The world of virtual reality is constantly evolving, with new advancements in graphics and hardware coming out all the time. One of the newest developments for VR rendering software is Enscape from Allegorithmic. It’s been gaining a lot of attention lately because it offers features that were previously unavailable to designers, such as true volumetric lighting and detailed reflections. However, Enscape also has its limitations – should you choose to use it? Read on for pros and cons!

How Do You Use Enscape 3D?

Enscape is an immersive VR solution that can be used to generate photorealistic virtual environments and make them interactive with the use of 3D rendering, CGI models, animations, volumetric lighting effects, sound design, etc. It has been designed as a lightweight application that offers great value-for-money over more competitive solutions on the market.

Enscape is really easy to use – designers just need to import their 3D model and Enscape does the work of generating a photorealistic scene. It can also be used in conjunction with other software, like Substance Painter for example, which allows you to apply textures directly onto your models.

It works really well for architects who are after quick turnaround times and the ability to provide clients with photorealistic renders of their projects.

For designers who need more control over the final product, Enscape may not be a good choice as it doesn’t offer advanced features like being able to export 3D models in different formats or interactivity within scenes (e.g., moving objects). This means that you have less creative freedom when working in Enscape versus using other rendering software such as Blender or Cinema Blend where you can do anything from modeling textures to creating interactive animations!


– easy for beginners – just import your model and Enscape does all the hard work!

– great if you’re after quick turnaround time on photorealistic renderings

-has some pre-programmed keywords that make the materialization process easier

– Enscape has a vast library of materials and textures which are easy to find, download and upload. This means that you can have an almost unlimited number of different types of objects in your scene without having to spend hours trying to create them all, and without compromising the efficiency of your model.


-Enscape is not compatible with Mac OSX – yet another downside for artists who like the creative freedom offered from using other software such as Blender or Cinema Blend.

– doesn’t offer export options (e.g., 3D models) because it’s mainly designed for producing photo-realistic renderings rather than interactive animations

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a quick turnaround time on photorealistic rendering then Enscape could be a great choice but if you, but if youre after high realistic or interactive environments then it is not going to be worth your time.

What Makes This Rendering Software Unique?

One thing that makes Enscape stand out from some of its competitors is true volumetric lighting – this means more realistic shadows cast by light sources. Its reflection capabilities are also fairly unique; they offer both accurate reflections on objects as well as free-form ones that recede into infinity (as opposed to being constrained).

Enscape also has its own built-in asset library for materials, textures, and props. This makes it easy to populate with people, cars, vegetation, and hundreds of furniture and decoration objects that won’t slow your PC down.

What are Some Considerations Before Choosing Enscape?

The downside to this rendering software is the price – it’s not cheap! And you’ll also need a lot of processing time on your computer for Enscape to render (this increases if you’re using high-polygonal models). It can be difficult as well because there doesn’t seem to be many tutorials or guides out there that cover how best to use all of its features; at least without jumping through hoops like YouTube videos which cost money themselves.

Does That Mean You’re Going To Switch From Your Current Solution?

If you don’t already have another third-party VR software, then Enscape might be a worthwhile consideration. However, if you are already happy with your current software solution and/or have 3D CAD modeling capabilities in-house for rendering out of Enscape, then it’s hard to justify the switch.

If You Are Serious About VR, Then Enscape is Not For You

I personally recommend Enscape to all of my interior design students because that is essentially who Enscape was made for. Enscape was meant to be a quick visualization software, which is great. But it was not meant to be the answer for truly impressive and interactive virtual reality experiences.

I myself do 3D modeling on a daily basis in work I have found that there are limitations with some common features such as textures or materials when rendering through Enscape; this can lead to less than desirable results if you want something more realistic looking. Furthermore, while I am sure these issues will improve over time since they are currently still developing their product line, I do not like the thought of one software limiting my capabilities as a 3D artist.

Personally, I would not recommend Enscape for virtual reality.

For a Virtual Reality experience to be successful, there are four key requirements.

  1. The experience must be believable. You need to feel like you are there. You lose that and the experience dies. 
  2. The world must be interactive. This can also mean that the world must require the person to move around, reach out and grab things or crouch to creep under surfaces. 
  3. The world must be explorable, this is what separates virtual reality from a TV show. It has to allow you to experience it from any angle on your terms. 
  4. Combining interactive and believable, the environment becomes immersive. Virtual reality is only immersive when both of these parameters are present.

While Enscape VR might be believable, it is very limited when it comes to the interactivity, exploration, and immersion categories. For this reason, it is more of a visualizer than it is an actual virtual experience.

There are other options out there that do a better job of what you want to achieve with your VR experience and they have more features than this program could ever hope to provide.

While it is true that Enscape has the cheapest price tag available in 3D rendering software on the market today, as well as being one of the only choices if you’re looking for an option specifically for use in virtual reality projects; I am reluctant to say it’s truly worth buying until their product line improves and expands past its current limitations. If these issues were fixed then yes, go ahead! But at this point? No thanks.

How Much Does Enscape Cost?

Enscape costs $350 per month for a single license.

Is Enscape Free For Students?

Students are able to get an educational license for free for a year.

Best Alternatives to Enscape 3D

The best alternative plugin softwares are:

  • V-ray. V-ray is also a common rendering software among architects and interior designers. It’s very popular for architectural renderings.
  • Iray+ 3D Max. Iray+ is an iray plugin that can be purchased to use within the popular 3d max software package.
  • POV-Ray. POV-Ray has been around since 1987 and was one of the first rendering software created, so it should come as no surprise that this program produces high-quality images at a fast pace with little need for tweaking on your part after you’ve set up all of its settings
  • Aqsis Render. Aqsis is another renderer that uses ray tracing technology to produce realistic graphics in real-time (which Enscape does not).
  • Maxwell. Maxwell can also be used in conjunction with a hard surface modeling software like SketchUp. The big difference between Enscape and Maxwell for VR (and other 3D rendering applications) is that it uses ray tracing technology which produces realistic graphics at high speeds- while Enscape does not use Ray Tracing. On the flip side, there are some advantages over using Enscape to use like its ability to work with SketchUp or Blender’s easy way to create water, fire or smoke when working on particle systems such as Cycles (which are both fully integrated into Enscape).
  • Blender. Blender might be most well known for its ability to create water, fire, or smoke at the click of a button when using particle systems in conjunction with other render types such as Cycles (which is fully integrated into blender).
  • Pixar RenderMan is also a great choice for first-time enthusiasts or those seeking a more realistic look. RenderMan uses ray tracing technology to produce better graphics at speeds considerably slower than Enscape rendering.
  • Twinmotion (Made by Epic Games) is free to use and has a good rendering speed.
  • Lumion. Lumion is probably the most popular amongst beginner 3D artists but is not as sophisticated or realistic as Enscape. It also is not a plugin and will require you to reload your 3D model every time you make a change to it.
  • Enlight. Enlight is also a rendering software that has a lot of potential but still needs to be developed more.


Leah van der Walt

Leah van der Walt

Leah is a 3D Artist & VR / AR Developer with 8 years of experience. Based in South Africa, she is a passionate teacher and loves to listen to drum and bass in her spare time.

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