Michael Almond Portfolio

 

PureImage NR

URL: www.mediachance.com/pureimage/index.html
Cost: $35
Platforms: PC Only
Version Tested: 1.2
Demo available: Yes.

PureImage NR is a standalone program that uses an advanced wavelet noise reduction algorithm, which Media Chance says automatically adjusts its noise reduction algorithm to different noise types within an image (for example applying more to smoother sections, less to more detailed sections). That certainly seemed the case in my testing. In addition to noise reduction PureImage can do color correction, color matching and curves adjustments.

It seemed that stronger noise reduction was applied to the sky verses the trees, allowing the sky to become smooth while still retaining a lot of detail in the trees.

Settings:

  • Noise level: 4.2
  • Remove block noise on
  • Advanced processing: nature mode
  • Sharpen edges off

I had a hard time getting results I liked for this one, either too much noise was left, or strange "lumps" appeared. I did discover that the advanced processing kept a sharper edge between the dark forground trees.

Settings:

  • Noise level: 6.5
  • Remove block noise on
  • Advanced processing: default mode
  • Sharpen edges off

Nature mode left small artifacts in the sky, so I used the default mode for this one.

Settings:

  • Noise level: 4.2
  • Remove block noise on
  • Advanced processing: default mode
  • Sharpen edges off

Pros:

  • Very large preview via a split screen
  • Nice, clean UI
  • 4 different modes of noise reduction, based on the subject matter

Cons:

  • Fixed-size preview windows that can only show the whole image scaled to the screen or zoomed in to 100%
  • Stand-alone application and PC only, no plugin version.

  • No built-in help.

PictureCooler

URL: denoiser.shorturl.com
Cost: free (for now)
Platforms: PC only
Version Tested: 1.052
Demo available: N/A

Picture Cooler is a standalone program that uses an algorithm which, like PureImage, is able to apply more noise reduction to smoother areas of the image. It also is able to remove noise without noticeably effecting color saturation or contrast. It can also batch-process a directory of files.

A boost in color noise reduction was needed for this noisy image, and a fine balance of the open space smoothing to produce a smooth sky, while still retaining detail elsewhere in the image.

Settings:

  • Luminance: 0
  • Color: 3.2
  • Open space: -2.9
  • Kill noisy pixels on
  • Deblur off

Picture Cooler did an awesome job on this one, just a little imcrease in luminance reduction was needed.

Settings:

  • Luminance: 0.4
  • Color: 0
  • Open space: 0
  • Kill noisy pixels off
  • Deblur off

To clean up the sky, whilst still leaving detail in the mountains, required a balance between the settings for luminance and open space smoothing. Open space has the largest effect, so I reduced that until most of the sky was smooth and detail still remained. Then I reduced luminance a little to clean up the sky a little more, with minimal impact to detail in the mountains.

Settings:

  • Luminance: -0.6
  • Color: 0
  • Open space: -1.2
  • Kill noisy pixels: 0
  • Deblur off

Pros:

  • Fast preview
  • Ability to apply stronger noise reduction to smoother parts of the image - great for skies.
  • The "kill noisy pixels" settings is great for getting rid of those specs of noise that usually can only be removed with higher overall noise reduction levels.
  • Huge preview window, that can quickly switch between original and cleaned image.

Cons:

  • No plugin
  • PC only

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