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  • Improved stability with incompatible OptiX versions: We have removed the hard dependency on the Nvidia OptiX library needed for GPU denoising. We can now prevent DLL conflicts when users have installed renderers from other vendors that link to a different/older version of the OptiX libraries, which was causing plugins (such as MtoA) to refuse to load. (#6959)
  • More efficient texture mapping: EXR textures can now be read more quickly. In addition, the texture_diffuse_blur option is now defaulted to 0 so that sharper and more accurate diffuse reflections can be seen without texture performance being negatively impacted. This option is now deprecated and, if no problems are raised, in a future release we will remove this and the other texture_*_blur options. (#4692, #6605, #6890)
  • noice sequence handling and extra frames: A new argument (-f n or --frames n) has been added to noice to denoise image sequences. Another new argument (-ef n or --extraframes n) specifies how many additional source frames before and after the current one should be used, for improved stability in animation sequences. (#6899) In this example, noice will run for 10 consecutive frames starting at frame 5, taking into account two frames before and two frames after each source frame (e.g. source frame number 5 will take into account frames 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7):

    Code Block
    noice -i mysequence.0005.exr -o denoised.0005.exr -f 10 -ef 2
  • noice support for AOVs from multiple files: noice now supports multiple input files to be denoised. These can be specified by using the -i (--input) argument as many times as needed. Multiple output files are also supported to preserve the original AOV layout. Denoised output files matching the input files can be specified with the -o (--output) argument as many times as needed. This is compatible with sequence arguments (-f and -ef) and with manually specified extra frames. As always, files from the frame to be denoised should come first. (#6826) In the following example, the input feature AOVs and the input AOVs to be denoised were rendered in separate files, and denoised results will be saved in two separate files to preserve the original AOV layout:

    Code Block
    noice -i RGBA.exr -i light_AOVs.exr -i features.exr -l light_AOV1 -l light_AOV2 -o denoised_RGBA.exr -o denoised_light_AOVs.exr
  • noice AOV denoising: AOVs are now fully denoised individually for increased quality at the expense of run time. Also, per-AOV variances will be used if present. Every RGB channel to be denoised will benefit from an associated variance AOV. Additionally, RGBA is no longer required to denoise AOVs from a given EXR file. (#7011, #7015)
  • noice threads: a new command line flag (-t or --threads) has been added to specify the number of threads to use. This is only available on Windows and Linux. The flag works like the similar kick -t <integer>: a negative number will leave some cores unused (-1 will leave one core unused), a positive number will use the specified number of cores, and 0 will use all cores. (#7017)
  • noice custom features: for advanced users, the new flag (-fe or --features) specifies which AOVs will be used as features to guide denoising. For instance -fe volume_albedo will use volume_albedo to denoise instead of the default diffuse_albedo. (#7070)
  • More robust Alembic procedural: We have improved the robustness of the built-in Alembic procedural with various bug fixes, including support for facevarying user data, and support for array properties. (#6909, #6937, #7025)
  • Support for Microsoft Azure Sovereign Clouds: In addition to regular Azure cloud, Arnold batch rendering is now entitled in the Microsoft National Clouds. (#6960)