Cleaning up noise and adding grain
Video: Cleaning up noise and adding grainChad Perkins: So as we have talked about before, noise is a terrible thing and you want to avoid it in your footage at all costs. But sometimes there's conditions where you might not have time to set up enough light or whatever else is going on, and you just end up with noise, and you've got to get rid of it. So there are a few tools that are brilliant and amazing that we can use as a last-ditch resort. So here is my footage with noise and I'm hoping that through the compressed footage that you're watching this on, that you can tell how badly this is just reeking of noise.
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- Understanding aperture, shutter speed, and ISO
- Using lenses as a tool in storytelling
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- Using equipment like clapperboards and matte boxes
- Editing and color correcting footage
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- Avoiding rolling shutter and moiré
Cleaning up noise and adding grain
Chad Perkins: So as we have talked about before, noise is a terrible thing and you want to avoid it in your footage at all costs. But sometimes there's conditions where you might not have time to set up enough light or whatever else is going on, and you just end up with noise, and you've got to get rid of it. So there are a few tools that are brilliant and amazing that we can use as a last-ditch resort. So here is my footage with noise and I'm hoping that through the compressed footage that you're watching this on, that you can tell how badly this is just reeking of noise.
So one of my favorite tools is the Denoiser II by Magic Bullet which is sold on redgiantsoftware.com. And all you have to do is drag and drop it, and you could see already, as I have been talking, it cleaned up everything and it's done. So as long as the resolution is full, and I am here in After Effects, but it also works in Premiere and other hosts, but all we have to do is just change my Resolution to Full and once it's applied, it automatically cleans up my footage. Now there is still noise there.
As we render this, you'll see that it's impossible to completely clean up the footage without degrading the quality, but it does an amazing job. Now in most cases your noise will not be this bad, so when you apply Denoiser, it's going to be amazing and it's going to be perfect for you. So then what you will want to do at that point is actually add noise back in because sometimes these denoising applications can remove too much noise, making the footage look kind of sterile, and especially if you are trying to make something look filmic, film stuff has grain. So what I would like to do in After Effects is add grain with the Add Grain effect.
This is much slower to render, but it's much more filmic grain. We could use a preset here, I don't know, Kodak Vision 500T for example. Really grainy, so I am going to take the Intensity down to 0.2. So it's very subtle here, but it does give some life to our footage and some texture. And I will change the viewing mode from Preview to Final Output. Now we have some nice filmic grain in our footage. It's not overbearing. It doesn't make it look gross, and especially when viewed at size, I will take off my region of interest here, it just makes everything look very authentic, very organic and real, the way film might.
Here is that footage played back now, we rendered it and maybe that's a little noisy. So we could take this down a little bit more. But again, these settings usually work when you're adding back a little bit of noise or grain to a footage that has been cleaned up with noise. Now you might not have Denoiser II. There is an alternative. If you go to a neatvideo.com you can get Neat Video which is very similar. You can use it with Premiere. You could use it with After Effects. You could also use it with a host of other video applications here.
And don't let the website, that looks like it was created in 1998 fool you. This plug-in is actually incredibly powerful and very amazing, and it also has sharpening built-in as well which is something that often needs--that you need to do after you clean up noise and grain. So again, I repeat that it's best to avoid noise when shooting as much as possible, but for those times when you do have a little bit of unexpected noise creep up and post, these are the best tools to get rid of that.
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