We've talked about the Cinnafilm Dark Energy de-noising plugin on several occasions. Most notably, Dark Energy played a crucial role in the post-production workflow of Shane Hurlbut's DLSR-shot film Act of Valor. The good people at Cinnafilm also ran a Kickstarter campaign to judge interest in porting the plugin over to the OFX platform (which would have made it compatible with Resolve, Nuke, Avid, and a host of other applications). Even though that campaign didn't succeed, the Dark Energy AE plugin is still one of the most wildly popular noise reduction/grain emulation tools on the market today. The only problem for most of us is that we're not made of money. Luckily for us, Cinnafilm permanently slashed the price yesterday in honor of Einstein's birthday.
Dark Energy for After Effects is now $200, previously $500. If you haven't seen what the Dark Energy plugin can do yet, here is a quick demo reel that shows just how powerful it is:
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Co0MrioVD2A
And for those of you wondering how the plugin works, here's a good tutorial from Cinnafilm that explains how the Anti-Matter plugin uses spatial analysis of the three separate color channels in order to provide the best possible de-noising of an image:
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRpZT0-Ea-Q
This drop in price is an interesting move by Cinnafilm. As camera technology advances and our sensors become more and more sensitive to light (making it possible to shoot cleanly at high ISO's), the necessity of heavy de-noising is becoming less and less. Add to that the fact that the low end of the grain/film stock emulation plugin market is on lock by the folks at Film Convert, and it's difficult to see where Dark Energy fits into the market, even at its drastically reduced price.
With that said, Dark Energy is undoubtedly the best de-noising plugin at the lower end of the market, beating out competitors like Neat Video and Magic Bullet Denoiser quite easily. Now that it's available at a significantly discounted price of $200, it will be a much easier sell for the people who are in need of world-class de-noising. (Keep in mind, though, that it's a PC application.)
What do you guys think about this drastic price cut for Dark Energy? Let's hear your thoughts down in the comments!