Is there a golden rule for Number of Samples?



  • I'm rendering an image. 800x1000 pixels, nothing gigantic.

    At the moment, I'm at a sample number of 50, this gives me 2500 samples, according to the render bar. But it's still annoyingly grainy.

    Some of it may be the light. Using EZ Dome with the EZ sun and one extra Area Light.

    But is there a golden rule? How many samples is generally sufficient?

    Also ... What exactly is the benefits of Branched Path Tracing? I have tried with and without and can't SEE any difference at all - other than the render takes 1 hour+ with Branched Path and a few minutes without :/




  • Dont worry, its a blender tut, but it worked in general for poser SF too.
    As far as i know, branch path rendering is used with cpu.
    I will later came back to this topic, im working right now.



  • As I understand it, the aim of branched path tracing is to use more samples where they are needed so you can cut down on the base number of samples.
    If you look at the presets in the SF render settings, high quality using bpt has a base number of samples of 8, while high quality GPU preset, which doesn't use bpt uses 30 samples.
    I'll leave it to you to judge if they produce equivalent quality.



  • Hi there

    Pixel samples golden rule, there isn't, its literally depends on settings used and scene itself plus on light setup

    If you check my freebies then you should see my preferred settings and what I use

    For some scenes I use 45-60 samples as max, for some 100-150 samples I need to have nice and almost noise free render,if noise would be visible then you would see noise/grain in dark corners etc

    Regarding the noise at 50 samples that's strange, usually at 50 samples my renders are pretty clean there would be visible noise/grain only when you use PS to postwork of pictures etc

    Can you post yours render settings and scene screenshot, this can help us to determine what is happening and why renders are slow or they're grainy etc

    Hope this helps

    Thanks, Jura


  • Poser Ambassadors

    Like Jura says, depends on your light and scene. There is no golden rule. I set my samples to ridiculous high and cancel the render when i think it is okay.



  • Branched Path Tracing is for CPU only, GPUs don't like it. I use it a lot, in many lighting situations the Speed is comparable to my GTX 970 GPU, but I find the results nicer. The BPT Images look slightly anti-aliased in my opinion. Don't use the default sample rates, though.

    On an actual Image I'm working with, I need about 40 samples without BPT on the GPU or 16 samples with BPT, with all the BPT options set to 1 or 2.

    I've posted some of my findings here.

    About that noise, check if you have materials with ambient shaders in your Scene. Superfly actively seeks out lights, if there are too many unreachable lights, the Scenes get very noisy. I've posted a sample here.

    In that Scene, an old Poserworld bathroom, I needed 20 samples instead of 150 (non-BPT) to get rid of the noise after deleting all the ambient parts on the old Poserworld shaders.



  • @jura11 said in Is there a golden rule for Number of Samples?:

    Hi there

    Pixel samples golden rule, there isn't, its literally depends on settings used and scene itself plus on light setup

    If you check my freebies then you should see my preferred settings and what I use

    For some scenes I use 45-60 samples as max, for some 100-150 samples I need to have nice and almost noise free render,if noise would be visible then you would see noise/grain in dark corners etc

    Regarding the noise at 50 samples that's strange, usually at 50 samples my renders are pretty clean there would be visible noise/grain only when you use PS to postwork of pictures etc

    Can you post yours render settings and scene screenshot, this can help us to determine what is happening and why renders are slow or they're grainy etc

    Hope this helps

    Thanks, Jura

    The scene in question was this one. One PE in EZDome. Nothing elaborate at all.
    Light from the EZSun overhead and one Poser Area Light.
    0_1533720420519_a44e9f45-f3d7-476e-be53-c8789d99329c-image.png



  • BTW .. how do you guys time your renders? Saying a render took so-and-so seconds? Does Poser show that somewhere and I'm just missing it, or do you use another for of timer?

    I vaguely remember some render settings that could time it. But not how or where



  • @trekkiegrrrl
    Poser 11 includes a log window, which includes the render time. The button to open it is on the upper right directly near the button to open the library window, IIRC. I don't know how it's called, maybe Message Window. I'm not at my PC right now.



  • @bantha
    Hihihi...and SM dont want us to get lasy, so they state the start time and the finished time.
    In seconds, of cause.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    Here is the message log button.
    If shows a lot of info about renders and also shows among many other things, the "invalid" node setups.
    0_1533730782619_Message log.png
    0_1533730799745_Message log2.png
    best regards, Tony



  • @vilters are you aware of whether that log is hidden somewhere as a file on disk, or is only in memory while Poser's running (unless the user manually exports it)? I ask because I had Poser crash after a render, and could no longer go back and find the log entry for how long the render took (it was many days), and had to manually calculate it from the filesystem creation and last modified dates in the render cache.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    Not 100% sure but 99, LOL. The log is reset at each Poser start-up.

    If you had a crash, what did the Windows WER file say? These are stored on your HD. (Windows Error Reporting files) WER files, and can be read as txt.



  • @vilters any idea what Poser's log file is called? I can search for it, if it exists in the filesystem.

    I'm on macOS Sierra, which has very good control and visibility of crash logs (I can just open the Console app in Utilities and look at the User Reports which mention Poser, so that's not the issue. (Which was one of the usual "Pointer being freed was not allocated" or "Segmentation fault" or "Invalid pointer dequeued from free list", memory leak type errors)


  • Poser Ambassadors

    @anomalaus said in Is there a golden rule for Number of Samples?:

    @vilters any idea what Poser's log file is called? I can search for it, if it exists in the filesystem.

    The file is called Poser.log

    On a Windows system it can be found at ...AppData\Local\Temp\Poser Pro\11

    There are other things stored in that area as well that might interest you as well.



  • @shvrdavid thanks. That information was not as helpful for macOS users, though the filename is common with Windows. The Poser 11 Reference manual only has a reference to the Windows location for Poser 10, not 11!
    0_1533893400913_Screen Shot 2018-08-10 at 7.29.04 pm.png
    That was enough to remind me that I had used Poser's temporary storage in a few Python scripts, so using the Python command: poser.TempLocation()
    0_1533893561880_Screen Shot 2018-08-10 at 7.31.55 pm.png
    showed me where to look for Poser.log.

    I surmise that when the manual was being written, they took one look at the gibberish/randomized folder names in the middle of the macOS path and gave up trying to give that as an example, since it's guaranteed to be different on every user's system.

    If I'm lucky, there may even be a time machine backup of the file prior to the crash after my days long render.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    It has been years since I did much with a Mac. I was never a fan of the file system....



  • @shvrdavid heh, you'll need higher quality bait than that, if you're trolling ;-)

    I'd suggest that that path format (as with the Windows version) is an OS feature (hence UN*X for macOS), rather than an underlying filesystem function.

    Oh dear, man the barricades, we're being spammed with Chinese (I assume, since it doesn't look Japanese or Korean) language garbage. I've even seen a 503 error accessing this forum in the last hour or two. I wonder if it's related to DEF CON?



  • @anomalaus said in Is there a golden rule for Number of Samples?:

    @shvrdavid heh, you'll need higher quality bait than that, if you're trolling ;-)

    I'd suggest that that path format (as with the Windows version) is an OS feature (hence UN*X for macOS), rather than an underlying filesystem function.

    Oh dear, man the barricades, we're being spammed with Chinese (I assume, since it doesn't look Japanese or Korean) language garbage. I've even seen a 503 error accessing this forum in the last hour or two. I wonder if it's related to DEF CON?

    That is Korean. Very easy to distinguish Hangeul from Chinese ;)



  • @trekkiegrrrl at the time I posted, I hadn't seen the Korean posts, they came later and I did see them, while watching the number creeping up. I suspect that the whole lot is essentially gibberish anyway, or copypasta from something irrelevant. I also saw non-matching characters in the same block of text, so it's SPAM of the first water. Maybe the mods will kill those accounts and block sign-ups for a while to stymie their fun.

    The worst problem is that unless you've already posted in a thread, new, topic-relevant threads will get bumped off the bottom of the list, beyond the 99 new posts, you can't scroll unless you actually open them, which I will not waste my time on.