What is the best way to get dust specks floating in the air?

Sometimes the noise/fireflies are exactly what I’d like to intentionally have in the final render.
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But when I do a particle system to make dust either they are too small and the denoiser erases them or they are too big and don’t look as nice. Any advice?

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Maybe add them in comp, on top of the denoised render? I never tried it but that’s what I would do

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I agree. Create a 2D texture and “comp it” on top of the pristine rendered image. Perhaps slightly defocused. The result ought to be convincing enough, and it will keep your initial render from being “complicated, therefore slow(er).”

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Turn off the denoiser and jack up your samples?