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Offering Postpro skills - footage denoising/degraining service


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#1 Robert Niessner

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 07:17 AM


The problem:
You've got that essential shot under low light conditions
e.g. with your RED ONE but results came out noisier than you
can bare (especially in the blue channels)?


I am sure a lot of you have already faced this ugly problem.


The solution:
But don't worry, there is a lot I can do for you to save
that special shot and to spare you a re-shooting!


I am offering my postproduction skills in denoising/degraining your
film/RED footage (or any other HD source, even HDV can be improved).

This is a shot made with the RED ONE and Zeiss Primes at a lake where sun was nearly gone and the only lightsource is the fire place in front of the actors.

The shot has been processed in RedAlert with OLPF compensation set to maximum, chroma denoise set to OFF, ISO = 800, curve ramped up in the shadows, scaled down to 1080p. Originally you won't see much in the shot - it is really dark.

Please click the preview images to see the full HD versions.

Source - directly out of RedAlert:
Posted Image

Source + AFX filter sharpen set to 100:
Posted Image

Denoised + AFX filter sharpen set to 100:
Posted Image

This is another example which I put to extremes:

This is a shot made at night, just some kinos outside - shot with ISO 320 - I pushed it up to ISO 2000 just to see how far I can go.

The shot has been processed in RedAlert with OLPF compensation set to maximum, chroma denoise set to OFF, ISO = 2000, curve ramped up in the shadows, scaled down to 1080p.

Please click the preview images to see the full HD versions.

Source ISO 320 - directly out of RedAlert:
Posted Image

Source ISO 2000 - directly out of RedAlert:
Posted Image

Source ISO 2000 + unsharpmask set to 300/0.5/12:
Posted Image

Denoised ISO 2000 + unsharpmask set to 300/0.5/12:
Posted Image

I think it's quite impressive what the RED ONE can give in very low light conditions - after some special postpro treatment.

Don't hesitate to contact me for saving your valuable shots - it
might cost less than you would expect.
:lol:
You can PM me here at Cinematography.com or just write me an email.
Usually you can expect an answer on the same business day
depending on your location (I am located in central europe).

Edited by Robert Niessner, 13 February 2009 - 07:21 AM.

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#2 Robert Niessner

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 07:18 AM

Finally here are two moving examples in DPX format:

First one is the same shot inside the car from above,
just some frames with motion of the talents so you
can see how much detail I can preserve.

Source + sharpening:
Posted Image

Denoised + sharpening:
Posted Image

Car inside - 1080p DPX Original footage (processed through RedLine) - 452 MB, RAR archive

Car inside - 1080p DPX Denoised footage - 367 MB, RAR archive

The second one is a car rigged night shot - car driving out
of a tunnel - no extra light except the original street lights.
This one was very tricky and took me a lot of time to get
rid of the random moving blue blobs from the blue channel
(which had almost no detail in the shadows - just ugly
wavelett compressed noise).

Please click the preview images to see the full HD versions.

Source + sharpening:
Posted Image

Denoised + sharpening + some extra magic:
Posted Image

tunnel ride - 1080p DPX Original footage (processed through RedLine) - 458 MB, RAR archive

tunnel ride - 1080p DPX Denoised footage - 362 MB, RAR archive

To extract on OS-X you could use the free and simple UnrarX
Please use WinRAR v3.6 (or any compatible unarchiver) or later to extract on Windows.

Don't hesitate to contact me for saving your valuable shots - it
might cost less than you would expect.
:lol:
You can PM me here at Cinematography.com or just write me an email.
Usually you can expect an answer on the same business day
depending on your location (I am located in central europe).
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#3 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 08:23 PM

Hey Mike,

I'm pretty impressed, though I think that a bit less sharpening/denoising would look better - in the car interior shot there's an artificial black line between the man's coat and shirt post-sharpening that wasn't there in the first frame. And the girl's dark hair doesn't have much detail in it after processing, probably because it was buried in the noise of the toe of the curve to begin with. I also think the skin tones after denoising look too plastic and smooth to me, whereas leaving a bit of noise in the image would have made it more natural - after all we're all used to shooting 500T film with acceptable results, which are not grainless.

That's just nitpicking though, I'm sure you can fine tune your method to get very acceptable results. I've only shot a few projects with the Red, but my testing showed me that 250ASA was as high as I wanted to rate the camera in non-5600K circumstances, noise-wise. I think you've just changed my mind. :)
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#4 Robert Niessner

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 08:35 AM

Hey Mike,


You can call me Robert ;)

I'm pretty impressed, though I think that a bit less sharpening/denoising would look better - in the car interior shot there's an artificial black line between the man's coat and shirt post-sharpening that wasn't there in the first frame.

That is clearly the result of the sharpening process - common sharpening works by enhancing local contrast. When digitally projected it will be less visible because the projector, lens and screen work as bluring devices. When filmed out on 35mm it will be less visible too.
It totally depends on where you watch it. For example some of the cheaper, latest Samsung computer 24" LCDs have some kind of digital sharpening/local contrast enhancing, where any footage looks artifically noisy (God knows what their engineers were thinking), while on my older DELL 24" LCD it looks perfect.

And the girl's dark hair doesn't have much detail in it after processing, probably because it was buried in the noise of the toe of the curve to begin with.

This is more a problem of motion blur (she's leaving the car), because in my first post there is another frame from the same scene where her hair is quite detailed.

I also think the skin tones after denoising look too plastic and smooth to me, whereas leaving a bit of noise in the image would have made it more natural - after all we're all used to shooting 500T film with acceptable results, which are not grainless.


Did you inspect the 1080p examples 1:1 on a full HD monitor or on one with smaller rez?
I tried to avoid plastic skin and removed noise to my personal taste. But I can keep any amount you want - or if you prefer - regrain it to match a certain film stock.
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#5 Christopher Wedding

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 10:42 PM

It would be great to see these images in montion....did I miss the link or do you have a demo disc?

Thanks,
Chris
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#6 Robert Niessner

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 11:37 AM

It would be great to see these images in montion....did I miss the link or do you have a demo disc?


Hi Chris,

you can download before and after examples in my posting #2 - the links just below the images.
It is a RAR-Archive with DPX files inside. You will need an editing suite which supports DPX or
any compositing software like Combustion, After Effects, ...

If you have no possibility to work with those DPX files, just tell me what you would prefer and for
which plattform (PC/Mac). I would suggest a h.264 encoded MP4 file because of the quality/size ratio.
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#7 Robert Niessner

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 07:50 PM

Some new examples:

First one is a 120fps 2k shot of a sunset.
I tried some new tricks to create a HDR like image, ISO-160 and ISO-1280 combined, both denoised.


Please click the preview images to see the full HD versions.

Source ISO 160 - directly out of RedAlert:
Posted Image

Source ISO 1280 - directly out of RedAlert:
Posted Image

Denoised HDR (ISO 160 + 1280) + unsharpmask set to 300/0.5/12:
Posted Image


Second one is a campfire with a 2-bank kino and some lights for the shrubbery in the back (which was quite weak).


Please click the preview images to see the full HD versions.

Source ISO 160 - directly out of RedAlert:
Posted Image

Source ISO 1280 - directly out of RedAlert:
Posted Image

Denoised HDR (ISO 160 + 1280) + unsharpmask set to 300/0.5/12:
Posted Image

Edited by Robert Niessner, 11 March 2009 - 07:53 PM.

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