Hollywood films often use tools that regular users can't easily afford. A good example of that is with a movie that Shane Hurlbut shot, Act of Valor, filmed on the Canon 5D Mark II. The post-production of that film involved a software suite called Dark Energy that is often used with restoring film prints, but in this case they used it to clean up DSLR footage and get rid of compression artifacts and noise, as well as add realistic grain. Well not too long ago, Cinnafilm, the company behind Dark Energy, introduced a Windows plugin for Adobe After Effects. Until Friday, March 15th, the plugin, which is normally $400, is down to just $150. Click through to learn more about it.

Here is the sale going on until the 15th:

In honor of Albert Einstein’s March 14th birthday, we’re holding a crazy big sale on Dark Energy for After Effects.

It’s The Great Big-Brained Einstein Birthday Sale! Register now to save more than 62% on the price of the Dark Energy plug-in for After Effects.

Registration is open from March 8- March 15. Purchases made at this amazing price will be finalized the week of March 18th, but you must register to qualify for The Great Big-Brained Einstein Birthday Sale price!

The Dark Energy plug-in comprises two modules; Anti-Matter (noise and film grain removal) and Matter (noise and film grain synthesis). Resolutions up to 2048 x 2048 are supported. The license is locked to the installed platform. This is a Windows-based software platform, so in addition to PCs, any Apple product that can dual boot and support an NVIDIA GPU and Windows 7 64-bit will be able to run the software. Dark Energy for After Effects requires Adobe CS 5.5/6.0, After Effects, and appropriate CodeMeter software. DE for AE is currently tested and recommended for the Win 7 64 bit operating system only.

Check out this tutorial showing the plugin in action:

Shane has talked quite a bit about the software, and while it's a little more expensive than some other noise reduction tools out there, this is a professional tool with professional results. Cinnafilm's Dark Energy is normally only available at the very high-end because of its $13,000 starting price, but you can get two very useful parts of that program for $150. If you're constantly dealing with DSLR compression or noisy footage (or even footage originated on film), this could definitely be a great option. With the deal it's certainly more comparable price-wise to something like Neat Video, which is one of the most popular noise reduction options out there.

Cinnafilm also has student discounts available, so if you're currently a student (up until 6 months after you graduate), you can get the Dark Energy plugin for 50% off. If you just want to see how the program works, they have a free trial for the software as well.