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Mattias Burling

So who uses noise reduction?

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I just got a bit curious and thought it could be interesting to get a sense of how many uses noise reduction?
Be it Neat Video or Red Giant Denoiser or what have you.

For work I have used it on a project in the past and on my first couple of t3i videos. 
But other than that I never use it.
In all my +200 youtube videos there is no noise reduction. Be it the BMPC4K, D16, Sonys a7sii, etc, nope dont use it.

I guess I don't think its worth the time, a little noise never killed anybody. I don't even have my Neat Video license installed anymore.

So what do you guys say, sometimes, never, always?

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I used to think noise reduction was the key and holy grail to professional standard delivery when I first started handling footage in post.  It helps sometimes, but now I'm so used to making sure I'm exposing with base ISO and adequate light to avoid the need altogether.  I can't stand the plastic look that sometimes comes from it, and it really bogs down post-time for all the system resources it eats up.

I hate 'color noise' or the digital blotches that come from compressed video.  Guess that's why I hate seeing rainbow moire but can live with simple aliasing.  Desaturating shadows helps.  And as you said, a little noise never hurt anyone. 

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If anything I add more grain as well. (but too much noise messes up youtube compression)

I have used the default noise reduction in after effects after heavy noise application (>10% in premiere) but that is a procedure that is used only as way to remove color banding and it was only used back in the time that I was stupid enough to use s-gammut. 

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I've fiddled with a free way to kind of roundabout denoise a bit.. (basically find the edges and slightly blur everything else). it was probably more educational than functional. though it definitely helped - the t3i has enough artifacts that it really made quite a difference. I would use it more for sure if I had the time. less likely to use it on a portrait, when the loss of detail and texture starts to hurt. and pretty much need to add grain

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

I think it's an essential step for any cameras with compression artefacts (DSLRs/Mirrorless), not for high ISO noise, but just for macroblocking, colour noise and blotching, and even banding. 

Over-doing it can make your footage go all plastic without noticing so always take a second.  

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5 hours ago, Nick Hughes said:

Use it all the time, it's so incredibly helpful for doc-style work where you can't always choose your lighting. 

This.

If I don't have to use it I won't. But sometimes, the noise is just gnarly. Last month I was guerilla-style shooting handheld follow sequences on thai trains on the KineMAX 6k so I had to pop it into HiSpeed mode to reduce rolling shutter artifacts. The train was pretty dim at that point so exposure was far from optimal, and that mode EATS light. Our old friend vertical strips of fixed-pattern noise decided to make an appearance so NeatVideo had to come to the rescue. It's a battle between wax figures and undesirable noise (I like film grain and some cameras produce beautiful digital noise too) so there's always a balance.  I do really find the noise from cinemaDNG to be quite beautiful generally!

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4 hours ago, jax_rox said:

For YouTube it's not really necessary. It's used all the time in high-end work.

My impression is the exact opposite. Low end YouTubers denoise like there is no tomorrow. If you watch a blockbuster on a movie theater there is noise (or grain if you prefer) most of the time. Not all noises are the same, color noise sucks, that is true. 

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I do for some wedding videos where it gets nasty. Sometimes you just don't have control.

I like the fine grain of the BMPCC. I *really* don't like the plastic look of aggressive NR so if I use it, I try and do sparingly. 

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6 hours ago, Nick Hughes said:

Use it all the time, it's so incredibly helpful for doc-style work where you can't always choose your lighting. 

I still dont use it :)

5 hours ago, jax_rox said:

For YouTube it's not really necessary. It's used all the time in high-end work.

Ive never used it on TV either accept for one time.

40 minutes ago, Xavier Plágaro Mussard said:

My impression is the exact opposite. Low end YouTubers denoise like there is no tomorrow. If you watch a blockbuster on a movie theater there is noise (or grain if you prefer) most of the time. Not all noises are the same, color noise sucks, that is true. 

This is my ecperience as well. Thats why I started the thread. Never knew people used it on everything. For me its an emergency tool, like stabilization, never use that either unless I absolutely have to.

Guess Im becoming old school :)

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When I screw up the exposure big time (under) and then need to boost it in post I rely on Neat Video. Definitely not the best way to do it. As Ebrahim says becomes super plasticky. In some cases it's very useful. Totally depends from situation to situation. 

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5 hours ago, Zach Goodwin said:

I plan on using the Dark Matter noise reduction plug in. From what I heard it is better than Giant and Neat Video and helped out with Act of Valor's video footage.

BTW it's "Dark Energy", and I found this announcement saying the AE plugin has been discontinued. It might be still available as a stand alone product for Windows (not Mac), but they don't say: http://www.cinnafilm.com/dark-energy-for-after-effects/

Neither their web site nor their channel partners list a price.

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Personally I've never used it. I can't be sure if its ever been used on stuff I've filmed & not edited - its not really a conversation I care to have or am able to have sometimes.

Since using the pocket, there is absolutely no need whatsoever to denoise anything.

However, I've gone back to some 60D footage that I shot a few years ago & am finding for some shots I really only need some film grain. Also, it has made me consider alternative ways to edit/show the footage - fool people into thinking some of the footage looks better than it actually does. 

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6 hours ago, Xavier Plágaro Mussard said:

My impression is the exact opposite. Low end YouTubers denoise like there is no tomorrow. If you watch a blockbuster on a movie theater there is noise (or grain if you prefer) most of the time. Not all noises are the same, color noise sucks, that is true. 

I said it wasn't necessary, not that it didn't happen ;)

5 hours ago, Mattias Burling said:

Ive never used it on TV either accept for one time.

TV =|= high end automatically. Not to take away from any of your work, but the fact that it's on TV doesn't automatically make it the high-end stuff I'm talking about

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29 minutes ago, jax_rox said:

TV =|= high end automatically. Not to take away from any of your work, but the fact that it's on TV doesn't automatically make it the high-end stuff I'm talking about

Nor did I claim you did.

But its good to know that something as simple as TV never can be concidered "high end". 

I guess something like Game of Thrones = Cat Video in the league you play in ;)

But your right, they probably dont use noise reduction either. I guess Neat Video is more something for Spielberg :)

(better ad another :) just in case, people have been grougy lately and seem to misinterpret criticism as anger.)

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