VelocityBlender noise reduction technique. / by Mauricio Ricaldi

One of the biggest problems with CG is the noise, it takes a lot of CPU power to render an animation without it, and sometimes is not possible to get rid of it without going to insane long render times.

all-hail-king-julien-images-2.jpg

In 2014 at the beginning of the King Julien show we had this problem, one solution I used to do when I was a painter is blend frames in the patches so it looks smooth. With Jordan Cho, a great comp and vfx artist we figure out that if the velocity is used to mask the frame blending in a CG character we can reduce the noise of it.

"Then the logic was if the character is not moving much the blending will be more effective, as soon begin to move the motion blur will make the noise imperceptible."

Since latest version of Nuke has already this feature and we found out that our tool in the Internet and also being used in some studios I think is right to give credit to the people behind it.

VelocityBlender:

vb01.JPG

For the next 3 years Jordan and me fine-tune this tool, so it can reduce a lot of the noise in any pass, have customs mask and exclusions for props that don't need blend or generates ghosting, have triple blending to get rid of complicaded character noise. At the end to make the thing easier for the artist, there is tree setups. action, talking, staying still. But also there where custom version tailored for different shows.

vb02.JPG

Different setting for the action of the characters.

vb03.JPG

Velocityblender was used in a series of projects like King Julien, Puss and Boots and become one of the main tool in the studio, I know that Technicolor used too in their productions.

Vanila version of VelocityBlender 3.5x


All images and characters belong to DreamWorks, I'm using it as demonstrative purposes.