The video denoiser should be the first effect in the video effects chain, but due to heavy processing overhead playback speed is greatly diminished. To remedy this obstacle, I typically place Red Giant’s Denoiser III in an adjustment layer above the video clips, so I can enable or disable at will.
I have encountered inconsistent results when rendering, at times dissolves don’t properly work and sometimes a clip does not appear when the adjustment layer is enabled, or other effects don’t properly work. Many times all appears to work, as expected, then a clip doesn’t contain an applied effect.
If Denoiser is applied at the clip level, then enabling/disabling is inefficient due to the time required.
I have considered applying denoiser when footage is first imported and transcoding before beginning a project. The downside is not knowing what material will be selected and losing quality in the transcoding process, unless transcoding to an Uncompressed format, such as MOV/Animation.
It’s not that I’m new to Premiere Pro or After Effects, having used them almost daily for a number of years, I’m just finally getting around to asking for opinions on how to solve this on going issue.
How is this process handled in the professional arena with feature films or heavy effects centric projects?
My solution for "previously shot" material has been to perform Denoise in After Effects (Dynamic Link) for each shot in question, without any color grading or additional alterations. Typically in Premiere Pro, the clip is duplicated and placed on another video track and disabled (Before linking), to ensure original clip availability if needed.
In AE, I render a quick check of the dynamically linked clip with denoise applied to view the rendered semi-final results (no color grading). This check print can be deleted after viewing.
In Premiere Pro, the AE linked clip is rendered and replaced with typically a ProRes 422HQ. Color grading is applied to this denoised clip.
For each project I create a MASTER After Effects VFX file and have it opened in the background before creating a new denoised clip. This ensures all denoised clips are saved in one location.
This approach has been my go to approach for the past year and half and has eliminated many hours of frustration and has improved my workflow.
In my experience, applying denoise in an adjustment layer works somewhat erratically, especially when other effects and/or transitions are also applied, either in the adjustment layer or in the clip effects control.
This is why I use the previously described approach. Additionally, one doesn't have to remember to search for instances of denoise to enable or disable.
One small item omitted in my workflow: Save the rendered and replace clip in the same folder as the original clip to keep your clips together.