NLM Denoiser in Blender 3.0

Hey, I recently downloaded a Blender 3.0 Alpha from the Cycles X branch. The lack of an NLM denoiser caught my eye. Anyone know if they are dropping it in future versions, or have they just not implemented it in this experimental build yet? I am asking this because the other denoisers give a more blurred image and lose details a bit, so if they actually give up NLM, in my opinion it is a bit of a lame. Anyone know anything about it maybe?


The OIDN got some quality improvements in v1.4 to preserve more details.

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Well, in that case it’s a shame they’re dropping NLM. Results on IOD are better, of course, but “generally” is a keyword here imo. Personally, I don’t prefer this denoiser because some objects, especially when they have detailed textures, just look blurry. Hopefully when Blender 3.0 is officially released, the OID will be doing better than it is now. Anyway, thanks for info.

We will have OIDN 1.4.1 in Blender soon:


OIDN does not gaurantee normal denoised imaged. I have experienced many times that some fireflies (far away from the camera) in a images result in patches of “explosion pixels” after OIDN denoising. I have to switch back to 2.93.0 and using the NLM denoiser to avoid it.

And we might have it sooner than we think. Check last comment by Brecht:
If 1.4.1 is needed for Cycles-X development it will land in master.


Brecht is requiring users to share scenes (.blend files) that demonstrate that internal denoiser performs better than OIDN overall, taking into account noise reduction, texture preservation, and artifacts/patches. To later be compared with the result of OIDN 1.4

I think so far no one shared any scenes for it.

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Since 2.93 I’ve stopped using NLM. I find that OIDN gives the best results overall, especially on interiors.

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In the Cycles X branch, OIDN is getting to the point where even a lighter weight multipass denoising setup (in the compositor) is producing a result that is not objectively worse in any area compared to the original image (even in terms of smaller details).

Overall, the results are a lot better than they were when OIDN first made it into Blender at version 1.1, compare that to NLM and its issues with producing artifacts with highlights as well as just ignoring the noise in spots (which is just the major ones).

Yeah I stopped using NLM denoiser. It was producimg noticable artifacts. I mean really noticable.

In my opinion Open Image is the cleanist and gives sharp results of you tweak AA just right aling with samples.

It is also far more stable than Optix and compatible across a variety of GPUs which is good for a low budget cobled -together farm.