Issues Toon Shading in Cycles

I have been trying to follow different tutorials on toon shading in Cycles, however I keep having the issue of grainy shadows and am not sure why.

I am trying to make a flat, black and white diagram of this filter I created. The Blender Render (left image) looks perfect, but it does not display my texture pattern of dots (I learned how to do UV texture mapping in Cycles). The right image (Cycles) displays my texture, but adds a bunch of grain and shadows.

Maybe the easy way is to simply convert my image texture to render in Blender Render, which would be useful to know. But the more I learn about Cycles, the more it sounds like it is the more professional render engine to be familiar with, so I’d like to be able to toon render in Cycles as well.

In this blender file, I followed all the instructions from this tutorial video. Previously, in a different file, I had tried following this tutorial blog post on the same subject. I feel like I did everything they said to do, but in my files, I still get the grainy shadows I am trying to avoid. Even my Toon Material has grain on it.

I’ve tried putting in work to learn this on my own, but I am at the point where I need some guidance on what I am doing wrong here! :eek:

EDIT: I included the wrong file. It has been deleted and I will include the correct one in a post below (can’t seem to add it in edit)


filter toon test.blend (1.5 MB)

I know I might be asking the obvious here, but how many samples are you rendering at?

10, which I think is the default. When rendering shadows, cycles sometimes causes grain if this is too low and it needs to be raised. However, in the toon shading tutorial, I am getting rid of these gradient shadows and the youtube video says you can actually lower the samples to 5, because it’s a toon render.

But like I said, it isn’t working for me; I’m still getting grain.