It's something many of us have come up against during one production or another: noise. We're mostly talking about digital choma (color) noise, and not the much more pleasant grain texture of actual film (subjective, I know), or the less-obnoxious texture of digital luma (brightness) noise. Chroma noise is what rears its ugly head when we're pushing cameras to the extreme, and for many of us, that means Canon DSLRs. In the tutorial below, Lucas Pfaff takes us through some of the camera settings and programs he uses to get the cleanest looking footage possible.

Thanks to John Hess at FilmmakerIQ for the link:

Lucas was kind enough to mark off the relevant sections below (in Vimeo you can click on the numbers, but they don't translate over very simply to Wordpress, so you can just click forward in the video after you hit play):

  • "Part 1: Shooting" starting at 1:25
  • "Part 2: Basic Denoising" starting at 6:15
  • "Part 3: Heavy Noise!" starting at 13:46 (sorry, I went a bit too far away from the Mic...)
  • "Part 4: Super Clean" starting at 19:21
  • "Part 5: Grain on its own" starting at 22:25
  • Final Words at 23:42


Here is the movie that Lucas made utilizing the noise reduction:

This is a making of video for that movie:

I can attest to the power of Neat Video as I used it with great results on the revisited candlelight test with the Canon 5D Mark II, 5D Mark III, and D800. While he didn't really go into sharpening, it's an important step to consider if you're doing heavy noise reduction. Depending on where your footage is going, it's likely you'll want to do a slight bit of sharpening as noise reduction will soften many of the finer details in your video. It all really depends on your personal taste, however, so there really is no exact science for getting cleaner, better-looking footage -- it's really all up to you. These programs will definitely help you get into the right direction regarding noise reduction.

For those adventurous folks who are going to try to push the Blackmagic Cinema Camera in zero light situations, noise reduction is going to be helpful, and you can use the built-in reduction in DaVinci Resolve or utilize one of the methods discussed in the video.

What do you guys think? What's your process for doing noise reduction?


[via FilmmakerIQ]