One of my favorite software companies, Topaz Labs, has just released an upgrade to their DeNoise software, rasing version 3 to version 4. This is a free upgrade to version 3 owners and is a major upgrade. Check it out at here. It’s not just that the “look” has changed, but the new layout makes it much easier to navigate and also incorporates a new “IntelliNoise” technology.
A few weeks back I wrote about TopazLabs application TopazAdjust3, and I liked it so well that it obviously influenced me to take a look at its sister (brother?) application DeNoise. Topaz Labs makes applications for both still and video imaging, and it is the digital still imaging area that have my interest because Photoshop from Adobe is the center of my workflow and I like things that plug-in to Photoshop. I thought if noise control in its own plug-in could be any better than the noise suppression panel in TopazAdjust3, then it might be extremely useful. So I decided to give it a try. DeNoise is a bit more expensive than TopazAdjust3. Where the latter is priced at US $49.95, DeNoise comes in at US $79.95. All of TopazLabs software has a 30-day trial key which allows you to try it out thoroughly to see whether you like it or not.
So here is one I tried DeNoise with; it was shot with a 3.1 megapixel point-and-shoot camera in Morocco in the summer of 2000. Look at the color artifacts in the shadow under the palm leaves and in the shadow on the floor on the right.
Going to Filter > Topaz > DeNoise we get the panel below.
The default in the Main>Noise Suppression is 1.0 when it opens. You can use the Reset button on the bottom right to force Noise Suppression to open at 0 if you choose. We’ll take a look at all the adjustments possible before we make corrections.
The Advanced panel allows us to make adjustments in (1) Color Noise, (2) JPEG Fixer, (3) Smoothness, and (4) Add Grain. It opened with a default of 0.05 in Color Noise.
The third panel, Presets, gives us the options of settings for (1) SRAW Normal, (2) JEPG High Quality, (3) Large Grain Noise, and (4) Supersmooth. Choosing and Applying one of these presets will make adjustments in the Main and Advanced panels.
Finally, the About panel will allow us to reach (1) Tech Support, (2) On-Line Resources, (3) Check for an update, and (4) enter our registration Key if we have not already done so.
Now, we’ll go back to the original image and the noise in the shadow and brick areas.
In the following image the Noise Suppression was set at 2.88. Remember, the default was 1.0.
A slight amount of curves was applied to lighten the shadow area.
Now, here’s the detail close-up so you can see the original grain in all its gruesome glory.
Here’s the example with the Noise Suppression at 2.88.
Now here is a completely different means of removing the Color Noise.
Pretend you ignored all the steps under the Main panel and went directly to the Advanced Panel and chose to make your corrections through the Color Noise and Smoothness adjustments. You will get results similar to the ones below, which are not identical to the answer you received working with the Main panel and Smoothness. But this simply shows that there are more than one way to reach an acceptable answer to the noise problem.
On the left side we can see an area corrected only by Color Noise and Smoothness sliders. The original, grainy, image is the right side of the image.
Here we have the image totally corrected by using the Advanced panel and the Color Noise and Smoothness sliders.
I think we have another winner here. I’m going to use Topaz BeNoise to save many of the photographs I took with the 3.1 Megapixel point-and-shoot camera while we were traveling in Morocco.
Check out DeNoise at http://topazlabs.com where it is priced at US $79.95 as a download. A CD with the program can be ordered at extra charge, but saving the download with a copy of the key which is emailed to you after purchase can be done in only a few minutes. After all, the DMG file is only 5.2 megabytes and is a quick download even on dial-up. DeNoise is another good additon to your toolkit and workflow.