Night Lighting

Hello everyone.
I come for help.
Straight up :

As you can see I’m trying to light a street, at night. And I’m losing my mind. Like literally losing my mind, I’ve lost it, it’s gone, has anybody seen my mind ?
I mean come one… This sh*t is 4000 samples, at 8k and 10k it’s the same. It as indirect clamping, filter glossy, and good light path. The “denoising” feature is unusable with this amount of noise, i’ve even deleted the glass from the lanterns, if I turn down the lighting strength the scene becomes way too dark and unrealistic.
I simply don’t know what to do, so I’ll take any suggestion, advice or whatever you got for me, that’d be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
stay awesome,

This might be dumb sounding, but have you tried enabling “Square Samples” in the sampling area?

You need only about 20-40 samples there and it applies AA to help reduce noise.

Would you care to share the scene or create an exemplary one (same parts, settings) to investigate?
Interested mostly in lamps for the front part since all noise seem to generate here…
Also, is MIS enabled? Light Sampling Treshold @ 0.00?

My posts arent posting for some reason

Gleb has says on some of his scenes that use a lot of light that they take Lots of samples and Lots of time! You have reflections! You are doing a night scene! I wish you luck.

One thing you can do… is render on lower samples of course and move things on other layers and render without certain things and then put back in and try to render without another thing to try to figure what is causing the problems. And then you can focus on it better. Also you may want to look at the light portal tutorials to see if you can put light portal nodes on the window glass and water reflection to better use time!

Yeah that’s a big problem. I have no idea if this would work, but maybe if you increased the overall ambient light of the scene enough so that the noise would be less and you can turn on denoiser and then darken everything in post?

In situations like this one, I use a node setup in the compositor that does the same job as the denoiser but gets rid of the remaining fireflies. I haven’t tested it with so many fireflies but it might still work. Can you post a blend file with the base elements ?

Hey guys, thank you all very much for the answers !
I will prepare a blend file some days soon, but I don’t know if that’s gonna be possible, the file as of right now is 35Mb, at rendering I got a memory pick at 12Gb…

I know about this feature but never tried it, I’ll take a look !

Indeed. They are too powerful (around 500 on emission strength at the time). I’ve turned that down a lot, it improves the overall noise. But it’s not perfect. And turning it down more wouldn’t fit the lighting I want. I consider turning them way down and playing with post-process to create what I want.

MIS is enabled. I do not know about Light sampling treshold :confused: Could you tell me more about it ?

Kind of what I tried to do. Not a fan of that technique to be honest, but we had the same idea and it might help in the end, at least a bit ^^

I’ve heard of techniques like this one, some node setup clearing images. I think there’s a similar add-on on Gimp. Seen that some years back.

Anyway, thanks again, I like having lots of thoughts, helps me a lot !
I keep trying to improve this project, it’s getting messy but I still like it some way ^^ here’s the last render :

The plan is to keep developping the overall render, but mostly the background, adding lots of building, lighting and stuff, making a contrast between a toned down, really dark foreground and a really bright and modern background. Don’t know if you see where i’m getting at ^^
I’m also thinking about turning it into a 16/9 image. Croping the top part of it, focusing on the foreground, with only bits of modern buildings in the background, but no sky visible. Quick exemple :

What do you guys think ??

That looks a lot better. Did you lighten up the whole scene to remedy that then?

If you wanna darken it up again, use those fancy color management settings for a nice quick contrast boost.
Compositor would prolly work too.

Another test, what do you guys think ?

Looks way better. There still seems to be some splotching and blurring, like on those barrels and floor sign in front of the store. How have you been solving the problem?

yeah i’ve seen that… I’ve turned down the foreground lighting strength. Increased the clamp and filter glossy. Added a bit of denoising. But this is still only 5000 samples. I’m going on vacations for almost a week, I’m gonna render this while away, at some 10000 samples of even more.
Keep also in mind this is 50% size, final render will probably be 4k.

Is there a “real” limit where it’s useless to add samples ? Considering the machine I’m using and the time it’ll have to render (at least a week) I’d love to go 20k samples or something like that. But would it be really useful ?

Above 2000 samples the changes are almost unnoticeable, so I would stick to 2000 and use denoise. Also, willing to do 4K at 20000 samples you must have a very strong machine.

Apart from that, there are still some artifacts here and there but the render is much better.

I’ll have to disagree. It’s generally useless to go above 2000, but the tests that I’ve made with this particular render showed a huge difference between 2000 and something like 5000 samples.
I think I’ll try a nice round 10000. Can’t be a waste of time since I won’t be home anyway ^^ I just hope the machine won’t crash.
Speaking of which, it’s a nice machine, it has a gtx 1070, 32Go of Ram, Intel i7-5820 (3.3GHz) and some nice cooling. It’s not the best, but it does the job (and overall costed me about 2000€).
So yeah, I’ll try and see what I can do before launching all this tomorrow morning, and then it’ll be fingers crossed for a week and hopefully a nice result after some nice vacations ^^

Apparently I didn’t try hard enough as I never got a huge difference above 2000 samples.
If you have someone to look after your machine just in case, that is nice too.
Now let’s wait for a week.

Unfortunately it’s gonna be all alone for a week :’( (I know it’s sad).
I think I’ll think of it for the entire week, I’m stressed right now and the thing isn’t even launched yet ><

Hello back !
Here’s the first shot at post process. I think it lacks a bit of light, but I kind of like, so… unless you got some feedback I think it’s gonna be it :slight_smile:

Although I prefer the higher contrast and more saturated colours in the earlier ones this one looks pretty good and I don’t notice noise at all.

Some changes. I’m gonna call it done, any last feedbacks guys ?

This is truly perfect, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a night scene this beautiful. I keep this as a reference when I’ll do a night scene.