Being on the Indie version of Houdini, you
can’t can now use third party render engines such as Arnold or Octane like all the cool kids are doing. But have no fear, Houdini has its own built in render engine called Mantra. I’m sure you’ve heard of it.
It takes a little finessing but you definitely can get great results. The Houdini documentation has extensive information on Mantra and tips on getting great looking renders. It’s a must read!
Noise Removal Chart
One of the things the documentation elaborates on is the removal of noise. Noise in images is usually due to under-sampling and while cranking the values up can help, you end up over-sampling parts of the image that don’t require it and as a result, the render times increase.
Hidden in that info is a great chart that outlines the workflow to help reduce noise. I decided to recreate it so it could be a bit more accessible and quicker to visually scan. I’ve added a link to the original Photoshop file in case you want to modify it, print it and place it on your refrigerator or pass it out at the next dinner party.