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Author Topic: ACR and Topaz Denoise 5  (Read 4669 times)
walter.sk
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« on: November 14, 2012, 09:31:48 PM »
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I am using the current version of ACR, both in LR4.1 and Photoshop CS6.  Recently shooting with a Canon 5DIII at relatively high ISO (6400, 12800) I have been fairly successful using the luminance and color noise reduction and sharpening to get rid of the noise.  I am pretty good at balancing the detail, contrast and amount sliders to retain detail, and I followed Jeff Schewe's advice on adding a tad of grain to finish things off.

However, I tried careful adjustments of noise and detail in Topaz Denoise 5, following the advice in their video tutorial that says to zero all of the ACR controls, not just of sharpening and noise reduction, but of all other controls.  After working on several images of different degrees of detail and high frequency, I found that I have been consistently able to get better noise reduction with more detail brought back using Denoise 5.

The problem, of course, is that this costs me many of the advantages of shooting RAW, in that I give up some of the really powerful tools in ACR, such as highlight recovery, use of color balancing before converting from RAW, the use of the great Clarity slider, etc.

Topaz' staff feels that zeroing all of the ACR controls presents Denoise with accurate representations of the camera's noise parameters at a given ISO, and it really seems to work that way.  

Has anybody here considered this issue?  Have you processed a file in ACR and then used Topaz Denoise and got really good results?  My thinking is that correcting white balance would not negatively influence the nature of the noise, while adjusting the Black point to the left would possibly make noise removal in Topaz more difficult.  Tomorrow I will try some tests, but would still like to get people's thoughts on this.
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Schewe
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2012, 09:49:15 PM »
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However, I tried careful adjustments of noise and detail in Topaz Denoise 5, following the advice in their video tutorial that says to zero all of the ACR controls, not just of sharpening and noise reduction, but of all other controls.

If you are a Photoshop plug-in developer it doesn't surprise me that they would go down that road...which I think it wrong (and bothering on really, REALLY wrong).

So, exactly how are you determining the results between ACR/LR and Denoise 5? Are you making prints...at 100% of the native file size? You know one of the best noise reduction techniques is to downsample and image? As far as evaluating images on screen, you realize the shortcomings of that, right?

Yes, I used to use Noiseware (suggested by Mac Holbert) but since learning how to adjust the sharpening and noise reduction in ACR/LR (you realize that sharpening and noise reduction are two sides of the same coin, right) I really don't worry about 3rd party plug-ins in Photoshop–including BTW, PhotoKit Sharpener 2 (except for the cool Creative Sharpening stuff we put in).

But, to put all settings to zero in ACR/LR? Nope, no friggin' way would I do that. Really backwards (and makes me suspect their motives).
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sniper
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2012, 01:38:17 AM »
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Can you not use the un-ajusted file to set the noise parameters, then apply those setting after acr ajustments?    Personally I can't see the other settings (colour ect) affecting the noise that much.
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walter.sk
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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2012, 12:33:32 PM »
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So, exactly how are you determining the results between ACR/LR and Denoise 5? Are you making prints...at 100% of the native file size? You know one of the best noise reduction techniques is to downsample and image? As far as evaluating images on screen, you realize the shortcomings of that, right?

...But, to put all settings to zero in ACR/LR? Nope, no friggin' way would I do that. Really backwards (and makes me suspect their motives).

I have printed out the test files at the native file size and so far, I am able to get more apparent detail at ISO 6400 and 12800 by doing the noise reduction/detail retrieval with Topaz, but only with the ACR sliders "zeroed."  By that, I don't mean dragging the sliders all the way to the left, but simply leaving them "unadjusted" as the image opens in ACR except, of course, the noise and sharpening sliders, which I do drag all the way to the left.

Based on your statements, though, I will continue to try to tweak the noise and sharpening settings to get better results.

Sniper:  If I use the tonal controls in ACR, as well as the vibrance and clarity sliders, the nature of the noise gets changed as well and requires different settings in Topaz Denoise.  This I found out after doing several test files today.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 12:36:59 PM by walter.sk » Logged
buggz
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2012, 12:45:29 PM »
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While only being a mere hobbyist, I use settings in ACR-PS6 as desired, noise and sharpening sliders as well, and then I also use Topaz DeNoise5 as desired.
I also like Topaz Detail2.
I get acceptable results, and at 100/200%, as I print also.
I could not give up the adjustments in ACR, I really like the current ACR, especially the highlight recovery is awesome.
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