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Forest render featuring instanced vegetation by Erwan Loison.
Forest render featuring instanced vegetation by Erwan Loison.

 

Instancing is a technique that allows you to reference an object multiple times in a scene, but storing its geometry in memory just once. Instancing is a real game changer as it allows you to render massive amounts of geometry that otherwise would not fit in your physical RAM. Instancing is typically used for vegetation, natural environments, crowds, ...

In the context of instancing, each reference is called an instance, while the object being referenced is called the source. Remarkably, the memory usage of each instance is negligible, so the total memory usage of a scene featuring instancing is roughly the same as if only the source object was being rendered.


Note

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Instancing is built-in to the foundations of Arion so strongly, that all features can be used with instancing. This includes instanced displacement, motion-blurred instances, instanced deforming geometry, ... There is one exception, though: instanced emitters.

 

Instancing supports all sorts of affine transforms.
Instancing supports all sorts of affine transforms.


Note

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The source object is placed at the instance reference by docking the pivot of the source into the pivot of the reference. This supports all sorts of affine transforms (i.e., rotation, non-uniform scaling, shear, ...).