Removing the Noise in Monte Carlo Rendering with
General Image Denoising Algorithms

Proceedings of Eurographics 2012

Computer Graphics Forum
Vol. 32, No. 2, May 2013

       Nima Khademi Kalantari                                                     Pradeep Sen  

University of California, Santa Barbara


Monte Carlo rendering systems can produce important visual effects such as depth of field, motion blur, and area lighting, but the rendered images suffer from objectionable noise at low sampling rates. Although years of research in image processing has produced powerful denoising algorithms, most of them assume that the noise is spatially-invariant over the entire image and cannot be directly applied to denoise Monte Carlo rendering. In this paper, we propose a new approach that enables the use of any spatially-invariant image denoising technique to remove the noise in Monte Carlo renderings. Our key insight is to use a noise estimation metric to locally identify the amount of noise in different parts of the image, coupled with a multilevel algorithm that denoises the image in a spatially-varying manner using a standard denoising technique. We also propose a new way to perform adaptive sampling that uses the noise estimation metric to identify the noisy regions in which to place more samples. We show that our framework runs in a few seconds with modern denoising algorithms and produces results that outperform state-of-the-art techniques in Monte Carlo rendering.

Paper and Additional Materials



author = {Nima Khademi Kalantari and Pradeep Sen},

title = {Removing the Noise in {M}onte {C}arlo Rendering with

General Image Denoising Algorithms},

journal = {Computer Graphics Forum (Proceedings of Eurographics 2013)},

volume = {32},

number = {2},

year = {2013},


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