ABSoft, makers of Neat Video, “best noise reduction for digital video”, has updated their video noise plug-in to version 4. Many moviemakers consider Neat Video to be one of the most indispensable plug-ins in their toolbox, the noise reduction benchmark.
Those numbers may increase now that Neat Video 4 has increased the quality of its noise reduction, optimised its workflow, boosted its processing speed, improved its GUI and added support for more host applications.
Looks like I need to give Neat Video 4 a serious tryout!
The people behind Neat Video have been something of a mystery to me. Their website does not contain an About page. For ages I thought the makers of Neat Video might be referring to themselves as Neat Video as well. I have emailed them in the past but can’t recall replies that reveal any clues as to who and where they are.
I like to know something at least about the people who make products many in this industry consider essential but it looks like the team behind Neat Video may remain a mystery. Even despite the first paragraph of their stating that “ABSOft team is pleased…” Google the search term “ABSoft” and different companies with the same name turn up in locations from Scotland to Colombia.
One thing is for certain, Neat Video now supports a generous collection of NLEs and color grading products. Version 4 adds the soon-to-be-released After Effects CC 2015 and Premiere Pro CC 2015 to an already lengthy list along with Nuke 9, Pinnacle Studio 18.5.1 and Magix Video Pro/Movie Edit Pro/Video Deluxe.
Other popular host applications like Final Cut Pro X and 7, Motion, earlier versions of After Effects and Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Fusion, Media Composer and more have long been supported by the mysterious ABSoft team.
Neat Video’s features and functionality are no mystery though. The ABSoft team provides a good set of videos on version 4’s new workflow, its new capabilities, how to create the best noise reduction profile and, for when you need to import analog video into a contemporary production, the new ‘Dust and Scratches’ filter.
Neat Video 4 has introduced a new, and apparently simpler, pricing model comprising three license types – Demo (free), Home (USD74.90) and Pro (USD99.90).
The version of Neat Video for OFX host applications such as DaVinci Resolve, Fusion, Nuke, Scratch, DustBuster, Mistika and Mamba is higher at USD249.90. A two-product bundle is priced at USD119.90 for Home versions and USD159.90 for Pro plug-ins.
Other noise reduction plug-ins:
There is not a vast array of competitors in the noise reduction plug-in space, so I can see why Neat Video seems to have become the noise reducing go-to. I am no expert in moviemaking noise reduction so I did a quick search for similar products and came up with the list below.
I wonder if anyone has done a side-by-side comparison of the same footage processed through all these and any others I may have missed? One thing to note about all the following – none supports anything like the range of NLEs and color grading products that Neat Video does.
- Photon Pro, for Final Cut Pro X.
- ProDenoise by Pixel Film Studios, for Final Cut Pro X.
- Denoiser II by Red Giant, for After Effects and Premiere Pro.
- Boris Continuum Complete’s Noise Reduction effect, for After Effects, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X and 7, Motion, DaVinci Resolve, Media Composer and more.
- Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve which includes noise reduction in the full version.
Neat Video v4: Basic Workflow
The Basic Workflow tutorial walks you through the key stages of applying Neat Video v4 to a video clip in After Effects (Win). Most steps of the workflow are the same for After Effects and other host applications, so this tutorial will help you get started with using Neat Video in practically all supported hosts (Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Fusion, Nuke, Sony Vegas, Resolve, Scratch, Magix, Pinnacle Studio, VirtualDub, etc.). You will learn the basic workflow in a matter of minutes and then will be able to start applying the filter to your clips.
Neat Video V4 Press Release
ABSoft is proud to present the next generation of its Neat Video noise reduction tools
EINDHOVEN, NL, May 5 – Neat Video team, ABSoft, announces the 4th generation of its noise reduction solution for digital video, bringing the traditionally superior performance of Neat Video to a new level.
Renowned for its noise reduction quality, Neat Video is used by professional filmmakers, videographers, editors and many other media production professionals as well as numerous amateurs and home users all over the world as a tool that turns grainy and noisy footage into clean and neat video clips ready for demonstration or further editing.
The heart and soul of Neat Video — its state-of-the-art noise reduction algorithms — have been greatly enhanced in version 4. In particular, the quality of filtration is now much higher in difficult and special conditions such as scenes with changing luminance or chrominance (fade in/out, camera auto gain control) and clips with repeated frames produced in Slow Shutter or similar shooting modes. A new dedicated Dust and Scratches filter reduces defects affecting individual frames in old films, damaged VHS tapes, air-transmitted analog TV signal, etc. Another important addition is an Artifact Removal filter, which deals with several types of digital artifacts typically created by in-camera noise reduction and compression or introduced during post-processing. The Sharpening and Edge Smoothing functions in Neat Video v4 produce better results too.
Years of Neat Video team’s experience combined with very helpful feedback from Neat Video users have resulted in numerous workflow optimizations and interface improvements in Neat Video v4. These include the new set of filter settings restructured for better navigation and flexibility, improved and optimized preview showing the combined effect of all used filters, variants of filtration to compare previews produced with different filter settings, a new set of filter presets to solve typical noise reduction tasks and many other improvements.
Since the beginning of the digital imaging era, digital noise and digitized film grain have always been unwelcome parts of many digital photos and videos because of imperfect physical nature of the underlying light-capturing processes. Despite continuous efforts of the hardware manufacturers to improve those processes, output of all existing capturing equipment is still suffering from noise. To address this problem, ABSoft initially released Neat Image software in 2001, which greatly improved the visual quality of noisy high ISO digital photos and scans of grainy film by reducing the objectionable noise and grain and at the same time preserving the true image details. Then in 2005, ABSoft introduced Neat Video — a product which combined the use-proven algorithms of noise reduction for still images with new specialized algorithms for video processing.
Neat Video is designed to tame noise in moving image, where the noise elements distract viewer attention, create false movements, complicate post-processing, reduce efficiency of video compression and consume extra bandwidth. Using Neat Video helps to resolve these problems to a considerable degree.
Neat Video has immediately become a tremendous success and is now considered a must-have tool by many media production professionals as well as amateurs. The top quality noise reduction delivered by the product has been made possible by combining advanced temporal and spatial filtration with the noise estimation algorithms relying on device noise profiles — an analysis of noise properties of a video capturing device. Knowing the noise properties of a video capturing device allows Neat Video to draw an accurate distinction between noise and details in footage produced by the device and therefore better preserve details while reducing the noise.
Pricing and Availability
Neat Video v4 is available as plug-ins for a variety of video editing applications including After Effects, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Media Composer, Nuke, Scratch, DaVinci Resolve, Mistika, Fusion, Vegas Pro, Edius, Magix and more.
Neat Video v4 is available in three editions: free Demo plug-in with limited functionality, Home plug-in supporting video of up to Full HD resolution (non-commercial use only; $74.90), and Pro plug-in capable of processing video of any frame size (may be used for commercial purposes; $99.90 or $249.90 depending on plug-in).
Bundles of two or more Neat Video v4 products as well as multi-user licenses are available with volume discounts.
Upgrading from older versions
Licensed users of older versions of Neat Video can upgrade to Neat Video v4 using a special upgrade offer.
For more information please visit www.neatvideo.com
(cover photo credit: snap from the video)