilds.org is current, install from there. If not, install from the Yafaray site.

Yafaray offers a .zip file for 64bit Linux. Assuming you are installing for systemwide use:

  • Download the Yafaray zip file.
  • Unzip the file.
  • Move the unzipped file to /opt/blender/2.xx/scripts/addons/.


The Blender can be activated and used the same as any other Blender plugin:

  • Activate the Blender plugin in the User Preferences panel → Render. (There is no need to install the plugin as you might other Blender addons, because you have already placed it in the correct location.)
  • Make it your active renderer in the Info panel
Selecting the Yafaray engine in Blender.

Access the Yafaray options in the Render panel of Blender.

The Yafaray settings panel.