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To reduce render times I want to apply some noise reduction on a simple scene using Cycles.

I don't want to apply it to all scene because it blurs a bit the first plane (A), so my idea is to separate layers and apply the denoise in the background layers, where the shadows are falling (B) and composite them.

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How can I apply denoise to only one layer?

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    $\begingroup$ I don't know enough about denoising in Blender to post an answer, but I think the denoising operation is performed on the resultant image after rendering, so it would not be possible to denoise a single layer. If anyone knows better I wouldn't mind being proven wrong. $\endgroup$ – Paul O. Sep 17 '18 at 12:55
  • $\begingroup$ One option, of course, is to simply render the background layers first and then composite them, but I want to explore the layers first. :o) $\endgroup$ – Rafael Sep 17 '18 at 12:57
  • $\begingroup$ Denoising (if you mean built in function of Blender called that way) can't work separately on different layers, but you can perform de noising operation on separate layers in old fashion way, using nodes in Compositor. $\endgroup$ – Mzidare Sep 17 '18 at 15:33
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I have listed down the steps and attached the implemented blender file here.

  1. Move the red circular object to layer 2
  2. Give a material index to red object. I have given it a value of 1. We do this to have a mask for this object, which will be helpful during compositing.

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3.Setup render layers as follows. Notice denoising is checked in render layer with shadow. Also 'material index' pass is checked for red object layer, which we will use in compositing.

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  1. In the compositor, set up the nodes as shown below.Basically, the material Id mask cuts out just the red object from the second render layer. We then add this to the other render layer with shadow.

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Done! Checkout the attached blend file, where I implemented the above steps.

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  • $\begingroup$ Oh. Let me take a look to understand it, and if the case mark this as solved :o) $\endgroup$ – Rafael Sep 17 '18 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ Sure! Let me know if you need any more clarification. $\endgroup$ – Teja Sep 17 '18 at 20:15
  • $\begingroup$ Please mark the answer as accepted ✅. That way, it wont show up in the unanswered section. $\endgroup$ – Teja Sep 19 '18 at 3:47
  • $\begingroup$ I'm still testing this. I will not forget to mark it. Promised. $\endgroup$ – Rafael Sep 19 '18 at 5:49

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