Michael Almond Portfolio

Alien Skin Image Doctor

URL: www.alienskin.com
Cost: $129
Platforms: Mac & PC
Version Tested: 1.0
Demo available: yes

Image Doctor offers four separate filters for image retouching:

  • JPEG Repair (the one I'm interested in for this test)
  • Scratch Remover
  • Smart Fill
  • Spot Lifter

The luminance noise is reduced nicely, but chroma noise is hardly touched.

Settings:

  • Remove artifacts: 12
  • Blur edges: 1
  • Add grain: 0

With the lack of detail in this image, I could use stronger settings and get great results.

Settings:

  • Remove artifacts: 80
  • Blur edges: 2
  • Add grain: 0

I like what Image Doctor did with this one, especially how it cleaned up the edges between the mountains and the sky.

Settings:

  • Remove artifacts: 40
  • Blur edges: 2
  • Add grain: 0

Pros:

  • The only filter (that I know of) that directly targets the patterns of JPEG compression artifacts.
  • Great doc that really explains how to use this plugin.

Cons:

  • Can soften the image pretty quickly.
  • Really only effective on luminance noise.

Digital Secrets DeNoise ISO (Action)

URL: www.digitalsecrets.net/secrets/denoiseISO.html
Cost: Free
Platforms: Mac & PC
Version Tested: 2.1

Since its a single action, there are no sliders or parameters to tweak and explore, its the "fire and forget" of image manipulation (and makes testing easy!).

I'm impressed with how well this action cleaned up this image, especially the chroma noise in the trees.

The luminance noise was not fully cleaned up, but the results are pretty good.

This action worked less well on this image, the noise in the sky is still very visible.

Pros:

  • Given the basically fixed nature of this action (you can delve into the action to change some of the settings), it produces pretty good results for chroma noise.

Cons:

  • The use of "flatten image" in the action means it can only be used with files that only contain a single layer.
  • Luminance noise reduction is weak.

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