Maya software renders are very grainy
Several years ago, I made an intro for my videos, that was kinda based on the 20th century fox intro. This was in Maya 2008, I think. Anyway, I decided to update it a little. I originally just used a bunch of Lamberts to give it a flat, cartoonish look like the 20th century fox searchlights intro, but decided to add some more detail, and use images to create textures - something I've done many times.
But the renders are very grainy (see attached images). I tried turning up samples in render options, but that did nothing (also...isn't that just antialiasing?) Also, the textures look fine as the render is underway. All the grain and noise just appears when the render is done, so it seems like an added effect? If so, I don't remember adding it.
I'm rendering with Maya software. If I remember, Mental ray disappeared as an option...I think when I added a depth of field effect to the camera. But I get the same grain with the default cameras, too.
If I just use the light that represents the sun, everything looks fine, but the shadows are impenetrable, so I want to use a fill light, with shadows turned off, and more of a blue tint, to represent light scattered by the sky and cast some light into the shadows.
But I have to turn the light way down, or it's too much. What I'm currently trying is making the textures darker in photoshop, so I can turn up the lights. It seems to be working, but I never had this issue in Maya before.
I don't like that the grain isn't there, and then appears at the end of the render. Cus that kinda rules out most of the things I suspected as the cause.
Also: I may have posted this twice. I don't know. I don't see it from when I tried before an hour or so ago, so maybe I messed up and posted it incorrectly. If it's just a held-for-review thing, I'd prefer if the other one was deleted cus this one has more details. But I never saw any message, so I think it just timed out cus I never sent it. Or I hit "Preview post" and then forgot I hadn't submitted the message.
Anyway, here are some pics: