It happens. However much we try there will be shots you take at some point in the year that come back and “gah!”, there’s noise!
“The shot is ruined!”
“Throw it in the bin.”
WAIT! That’s not your only option.
For those who are not in the know there are a couple of plugins for your NLE or grading software that can help you denoise your footage. Depending on the compression you used to record the footage you could get surprisingly good results from these plugins too.
So, what are they?
MAGIC BULLET DENOISER III
The first (and in our opinion the most reliable) plugin is from Red Giant and is part of their Magic Bullet suite. Denoiser III works with After Effects, Premiere Pro, Final Cut and Motion.
Right off the bat just grabbing the effect from the effects panel and dragging it onto your clip will give you instant improvements to your footage. From there you can change the values for how much noise it removes (the more noise you remove the less sharp your image will become however, so you need to find the balance that is right for your shot), how much detail to preserve (the more detail is preserved the longer the effect will take to render on export) and sharpening values.
The effect can save your shot depending on how much noise there was to begin with and how far you push the plugin. Be mindful of the fact that this effect will increase export time substantially.
Grab a free trial version of the plugin now from here.
Neat Video is its own third party plugin that does a very good job of saving overly noisy footage. If your footage has more noise than you can handle and more noise than Denoiser III can handle then Neat Video might just come through for you.
It’s also applicable for more software programs than Denoiser III is:
However, the interface of Neat Video isn’t as simple to understand and use as Denoiser III. You can auto-process the video you drop the effect onto to get instant results but then you can create profiles and adapt them as you wish to further enhance the de-noising process.
Neat Video is also available as a free trial here. We recommend downloading both and playing around with the settings yourselves to see which gives you the best results.
It could just save that shot you thought was lost to time!