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I am not sure exactly what I am missing when it comes to the optimization of Blender but I wonder if maybe there is some tips that may help me to better optimize my scenes to get a great output while also balancing performance.

I feel that lacking knowledge is the problem in this case. So I ask...

EXAMPLE: This image looks awesome in Blender but this is the output image at 500 samples and it looks like crap. Like a smudged charcoal painting or water color painting. Not what it looks like in Blender. In blender it looks great. Almost all my images come out like this. I add Light, I add occlusion, I reduce and raise Light bounces, I have 8 lamps in this scene as it sits. it feels to me like all the light is getting absorbed by the objects in the scene. But when I render the scene in blender. The image in blender is crisp clear and you can see it. I veiw the saved image, and it looks like this. like smudged water color....

NOTICE: There are very little fireflies. This is why I say this question is not a duplicate. I don't really have an issue with fireflies. Just poor quality output.

enter image description here

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"Look great" is a term that means nothing (or means completely different things for everybody). "Beautiful scenes" How do we quantify that?

I happen to love Georges Seurat's drawings and Paul Signac's paintings. They are just a bunch of dots and unsharp images for others... Does Hyperrealism look great? Is this beautiful? I don't really care...

If you want to talk about noise and rendering time and concrete issues, then let's talk about them.

Noise is part of rendering with cycles, the more samples the less noise you will have, that simple.

The more samples the more computing time you need.

Every scene is different, depending on the complexity of your shaders you might need more or less samples to create an image with an amount of noise you can live with.

100 samples might be enough for certain things, some scenes need several thousands.

There is no magic button to render with low samples, fast and with no noise. Why would anyone not use it if it existed?

The closest thing to that is the new denoise option on 2.79, but even that comes at a price: it adds a bit more vRAM usage to the normal rendering, and still needs a decent amount of samples to work correctly.

Is your GPU not up to the task?

You have some choices: Get a better GPU, render in CPU or be patient.

Low Cost-Quality-Rendering Time... you can choose any two you want.

3D rendering is a fine balance of expectations vs the reality of your computing power. Cheat as much as you can, simplify, optimize, decimate, bake, do whatever it takes to get closer to what you want within the limitations of your hardware and the time you have on this earth to render something you like.

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  • $\begingroup$ Though I like your answer, I would like you to reread the post. Your answer is assuming I am talking about fireflies or Noise. I am not. as you can see in the above edit to my question. $\endgroup$ – Travis Trapani Aug 7 '17 at 0:04
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    $\begingroup$ @TravisTrapani - Your original question and your edit are two fundamentally different things. First you were asking about render times, now you're asking about why your scene looks dark? $\endgroup$ – bertmoog Aug 7 '17 at 1:05
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I had noticed some flaws in what I was asking vs what I was trying to achieve by asking the question. S I re-iterated the question to focus better on why I asked it initially. $\endgroup$ – Travis Trapani Aug 7 '17 at 3:04
  • $\begingroup$ The question is more on the overall quality rather than sampling, or render times or dark or light individually. $\endgroup$ – Travis Trapani Aug 7 '17 at 3:06
  • $\begingroup$ I have since figured out my question completely. $\endgroup$ – Travis Trapani Aug 7 '17 at 3:07
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So I managed to figure out a solution to this problem, I figured I would share it as it is a good solution.

I Re-adjusted the lighting by removing all lamps and adding a Sun lamp, environment, a portal, and a point lamp to offer a night-time atmosphere.

Closed the scene off by putting an open face Box around the scene instead of having a plane and just the far back walls open to the environment.

Added a window to the opposing side of the box and put a portal lamp in the window to emulate the sun setting through the window.

Added a sun lamp to adjust the shadows for a more realistic sunset/night feel.

Raised the overall quality from 50% to 100%

Image

Much better I think. In the process of doing this, I discovered a way that I can optimize my work flow and increase the quality by another 100%.

UPDATE This video has helped me to understand where I went wrong in this scene, and I think that it is fairly good bit of info to have and clings to this topic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9AT7H4GGrA

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