By Brady Betzel

One of the best (and most underrated) tricks in an online editor’s tool kit is to have good image restoration techniques. Removing digital video imperfections — from flicker to digital video noise — is not easy, and not easy to do well. That is, unless you have good noise reduction software like Neat Video.

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While Neat Video might not be that well-known, once you see how simply (or intricatly) Neat Video 5 works inside of apps like Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve, it will be hard to forget the company’s name.

(While the software was recently updated to 5.1.5 — with expanded GPU support as well as support for new versions of Resolve, Adobe and Nuke — nothing really changes for this review. You can check out a detailed list of the updates here.)

Neat Video 5 is a noise reduction plugin. In a Windows OS environment, Neat Video is compatible with apps like Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Avid Media Composer, Vegas, Magix, Edius, Virtual Dub, and the OFX-compatible apps Nuke, Fusion, Scratch, HitFilm, Mamba, Natron, Flame, Baselight and DustBuster. In a macOS environment, Neat Video 5 is compatible with After Effects, Premiere, Final Cut Pro X, Motion 5, OFX, Resolve and Media Composer. In Linux, the software is compatible with OFX-compatible apps and Resolve.

Neat Video 5 comes in three flavors: Demo, Home and Pro. The Demo version works in up to 1280×720 resolution with a watermark. Home is literally made for the home user: It will process video up to 1920×1080 resolutions, it will use up to one GPU, and it is for non-commercial use. The cost is just $74.90 for most apps (Resolve is $89.90). The Pro version has no resolution restrictions, will work on two or more GPUs simultaneously, and can be used commercially. The Pro version starts at $129.90 per app ($159.90 for Resolve). Because Neat Video 5 for OFX works with so many apps, it only comes in Pro ($249.90) and Studio ($349.90) versions. The Studio version adds the ability for a floating license. You can see all of the pricing details here.

Neat

If there is one line you should take away from this review, it is this: Neat Video 5 is by far the easiest and best noise reduction software I have used in any application to date. And while this review is focusing on the Resolve version of Neat Video 5, all other apps work in much the same way. You can find Neat Video’s software-specific Quick Start Guides to help. Once you install and register your Neat Video 5 license, removing digital video noise is as easy as applying Neat Video 5 to a node in the color tab, clicking on “Prepare Noise Profile,” clicking on “Auto Profile,” and clicking “Apply.” Then, unless you want to fine-tune your noise reduction, you are done. Obviously, I have somewhat simplified how Neat Video 5 works, but essentially it can be done in as little as three steps per clip, and the results are typically amazing. If they aren’t amazing, you can jump back into Neat Video 5 and manually adjust specifics until the noise reduction looks correct. But I will say that in about 90% of cases, the Auto Profiling will do all of the noise reduction work necessary.

For tinkerers, or for those who need to go far beyond an Auto Profile, you can manually adjust your settings. But taking a step back, Neat Video needs an area of your image that has a uniform color and noise profile to process how it removes noise. The automatic profiling will do its best to find an area, but it doesn’t always work. What you need to keep in mind when building a good noise profile inside of Neat Video is that the area being processed needs to be as uniform as possible (think dark night sky or a wall painted in one color) — meaning no prominent features, a high noise level (something in the high four area is better), the largest possible sample area and no warnings from Neat Video.

So, if your automatic profile doesn’t do the job, you can find an area of your image that meets the above requirements and then build a profile. From there you can use one of the Neat Video 5 features, like “Profile Check.” Profile Check will highlight details that aren’t being affected by Neat Video, giving you a clear representation of what noise is being reduced and whether you need to adjust your profile to better reduce video noise.

At this point you might be wondering where you tweak advanced settings. When you load Neat Video, you will be in Beginner mode. To get into Advanced mode, go to the Tools menu, where you will see a lot of advanced functions that can help you fine-tune your noise profile. And if you still can’t get a good noise reduction profile, you can try out the “Generic Profile,” which can help you build a profile even if your video doesn’t have a large enough area of uniform noise. There are also presets — such as like light flicker, moire flicker, repeat frame issues, dust and scratch filters (including scan lines), jitter of details, artifact removal filter and more — that can solve certain problems.

Neat Video 5 is faster than previous generations. As in previous versions, there is even a tool that inside of Neat Video preferences that will run your CPU and GPU through a benchmark to specify whether you should run on CPU only, GPU only, or a combo of both. In Neat Video 5, if you have trouble with a clip, you can use up to four “Variants” of noise reduction in the new playback window to see how each profile works with your clip.

In terms of playback and rendering, noise reduction is never fast. However, inside of Neat Video the new playback window will typically play back your footage to preview the noise reduction before you jump back into Resolve. Inside of Resolve, even in just 1080p, my sequence would crawl to just a few frames of playback per second. It is one of the most processor- and GPU-intensive tasks you will run on your computer.

In my testing I applied Neat Video 5 to the first node in my color correction tree, followed by a basic color correction in a one-minute timeline. I took those same clips and compared my Neat Video results to Resolve’s Temporal and Spatial noise reduction tools. In terms of visual results, Neat Video 5 was superior. If that’s not the case for you, then jump into YCbCr viewer mode inside of Neat Video 5, isolate each channel and tweak each channel individually so you won’t affect your overall noise reduction if it isn’t necessary. Not only did Neat Video 5 handle normal noise in the shadows well but on clips with very tight lines, it was able to keep a lot of the details while removing the noise. Resolve’s noise reduction tools had a harder time removing noise but keeping detail. Temporal noise reduction really didn’t do much, and while Spatial noise reduction did work it would heavily blur and distort the image — essentially not acceptable.

To get a good example of how Neat Video 5 slams a computer system, I exported 1080p MP4s. Resolve’s built-in Temporal noise reduction took 1:03, while the Spatial noise reduction took 1:05. The Neat Video 5 render of the same one-minute timeline took 3:51 — almost four times as long. I was curious how much longer a 4K render would take. Using 4K (UHD) media, I applied a simple color correction and on a previous serial node that applied Neat Video 5. I exported a 4K (UHD) MP4, which took 52 seconds without Neat Video 5 applied and 16:27 with Neat Video applied — at least 16 times more render time! So while Neat Video 5 is an amazing tool, there is a trade-off in high render times.

To find additional training on more advanced noise reduction techniques in Neat Video, check out the video tutorials. I find myself watching these just because of how much you can learn about noise reduction in general. They aren’t as exciting as watching Game of Thrones or The Handmaid’s Tale, but they will push your knowledge in noise reduction to the next level.

Summing Up
I’ve used Neat Video for a while, so when I was approached to review Version 5 I immediately said yes. Noise reduction is post skill that not many possess.

If you are an online editor or colorist looking to separate yourself from the pack, learn all the noise reduction techniques you can and definitely check out Neat Video 5. Not only can Neat Video 5 work automatically, but you can fine-tune your noise reduction as much as you want.

And when demoing your color correction services, think about using Neat Video 5 to remove camera noise, flickering and chroma issues; color correcting your footage; and, finally, adding some grain back into your shot. Not only will your footage look better, but you’ll have a technical workflow that will definitely impress clients. Just don’t forget to account for the extra render time.

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Brady Betzel is an Emmy-nominated online editor at Margarita Mix in Hollywood, working on shows like Life Below Zero and The Shop. He is also a member of the Producer’s Guild of America. You can email Brady at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @allbetzroff.

Warning!Downloading copyrighted material is illegal, and all the files here are only for educational uses. if you wish to use this file online you have to buy a genuine version. We don’t own and resell this product, we got this from a free source. Developers/creator/maker made it with difficulty. We request you to buy a genuine version.

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Premium Noise Reduction and Sharpening

  • The Best Noise-Reduction Algorithms in the Industry
    Neat Video’s noise reduction algorithms surpass the quality of all classic noise reduction methods and even relatively new wavelet-based techniques. Neat Video’s more advanced and efficient approach allows it to draw a clearer distinction between random noise and details in the video data, enabling it to reduce more noise and better preserve true details.
  • Advanced Temporal Noise Filter
    Neat Video’s advanced temporal noise filter analyzes and compares a range of consecutive frames in order to collect as much information as possible. This allows the filter to more accurately distinguish between noise and detail.
  • Sophisticated Spatial Noise Filter
    The spatial noise filter reduces noise elements even further on a frame-by-frame basis across a range of frequencies and color channels.
  • Dust and Scratches Filter
    Neat Video features a filter that targets specific imperfections such as film scratches, film dust, impulse interference and similar defects. This filter can also treat corrupted scan lines, spots, dots and other video maladies.
  • Flicker Reduction
    Neat Video includes specialized mechanisms to take into account the possible presence of localized or frame-wide flicker. This helps to suppress the visual imperfection itself and also to increase the accuracy of noise reduction.
  • Repeated Frames
    This special filter mode helps to correctly reduce noise in clips containing repeated frames such as those shot in “slow shutter” or “night mode”. It also improves clips that have had their frame rates artificially increased.
  • Jitter of Details
    This filter helps to suppress the visible jitter of fine details that may be present in your video. This artifact resembles hot air between the viewer and objects in the scene. In other words, small details of the objects may appear to be moving or trembling.
  • Artifact Removal Filter
    Digital artifacts such as impulse noise created by video compression are treated by this filter. In addition, it also addresses dots and small lines that may be not have been fully removed by Neat Video’s regular noise filters.
  • Adaptive Filtration
    This feature automatically adjusts the noise filter in situations where noise properties are changing in different parts of the video clip — ensuring more accurate noise-reduction.
  • Smart Sharpening
    The intelligent sharpening filter takes advantage of Neat Video’s noise profiling techniques to sharpen the picture without amplifying noise. Neat Video sharpening has a halo-free mode.
  • Quality vs Speed
    Neat Video offers different quality modes for the Temporal and Spatial which lets you choose between more accurate processing and shorter processing time depending on your requirements.
  • Customizable Noise Filter Settings
    Neat Video’s filter is highly adjustable. While its default settings deliver good results, it also offers near complete control over each noise filtration setting. This allows you to fine-tune the noise reduction parameters to match your exact requirements.
  • Filter Presets for Common Problems
    Neat Video includes a collection of ready to use presets containing filter settings to solve many typical filtration tasks.

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Intuitive Noise Profiling

  • Device Noise Profiles
    Neat Video generates and utilizes device-specific noise profiles. These are reusable analyses of the noise characteristics of different devices in various recording modes. Thanks to these noise profiles, Neat Video knows exactly what type of noise it is encountering in a particular clip regardless of the source or mode of capture. Armed with this information the program is able to distinguish noise from details and achieve more accurate noise-reduction results.
  • Auto Profile Feature
    Neat Video’s Auto Profile tool automatically examines the content of a clip and builds a custom noise profile specifically for it. This is extremely accurate, however it is possible to override this tool and use semi-automatic or manual noise analysis methods if preferred.
  • Generic Noise Profiles
    Neat Video can also create generic noise profiles in a situation where the video clip contains no frames and areas suitable for analysis by Auto Profile.
  • Profile Check and Tuning
    Building and using accurate profiles is the most important step to ensure quality noise reduction. The Profile Check and Tuning tools help to visually verify the accuracy of the profile and, if necessary, quickly adjust it to the current video.

Instant Visual Feedback

  • Immediate Preview
    Neat Video offers a built-in preview that allows you to view results and adjust the filter settings to optimize performance before applying.
  • Playback
    Neat Video has a playback feature that delivers a live view of the final video directly in the plug-in window.
  • Multiple Preview Modes
    You can manually select an area of interest for preview as well as evaluate filtration results separately for each channel and frequency component.
  • Filter Settings Check
    Several Filter Settings Checks help to further tune the filter settings using specialized preview modes. This speeds up the filter-tuning process and helps to achieve better final results.

Neat Video Plugin Premiere

Comprehensive Host Integration

  • High-Bitdepth Rendering
    Neat Video takes advantage of the full power of modern video processing applications, offering high-bitdepth rendering in programs that support it. These applications include After Effects, Premiere, Final Cut, Motion, Vegas Pro, Media Composer, Resolve and OpenFX hosts.
  • Supported by Most Video Editing Platforms
    Neat Video works with most of the current video editing applications in use by both professional and consumer video editors.

    Neat Video plug-ins work as regular video filters. They can apply noise reduction and sharpening exactly where it is required: in a chosen layer of an After Effects composition, in a specific clip of a Premiere sequence, in a particular track in Vegas, etc.

    Click here to explore the full list of compatible software and system requirements.

  • Supports All Frame Sizes
    Neat Video Pro and Studio Editions support any frame size without limit including Full HD, 4K, 8K, etc.
    The Home Edition supports up to 1920×1080 pixels (DVD, HDV 720p, Full HD).
    The Demo Edition supports up to 1280×720 pixels (VCD, SD, DVD, HDV 720p) with a watermark added.

Neat Video Plugin Premiere Pro

Excellent Hardware Optimization

  • GPU Acceleration
    Got a powerful graphics card? Neat Video enables GPU acceleration to speed up processing and cut down on render times. Neat Video supports most CUDA-capable NVIDIA GPUs and a large number of AMD video cards via OpenCL and Metal.
  • Multi-Core, Multi-CPU and Multi-GPU Hardware Functionality
    Neat Video is engineered to make the best use of the available hardware present in your system. It is optimized for use on multi-core, multi-CPU and multi-GPU systems. In addition, Neat Video Pro and Studio support the use of multiple graphics cards and multiple CPU cores simultaneously to deliver the best filtration speed possible.
  • Works with All Video File Formats
    Neat Video is able to process any video format that is supported by your editing application including AVI, MPEG, MOV, WMV and many more. In other words, if your editing platform is able to open a video file, then Neat Video will be able to apply noise reduction to that clip.
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