I’ve been working on my first Blender project for some time now and I’m almost to the point of rendering the animation. I am, regrettably, encountering some grain and a few burned pixels due to the nature of the lighting required by the subject. After a week of tweaking I think I’ve just about got it as good as it is going to get.
I’m torn between getting enough samples for a quality picture and keeping the render time short enough that I can actually complete the project in a reasonable time frame.
My question is, do you find that there is any tolerance for fireflies/grain in a blender project? Am I tilting at windmills over something that will ultimately be mitigated/de-emphasized by the animation process or will the flaws come shining through?
I feel your pain I’ve got the same struggle finding the balance between image quality and reasonable render times in a big animation. Compositing can be your friend, and there are tricks you can use to reduce the appearance of grain and fireflies in the compositor. Bartek showed a nice one using a combination of render passes and the bilateral blur node (typically just using it on the indirect lighting passes as needed). Pretty effective, but maybe not trivial to set up:
And the despeckle node helps kill pesky fireflies.
Depending on the look of the animation, I think a bit of noise is OK. I had hoped the noise would kind of end up random, and thus a bit like film grain, but my experience so far seems to be that if is fairly static in the shot, so it looks more like a static, ground-glass effect. Shame but there ya go.