Square Samples.

Hi there.

I’m struggling to find a huge amount of information on the Square Samples option in the rendering menu, apart from it gives artists greater control. Greater control of what?

What’s the difference between 32x Square samples, and 2000 un-Square samples? The results look very similar, some high light reflections look very slightly different but it’s pretty marginal.


Square samples takes the number of samples you enter - and squares the value (it doesn’t square the actual samples themselves)

So having 4 Square samples is exactly the same as having 16 non square ones.

It’s essentially a quick way of adding more samples or flipping between having few and many. For example whilst you are working on a material/scene - you may want a low number of samples so that the live preview updates quickly. Every now and again you may want more samples to check how your work is looking at a higher quality - simply clicking the “square samples” option adds these samples quickly and easily - without you going in and having to modify all of the individual sample values.

Ah, I understand.

Many thanks moony, explained perfectly.


It’s a feature I added. Basically brings Cycles more in line with Arnold. Noise in a path tracer takes longer to clear the longer a render goes on, which maps fairly closely to a n^2 curve. So basically, using squared samples allows every increase of 1 to equal a meaningful amount of noise reduction, and it allows an artist to have a very simple table of values stored in their head to clear noise for various common scene types.