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Author Topic: Noise reducing plugins - how useful ?  (Read 3829 times)
Paul Ozzello
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« on: April 08, 2013, 11:37:59 AM »
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Hi,

How useful is a plugin like Imagenomic Noiseware compared to the built in options in Photoshop ? Are they using their own proprietary algorithms or can they be reproduced using Gaussian blur, Despeckle, Dust and Scratches etc. ?

Paul
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 01:06:16 PM »
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Hi,

I'm not really a Photoshop user, but I have some suggestions anyway.

It really depends on what you are doing. In my opinion capture sharpening and noise reduction should go hand in hand. The best time and place to do it is during raw conversion. In that sense I would suggest that LR or ACR is probably quite optimal, and nose reduction in LR/ACR works very well.

If you are using scanned film, the situation would be different. ACR/LR is optimized for digital capture, so an external tool may perform better.

Best regards
Erik


Hi,

How useful is a plugin like Imagenomic Noiseware compared to the built in options in Photoshop ? Are they using their own proprietary algorithms or can they be reproduced using Gaussian blur, Despeckle, Dust and Scratches etc. ?

Paul
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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 01:23:52 PM »
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The best time and place to do it is during raw conversion.

provided that ACR/LR do demosaicking first there is nothing to suggest that leaving capture sharpening/NR for post is worse (save to .tiff , open .tiff in ACR and proceed)
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Paul Ozzello
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 01:37:24 PM »
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Hi,

I'm not really a Photoshop user, but I have some suggestions anyway.

It really depends on what you are doing. In my opinion capture sharpening and noise reduction should go hand in hand. The best time and place to do it is during raw conversion. In that sense I would suggest that LR or ACR is probably quite optimal, and nose reduction in LR/ACR works very well.

If you are using scanned film, the situation would be different. ACR/LR is optimized for digital capture, so an external tool may perform better.

Best regards
Erik



Hi Erik,

I'm using drum scanned film and want to smooth out some of the grain without losing details (I'm making 40" prints). I've tried the plugin and it seems to do a really good job, but since I'm not making the prints myself I can't assume the person making them has the plugin installed (I want to avoid adding a separate layer - each layer adds 1GB to the file...)

I was told I could achieve the same effect without the plugin.
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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2013, 01:52:42 PM »
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Hi Erik,

I'm using drum scanned film and want to smooth out some of the grain without losing details (I'm making 40" prints). I've tried the plugin and it seems to do a really good job, but since I'm not making the prints myself I can't assume the person making them has the plugin installed (I want to avoid adding a separate layer - each layer adds 1GB to the file...)

I was told I could achieve the same effect without the plugin.

and what prevents you from flattening the layers when you send the files to printer-man ?
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Paul Ozzello
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2013, 02:01:42 PM »
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and what prevents you from flattening the layers when you send the files to printer-man ?

He's a custom printer and wants the files with all the layers so that he can tweak them to get the image exactly how I want it Smiley
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2013, 02:08:19 PM »
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Hi,

I have made a 70x100 cm print from scanned 67 Velvia. I spent something like two hour tuning it, but it turned out stunning. The toolkit I used was Photokit Sharpener.  I sent the image as a 200 PPI TIF to the lab, with just a single layer.

Best regards
Erik




Hi Erik,

I'm using drum scanned film and want to smooth out some of the grain without losing details (I'm making 40" prints). I've tried the plugin and it seems to do a really good job, but since I'm not making the prints myself I can't assume the person making them has the plugin installed (I want to avoid adding a separate layer - each layer adds 1GB to the file...)

I was told I could achieve the same effect without the plugin.
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Paul Ozzello
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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2013, 02:59:15 PM »
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Hi,

I have made a 70x100 cm print from scanned 67 Velvia. I spent something like two hour tuning it, but it turned out stunning. The toolkit I used was Photokit Sharpener.  I sent the image as a 200 PPI TIF to the lab, with just a single layer.

Best regards
Erik





So can you tell me how a plugin like noiseware compares to the built in options for noise reduction ? Are these plugins basically automating the things that Photoshop already does or do they use their own algorithms ?
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2013, 03:25:18 PM »
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Hi,

I actually have used three different tools, Noise Ninja, Photokit Sharpener and LR's built in noise reduction.

Noise Ninja converts the image to a different color space where it is easier to separate noise components and than does a wavelet base filtering.

Photokit Sharpener uses Photoshop's built in tools in an optimized manner. It does nothing you could not do yourself, but the methods are based on intimate knowledge of Photoshop an lifes long experience.

LR is also said to use wavelet based filtering.

Now days I only use LR-s built in filters but they are not intended for film grain.

Best regards
Erik

So can you tell me how a plugin like noiseware compares to the built in options for noise reduction ? Are these plugins basically automating the things that Photoshop already does or do they use their own algorithms ?

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leuallen
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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2013, 04:44:46 PM »
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If you do a lot of heavy PS processing, the noise plugins are useful. I generally reduce noise in LR and then go to PS. In PS I will sometimes do something that might increases the noise in the sky to objectionable levels. Since that type of process usually involves a mask for the sky, I reduce the noise with a plugin and use the mask to confine it to the sky. Works the other way also for shadows. Doesn't happen that often, but often enough that I enjoy having the plugin available. I could probably achieve the same effect using LR but since I'm in PS it is easier a faster to do it there.

Larry
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Schewe
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2013, 05:17:57 PM »
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I'm using drum scanned film and want to smooth out some of the grain without losing details (I'm making 40" prints). I've tried the plugin and it seems to do a really good job, but since I'm not making the prints myself I can't assume the person making them has the plugin installed (I want to avoid adding a separate layer - each layer adds 1GB to the file...)

I was told I could achieve the same effect without the plugin.

I really liked Noiseware for noise reduction of scans...but I rarely scan any more and 99% is digital capture where ACR/LR's noise reduction and sharpening is really, really good.

Depending on how you are doing/getting your drum scans (hopefully you are getting optimized raw scans with no sharpening?) Noiseware can do an excellent job. Run noise reduction before sharpening (or in the case of ACR/LR at the same time). Noise reduction and image sharpening is basically opposite sides of the same coin. You need to do sharpening which can make noise more visible. Noise reduction is in effect, blurring the noise which means you need additional sharpening of a special kind that won't simply bring back the noise.

Yes, you could prolly come up with some exotic series of PS actions (like we did for PhotoKit Sharpener) to accomplish much of the effect that Noiseware does...but Noiseware is very simple (the defaults are pretty good).

As for adding layers, well, yes, that will happen if you want to preserve editing flexibility. Nature of the beast, ya know?

You might try saving the scan as a TIFF and opening in ACR/LR and try the sharpening and noise reduction there...while not specifically designed for scans, it does work pretty well.
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Paul Ozzello
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« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2013, 11:37:53 AM »
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Depending on how you are doing/getting your drum scans (hopefully you are getting optimized raw scans with no sharpening?) Noiseware can do an excellent job. Run noise reduction before sharpening (or in the case of ACR/LR at the same time).


The scans aren't sharpened and good enough they don't really need sharpening, but at 40" the grain becomes visible and I like how noiseware smoothes it out. My printer scoffs at plugins but I really can't be bothered to figure out how to do it using the built-in photoshop tools :-)

Yes, you could prolly come up with some exotic series of PS actions (like we did for PhotoKit Sharpener) to accomplish much of the effect that Noiseware does...but Noiseware is very simple (the defaults are pretty good).


Is that true for most plugins ? I always assumed plugin manufacturers came up with their own algorithms instead of basically running actions.

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Schewe
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« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2013, 12:00:34 PM »
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Is that true for most plugins ? I always assumed plugin manufacturers came up with their own algorithms instead of basically running actions.

The PhotoKit line of plug-ins are sort of unique...when we first designed them, we had a hard core of Photoshop experts who could write actions–some very, very complicated actions–that pushed Photoshop functionality to the max. The key was knowing what function to do at what stage using the right tool and blending the results back as a layer. So, people like Bruce Fraser, Martin Evening and I could write actions that could produce the specific results we wanted. So, our stuff was not a single specific exotic algorithm but a series of Photoshop functions done in the right order with the right results.

Noiseware is producing it's results from their own algorithms (although many image processing algorithms are known standards). Yes, they can do things in their own plug-in that Photoshop might not be able to duplicate exactly.

In recent years, as Photoshop's core functionality has expanded, the 3rd party market for plug-ins has diminished. Take raw processing–ACR and LR have some really good sharpening and noise reduction capability which lessens the need for 3rd party sharpening and noise reduction.

But since you are working on scans, the use of 3rd party plug-ins would offer you a lot. And don't let the attitude of your printer jade your approach...use whatever tool you need to get what you want. If that's a 3rd party plug-in instead of core Photoshop functionality, who cares? Personally, I find that sort of attitude unhelpful.
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Fine_Art
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« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2013, 06:33:08 PM »
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You could post a small section with the noise you want to remove. Say about 600x600 pixels. There are people here with all kinds of skills that may take a run at removing the noise.
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Paul Ozzello
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« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2013, 11:07:06 AM »
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The PhotoKit line of plug-ins are sort of unique...when we first designed them, we had a hard core of Photoshop experts who could write actions–some very, very complicated actions–that pushed Photoshop functionality to the max. The key was knowing what function to do at what stage using the right tool and blending the results back as a layer. So, people like Bruce Fraser, Martin Evening and I could write actions that could produce the specific results we wanted. So, our stuff was not a single specific exotic algorithm but a series of Photoshop functions done in the right order with the right results.

Noiseware is producing it's results from their own algorithms (although many image processing algorithms are known standards). Yes, they can do things in their own plug-in that Photoshop might not be able to duplicate exactly.

In recent years, as Photoshop's core functionality has expanded, the 3rd party market for plug-ins has diminished. Take raw processing–ACR and LR have some really good sharpening and noise reduction capability which lessens the need for 3rd party sharpening and noise reduction.

But since you are working on scans, the use of 3rd party plug-ins would offer you a lot. And don't let the attitude of your printer jade your approach...use whatever tool you need to get what you want. If that's a 3rd party plug-in instead of core Photoshop functionality, who cares? Personally, I find that sort of attitude unhelpful.


Thanks for the detailed answer, that's exactly what I wanted to know. I'll keep using the plugin. My files are really large (2-3 GB) and I wanted to avoid adding another layer (each one adds 1GB) and apply the filter as a Smart Object, but that requires my printer guy to have the plugin installed on his machine... oh well...
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Paul Ozzello
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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2013, 11:07:53 AM »
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You could post a small section with the noise you want to remove. Say about 600x600 pixels. There are people here with all kinds of skills that may take a run at removing the noise.

Good idea, I'll upload an image later today !
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plugsnpixels
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« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2013, 01:14:39 PM »
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I don't do a huge amount of noise reduction but in my experience, Photoshop's built in noise reduction (Filter>Noise>Reduce Noise) never seems to do anything. Maybe it's me? So I use plug-ins which work great for the task.

For a list of the plug-ins discussed above plus other options (with lo-res before-and-after examples) see under Noise Reduction here.

Jeff, I've had a couple of PixelGenius tools listed on my site forever (see links by your logo on the Developers page); if you want updates or additions listed please contact me.
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« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2013, 08:47:15 AM »
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How useful is a plugin like Imagenomic Noiseware compared to the built in options in Photoshop ? Are they using their own proprietary algorithms or can they be reproduced using Gaussian blur, Despeckle, Dust and Scratches etc. ?

Noiseware is quite impressive, try the demo. I rarely use it now IF I can control the noise from the raw processing stage. But if you're handed a rendered noisy image, Noiseware is excellent.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2013, 12:30:54 PM »
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I'm surprised there's been no reference to Noise Ninja or Neat Image here.  I use Neat Image and it's latest release is outstanding!  But since I went to using DxO Optics Pro 8 as my RAW converter, I use Neat Image less and less.  DxO noise reduction is absolutely incredible, and works on the fly (one reason the files take so long to render) saving steps in post.

Noise reduction in ACR and PS and LR are decent, but require additional steps and really are not as good.  Yes, it will reduce the noise, but the litmus test of noise reduction software is to what degree it degrades the image in the process.  My own tests have convinced me DxO is the best, especially when you consider it's automatic and saves me a lot of work in post.

BTW, what the heck are you doing with 2 and 3 gb image files??  Huge panos?  Hasselblad images?  Saving all your layers?  WOW!
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