Monday, May 24th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Intel releases Open Image Denoise 1.4

Intel has released Open Image Denoise (OIDN) 1.4, the latest version of its open-source CPU-based render denoising system, used in software including Blender’s Cycles renderer, Unity and V-Ray.

The largest update to OIDN since its release, version 1.4 improves the preservation of fine detail in denoised images, adds support for denoising albedo and normal maps, and reduces memory consumption.

OISN also now runs natively on Apple’s new Apple Silicon processors.

An AI-driven, CPU-based, hardware-agnostic render denoiser
First released in 2019, Open Image Denoise is a set of “high-performance, high-quality denoising filters for images rendered with ray tracing”.

It’s designed to remove the noise generated by the Monte Carlo rendering techniques like path tracing, widely used in modern production renderers.

Open Image Denoise is part of Intel’s open-source oneAPI Rendering Toolkit, which also includes ray tracing kernel library Embree, ray tracing renderer OSPRay, and volumetric rendering library Open VKL.

It builds on neural network library oneDNN, meaning that like OptiX – Nvidia’s popular GPU-based denoising technology, integrated into many production renderers – it uses AI techniques to accelerate denoising.

Unlike OptiX, OIDN isn’t hardware-specific: while it’s designed for Intel 64 CPUs, it supports “compatible architectures” – now including Apple Silicon processors like the new M1 chips, as well as AMD CPUs.

The technology is now integrated into a range of DCC tools and renderers, including Blender’s Cycles render engine, Cinema 4D, Houdini, Modo, V-Ray and Unity, where it is used to denoise lightmaps.

OIDN 1.4: better detail preservation and lower memory consumption
Although Intel has put out updates to OIDN steadily since its release, version 1.4 is by some way the biggest.

The update significantly improves the preservation of fine detail in denoised images, as you can see in the side-by-side comparison with 1.3 at the top of the story, tweeted by Intel senior director Joe Curley.

In addition, it is now possible to denoise ‘auxiliary feature images’ like albedo and normal maps.

Memory overheads have also been significantly reduced: filter memory consumption is down by “about 35%”, and the default maximum memory consumption is now set at 3GB.

Availability and system requirements
Open Image Denoise 1.4 is available for 64-bit Windows, Linux and macOS under an Apache 2.0 licence. A CPU with support for at least SSE4.1 or Apple Silicon is required to run it.

Both source code and compiled builds are available.

Read more about Open Image Denoise on Intel’s product page
(Includes a changelog and links to downloads)