Ways to use the Arion AOVs to denoise a conflictive render

Arion becomes more robust version after version and we’re already offering a very powerful set of features which allow the user to fight fiercely against noise and render times. However, sometimes your scene is either too complicated, or you’re unsure where your noise is coming from, or you’re about to meet your deadline and need an easy way to stay out of trouble and get a clean render.

In this short tutorial we will study the case of a render that is mostly clean except for some caustics.

NOTE: This particular example has been set up to generate excessive noise and fireflies from specular surfaces.

Method #1: Using the Main and Caustics AOVs

To achieve our denoising goal with this method, all we need to do is enable the Caustics AOV and let Arion render until most of the image is clean.

The Main AOV:

The Caustics AOV:

By subtracting the Caustics AOV from the Main AOV, we get a clean render of the full GI, minus caustics:

We can carefully denoise or despeckle the Caustics AOV to remove all the fireflies:

Now we can add the despeckled Caustics AOV to the Main AOV and get the final (clean) image:

Method #2: Using the Direct/Indirect AOVs

This method is similar to the previous one, but requires fewer editing steps.

Note that for this method, you may need to enable the Lights AOV as well, as direct vision of light sources is not included in the Direct/Indirect AOVs.

Here is the Direct AOV:

Here is the Indirect AOV:

And here is the Lights AOV:

Just like in the previous method, we carefully denoise or despeckle the Indirect AOV:

Then we add it back to the Direct AOV, without forgetting to add the Lights AOV as well, in order to restore the full image:

As you can see, using Arion’s v2.5.0 AOVs, it’s possible to get out of a difficult rendering situation without sacrificing quality, when the deadline is about to expire.

Note that, in both cases, denoising the Caustics/Indirect AOVs is virtually non-destructive to the final image, because most of the sharpness and evident details in the render are present in the Main/Direct AOVs, which remain intact through the process.

Note also that, strictly speaking, all these operations must happen in HDR (linear) space so addition and subtraction of AOVs is correct.

Thank you for watching!

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