I notice that whatever render engine I try it is not actually the render that takes so much time as the preparation of the files. Disk read speed in very fast so that is not the bottle neck so I assume it is Cinema 4D itself wrangling the data, I say that as testing redshift with AR and PR the same thing is occuring. Is this an inevitable or is there a way to improve on this in V2? TFD Live preview does this very fast so why would RS have to struggle ? Saying that I will test render speeds when doing a simulate while rendering…perhaps that would be faster as the data is already in PC Memory workspace.
This is mostly up to the renderers. There are several things renderers do during frame setup. The sim tool can contribute one to the transfer of the volume data.
Unless you’re using TFD1 with one of the supporting renderers, there is indeed considerable load time since VDB files are relatively slow to load. This is where the sim tool can contribute by providing a direct interface to load the sim data directly from memory or from a file format that allows for faster loads. TFD already does both.
But the largest fraction is probably pre-computation done to speed up the actual render. Most advanced illumination methods augment the volume with additional information before they can produce the first pixel.
OTOH, the viewport renderer in TFD and Reactions use very simple illumination models, to optimize for interactive playback.