Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Neat Video: Noise Reduction With Attitude

When is a DNR plugin worth $99?

When it gets you off.
(Not exact frame!)

Neat Video is, indeed, the shit. Having tried linking and tweaking dozens of AVISynth based functions that never even came close to the quality above, I don't see how I could ever look back. No banding, no smearing, no ghosting, and it's got a built-in GUI that lets the user feed it a sample frame and then it handles the settings from there on out! It's not only shockingly high quality, but completely idiot proof... if that isn't the perfect balance for pay software, I'm not sure what is.

The only downside is speed - rather, a serious lack of it. My wheezing Pentium 4 struggles to spit out lossless denoised video at anything more than a cripplingly glacial 1 frame per second, and when I have hour long interlaced projects that are sorely in need of Neat Video's unique magic, that means I'll need to leave my computer alone for a day (or more!) while it gives me a new clip I can actually work with. This wouldn't be so bad if I could work and encode simultaneously, but the P4 wasn't a "real" dual core, it just sort of pretended it was. You can probably web surf while it's cranking out a new video, but that's really about it... watching video, playing in photoshop, even listening to music becomes hit or miss in no time. At that point you're better off making some noodles, watching a little TV, going to bed and hoping it's done the next morning.

This plodding denoising wunderkind, perhaps even more than my desire to watch Blu-ray in the office, may convince me to upgrade my rig at some point in the near future. Sadly I'd need to start building the new electronic behemoth from scratch, so it certainly won't be right away.

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