tips on reducing noise?

Hi. I am currently rendering an animation which is 500 frames at 1280x720. I started it about 20 minutes ago and it is about 6 hours left. One frame takes about 50 seconds to render.
The problem is that there is quite a lot of noise still visible. Perhaps I simply need more samples, but I don’t know, 6 hours seems really long for 1280x720 and a few seconds long animation.

I am using an enviorment texture, not an HDR file, just a jpg because I made the panorama with my android phone. But other than it being pretty low res, it looks really good and lights up the scene very well. the strenght of the texture is 1.5.
Then I also have a sun lamp in there, with a strenght of 2.

And my other settings:
200 samples
clamp indirect: 1
no caustics [x]
filter glossy: 1
tiles: X:256 Y:256
rendering with GPU: A GTX580
everything else at their default values.

Here’s an image of what I’m doing.

Thank you in advance!

Edit: Now that I think about it, 200 samples isn’t that much I guess. it’s just that I have seen animations made by others that were rendered with a fairly low amount of samples and still looks really good.
I tried to render an image of this scene with 4000 samples before and there was still noise. Should there be so much noise on a well lit scene like this?

This might help:

You need more samples, i personally expect real noise cleaning start after 4000 samples. That mean you need render farm. Or you can go back to BI or limit bounce to 0 and use good old tricks to mimic GI.

If you need real Global Illumination like multi bounce light bleeding, it is not cheap, at least not in this decade.

Well, rendering animations is always a time-consuming process - and 50 seconds per frame is not bad actually.

One thing to note about Cycles’ sampling noise is that it is static by default: The noise pattern is the same for every frame and therefore extremely visible when playing back the animation.

To change that, enter #frame as the seed value:

This will change the noise pattern for every frame, making it much less prominent and almost “film grain” like.

Not entirely true.
I never even think about using over 1000 samples in my renders

For example:

This render is at 150 samples:

There is another way to get rid of noise, by adding so-called ‘soft box’ light [Emission set to 0.100 or 0.200] positioned to where ever the noise is, for some reason it kills the noise.


at cgcookie is tutorial how to mix images with different seed. maybe this will be helpful for you.

One thing no one has mentioned is that you actually don’t have all that much noise in your scene. If you animate the seed value in your sampling settings, you can get away without messing with it if you leave it at 200 samples (the noise has the same pattern and the seed controls it, if you don’t animate it, then it will look like you added the noise ontop of it in the compositor).

50 seconds is an excellent render time so I might consider bringing it up to maybe 500 samples (how long is you animation?).

If it’s going to take six hours, you can just render it out at night. The average human is supposed to sleep eight hours per day you know.

Thanks for the replies guys! I’ll be sure to remember these things for my next render.
It took around 9 hours for the render to finish because I was using the computer at the same time earlier. I had another instance of Blender open as well as watching tutorials on youtube, so the computer was running slow…
But the render turned out to be pretty nice, I was also using DOF in the scene so the noise kind of melted in with the blurry background/foreground!