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16mm Grain Reduction/Temporal Filter

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Steve Zimmerman16mm Grain Reduction/Temporal Filter
by on Jan 12, 2014 at 1:18:42 am

Our footage is 7213, overexposed 2/3rds at 160ASA.

Most of our stuff is gorgeous, the processing and Scanity 2K scan are excellent. I've been trying different settings using the After Effects CC Grain Remover filter. There are so many settings! I've gotten pretty good organic looking results with reduced grain using 3 passes of noise reduction and using the unsharp mask and chromatic suppresion.

Depending on the TV we watch the Blu Ray on (some look better than others), I'm still getting a bit of isolated, noisy, unnatural looking grain, especially in dark browns. I could email anyone a still if you would like to see.

I read a lot about using the Temporal Filter to smooth the scan even more. How do you use this thing? When I apply Temporal Filtering, it looks washed out and I can't color correct it back to normal. There must be a way to make use of this in a single layer?

As an experiment I tried using Temporal at 20% on two duplicated layers, 41% opacity for the first temporal filtered layer and 100% opacity for the second layer without the extra smoothing. Used Screen blending mode. I see some really subtle effects, but not much. I totally confused if I'm doing this right. I can't find any tips to help figure this out online.

The Blu Ray for the original 1990's S16mm BBC House of Cards is really incredible with tight fine grain. How can we get something closer to that? Could anyone please share some tips for quality grain reduction?

Thanks in advance.

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Todd KoprivaRe: 16mm Grain Reduction/Temporal Filter
by on Jan 12, 2014 at 5:14:00 am

The Dark Energy plug-ins are worth a look for this kind of thing:

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog

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Steve ZimmermanRe: 16mm Grain Reduction/Temporal Filter
by on Jan 12, 2014 at 6:55:35 am

Thank you for your response! I will try Dark Energy soon. It's PC only and I'm working on a Mac right now, but I'm getting a PC soon.

I am getting properly exposed Super 16mm footage transferred on a Scanity to 2K DPX files. After the usual noise reduction, grading, and tweaking in AE, I'm outputting to HD Bluray by way of uncompressed lossless mov exported from AE and Blu Ray h.264 from Adobe Media encoder. On my blu rays, I am getting excessive noise that's beyond the normal grain of 16mm. Random electronic noise on certain dark objects within the frame. I know that it's not in the scans, but rather something in the compression or settings along the way.

I've watched a lot of mainstream 16mm shows and movies on blu ray that don't have this sense of aggravated noise. However - and this is the big however - on some tvs the blu rays look incredible. On others it looks noisy, with certain parts of the image horribly unaceptable. Others, it's so-so, with only maybe certain colors that seem to be fringing and pulsing, etc.

Is there a particular element to the compression process I need to look further into to tame this electronic noise? Why would the results be so widely different on multiple tvs?


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Steve ZimmermanRe: 16mm Grain Reduction/Temporal Filter
by on Jan 15, 2014 at 6:48:31 pm

Well, Since no one has responded I'll post what I found out to help others in the future.

I was getting noise because I was applying the After Effects Grain Reduction Effect after the Levels effect. I learned it needs to be at the top of the effects list. After correcting this the noise disappeared.

Use the single channel noise reduction, and view each of the red, green blue channels individually to see that you have removed most of the noise. Most of the noise is in the blue channel.

Now the temporal effect works fine too.

this was also helpful:

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