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How to Eliminate or Reduce Noise, Fireflies, and Grain in Blender Cycles Renders

How to eliminate noise or grain or fireflies from renders in Blender
How to eliminate noise or grain or fireflies from renders in Blender

Table of contents

What is render noise/grain/fireflies?

Render noise, grain, and fireflies are small and distinct bright lighting flaws in your render.

Render noise has the potential to degrade an otherwise excellent render or animation. The good news is that you can eliminate fireflies in Blender using a few tricks. Follow the following steps to eliminate noise from your renders in cycles render.

1. Eliminate render fireflies using the AI-powered denoise composition node in Blender

The Denoise node is used to denoise renderings from Cycles and other ray-tracing renderers. This helps to greatly cut render time by rendering with fewer samples. It employs Open Image Denoise, which uses machine learning to convert noisy pictures into clean ones.

  • Download and install Nvidia OptiX™
  • Launch Blender and ensure you are in Cycles render. Change Blender render device from CPU to GPU
  • Activate denoising data. Use the image below to refer
How to activate denoising data in Blender
How to activate denoising data in Blender
  • Render your scene and go to the compositor
  • From the compositor, click ‘Shift + A’. On the search box type ‘denoise’. Select the ‘Denoise’ node
  • Connect the Denoise node to other nodes as shown in the image below
How to setup the denoise node in Blender
How to set up the denoise node in Blender
  • Ensure HDR is checked on the denoise node
  • Do another render and see the difference

2. Eliminate render noise by optimizing your sampling and denoising settings

The following are the Blender sampling settings that I use on my projects by default. They not only produce clean renders, but they also cut my render times in half.

Sampling and denoising settings in Blender 3.5 Cycles Render Engine
Sampling and denoising settings in Blender 3.5 Cycles Render Engine
How to optimize sampling settings in Blender
How to optimize sampling settings in Blender 3.0

3. Avoid rendering noise/fireflies by using Blender’s Eevee render engine

Eevee is Blender’s real-time render engine built with OpenGL that focuses on speed and interactivity while rendering PBR materials. Eevee can be used interactively in the 3D Viewport as well as producing high-quality final renders.

Because Eevee materials are built using the same shader nodes as Cycles, it is simple to render existing scenes. This makes Eevee ideal for previewing materials in real time for Cycles users.

Eevee, unlike Cycles, is not a ray trace render engine. Instead of processing each ray of light, Eevee uses a technique known as rasterization. Several techniques are used in rasterization to approximate how light interacts with objects and materials. While Eevee is intended to follow PBR concepts, it is not without flaws, and Cycles will always give more physically realistic renders. Eevee has a lot of limitations because it employs rasterization.

4. Save the above settings so they become your default render settings every time you launch Blender

How to save default startup settings in Blender
How to save default startup settings in Blender
Save startup file in Blender
Save the startup file in Blender

On the top left corner of Blender, click ‘File’. On the dropdown, go to Defaults > Save Startup File

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