Does increasing the number of samples and increasing the resolution of a render affect the quality in the same way?

Because I've usually kept my resolution high and the number of samples fairly low.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ those are 2 very different things, samples tells how many times render calculates each pixel and image size says how many pixels there are $\endgroup$
    – MikoCG
    Nov 26 '21 at 10:03
  • $\begingroup$ Not 100% sure of this, therefore just a comment, but more than 1 sample per pixel means a loss of information - the position of the sample is rounded to the nearest pixel. Therefore you want your resolution to be as high as reasonably possible, and then increase samples to further improve quality. Of course neither storage nor bandwidth is free, so you're likely to get the best results by figuring the final resolution in your workflow and rendering directly to that resolution. Rendering to a higher resolution and then scaling down may yield worse results, due to double rounding... $\endgroup$ Nov 26 '21 at 10:59

Ray Tracing

Sample size affects the amount of rays casted from your camera. Low sample size yields a lower quality image but a faster render time.

Your image resolution is the canvas size of your image. Image quality depends on the resolution of the display which you view the image.

For example if you have a 1920x1080 monitor and you render your image in 3840x2160; your display interpolates every 4 pixel in to 1. That might give you the impression of a higher quality image but it'll be blurry and/or noisy. If you really want to get a high quality image, you have to sample the pixels more so you'll get more accurate data on that pixels information. You will get a better result on reasonably lower resolution but high sample count render.


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