Am I'm preaching to the choir here???

I'm a hobbyist LWer. I make a little money on the side with various little VFX/Motion Graphics/multimedia projects and I've upgrade Lightwave pretty regularly since v7.5b... Recently, I went from 2015 to 2018, and then 2018 to 2019...

I was sooooo excited for PBR surfaces, but it's been such a despondent process to try and get metals and other glossy surfaces looking and rendering properly that I just can't afford the time involved in getting everything right.

Most of the work I do involves hard surface objects like buildings, aircraft, spacecraft, etc. and when you've only got a 4 PC renderfarm, going from 1-10 mins per frame to 10mins-2hrs per frame is simply ridiculous -- once you break out a big scene into multiple passes to render dozens of objects, what used to take 2-3 days is now taking a week to render...

I used to be able to render with min/max samples at 3 / 9 or 6 / 12 and get decent results... 8 / 16 gave me awesome results in basic space scenes... I didn't have to bump it much higher unless I was integrating with landscapes and atmospheres in TerraGen... now even with min/max at 16 / 32, adaptive sampling: 0.01, and filter radius: 0.1 the image looks like crap. There's noise everywhere, fireflies enmasse, and render times spanning many days...

I've adjusted rays and bounces and samples galore... stuffed around with Despike and Noise Filtering... changed all my lighting rigs and then changed them back again... converted all my surfaces to Principles BSDF and conductors and dielectrics and then cried for days, and then changed everything back to Standard surfaces...

So unless someone can point me to some decent online tutorials that give me some exact render settings to get a reasonable animation quality, I'm going back to 2015...

Or does anyone want to share their 2019 settings to render a basic spacecraft flyby that doesn't look like a disco ball?



P.S. Therapy won't help... and I can't find a LW2019 Support Group...