Daz Bytes: What’s the Difference Between Iray, 3Delight, and Filament in Daz Studio?

an image of binary code blending into a rendered scene

If you’re new to Daz, it’s difficult keeping track of the different render engines you can use. The three main engines compatible with Daz Studio are Iray, 3Delight, and Filament. So what’s the difference between them and which one is right for you?  

We lay out the key differences and similarities here, but you can also watch Jay Versluis explain it in the video below.


3Delight is a CPU-based biased render engine that is compliant with the RenderMan standard. It has almost a toonish look because it fakes rendering 3D objects with something that isn’t compatible with PBR (physically based rendering). 

Compared to other render engines, 3Delight is a different engine altogether. It’s kind of the older-style render engine and has a different way of describing surfaces. When rendering, it uses CPUs, so even if you don’t have the GPUs for Iray, you can still render in Daz Studio with 3Delight.

3Delight, much like Iray, is meant to be used for the final render, so you wouldn’t necessarily use it for previews — but there is a way to preview both 3Delight and Iray renders in your viewport. 


As stated earlier, while 3Delight isn’t compatible with PBR maps, Iray is. PBR applies similar principles in a render world that are available in the real world, meaning you can typically get more realistic renders with Iray. 

Most assets include something with both an RSL shader as well as a PBR shader so they’re compatible with both 3Delight and Iray. For example, Victoria 8 comes with different materials for her eyebrows. Choose RSL if you’re rendering with 3Delight and MDL if you’re rendering with Iray.

To choose your render engine, just go to the Render Setting tab, and at the very top of your settings is an Engine dropdown. Make sure you’re using the engine you want, and click the blue Render button or press CTRL+R to render your scene. If you’re not sure how to adjust your render settings, check out this in-depth Iray render settings guide.


So how does Filament fit in? Filament is also a PBR engine, meaning it’s also physically based, and it’s unbiased. It’s a much faster engine compared to Iray, but on the other hand, it’s also much less accurate than Iray. 

However, while 3Delight and Iray are used for the final render, Filament is used to preview your scene in Daz Studio in near-real time. This is a great way to quickly see how adjustments to your setting affect the scene without having to wait. 

Do you have any other questions about Daz Studio render engines? Drop a comment below, and check out our technology page to learn more about how Daz Studio works and what you can accomplish with it!

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