16 samples doesn't seem good enough

So I set the AO settings to skytexture and both on the project I was working on. At 16 samples, here’s the result.

http://www.micaiahchisholm.com/Help1.jpg

I thought I might be able to get rid of more noise by rendering the image several times and blending the renders together in the node editor somehow. I won’t know how feasible that idea is until I try it. I was just wondering if anyone here had a better idea. Is there a more common method of getting better quality AO?

Ok, so I tried the node editor. It didn’t work. It seems that in any two renders, the noises present are exact replicas of each other. I thought there would be small differences that would blend together to smooth out the noise. Right now I’m trying render the image at a larger than necessary size and then downsize it. If that doesn’t work, I’m fresh out of ideas. So if anyone has a solution, let me know!

Oh, you’re out of luck with sky-texture. There’s a bug that permanently screws that up in blender. If you’re looking for it to be lit by the sky-texture, your best bet would be yafray.

Well that’s just lovely. By bug, what do you mean specifically? Are you sure it isn’t just a lack of sufficient sampling? I’m just wondering why there would be a bug in blender all this time for the sky-texture feature without it ever being fixed.

Random sampling, it takes samples completely randomly, no matter how many samples it takes, and since all parts of the sky are wildly different colours, all the samples are taken all off the wall and crazy like, and the colours fluctuate , as opposed to solid colour where no matter where the sample is taken from it’s the same reference. Yafray works differently, which is why there’s no noise.

Well, I was able to get some pretty good results with downsizing.

http://www.micaiahchisholm.com/3.jpg

But that was only after downsizing it from 900x1200 to 200x150.

Hehe, not exactly practical is it?

Nnnoooooo. srry d00d. I’d go for yafray

I’m having the same trouble with my stargate and Yafray crashes my computer. AO = 16 samples.

http://img381.imageshack.us/img381/1060/hdrigatejg6.th.jpg

Do you have your’s on sky texture?

Yep.

stupid ten character post limit…

Well, like BlackBoe said, the skytex is buggy. Why hasn’t that been fixed anyway? With the addition of spherical map support an HDRI, it would be a real boon for Blender artists. I really like how my project turned out with full GI (or sort of full), minus the noise. But with the noise, I’ll inevitably have to switch to yafray.

I’m using it because that render is an HDRI lighting test.

Well, yeah that’s exactly my point. The bug defeats the purpose of HDRI lighting!

Are you saying I should just put sky texture back to plain? I’ve always used this method whenever I use HDRI.

[Edit] Nevermind, I misread your post.

I edited my post, deleted a bunch of stuff. Doesn’t matter. How come that method didn’t show any issues with skytexture? I probably need to post a new topic somewhere on this issue.

It’s more noticeable in some images over others. Except for the ground you can hardly tell in this render, which has only 5 AO samples.

http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/4756/hdriva3.jpg

Why are you using AO?
You could also fake it with negative lights. On the conference @ndy and Matt did a workshop about shading also discussing the fake raytracing effects.

Interesting, I never heard of that idea. I’m not exactly a Blender news junkie.

Hey, so where could I find the workshop?

Simple:
http://www.blender3d.com/cms/Conference_Movies.818.0.html
Sorry, they are torrents. I was at the workshop on October 20.
It’s in the list of day one.