Dealing with grainy footage can be extremely frustrating, but here are some ways to reduce or avoid it before and after you hit record on your camera.
Even though today's cameras have high enough resolution and dynamic range to produce crystal clear images even in low light conditions, grain can still be a formidable foe for a lot of filmmakers. Thankfully there are a number of ways to either reduce the amount of grain in your footage or avoid it all together (or at least make it undetectable to the human eye), and Aidin Robbins of Digital Blast explains four of them in the video below.
According to Robbins, the most effective ways to reduce/avoid noise in your footage are:
- Choose sets with colors that appear less grainy
- Lights...use enough of them
- Select the best camera settings (low ISO = good)
- Reduce the noise levels in post. Here's one way to do it.
Sometimes having grain in your footage is unavoidable—maybe you've got a not-so-great camera that has terrible latitude, or maybe you have to shoot at night and your buddy forgot the lighting equipment at home (actually happened to me once), so you've got to crank up your ISO in order to expose your image enough that it's (barely) visible. We've all been there and we've all torn our hair out over it. The good thing, though, is that a little preparation and know-how can potentially help you avoid really nasty looking footage.