Recently, I had a chance to edit video at the YouTube Space, London. One thing I was keen to try is software noise reduction, because LuxRender’s long rendering times (even on GPU) mean that it’s almost impossible to eliminate noise purely by rendering for longer.
I used a 4K video editing station with DaVinci Resolve 11, and its built-in noise reduction software. I was amazed by the results so I wanted to share them here – to achieve a level of noise comparable to this I would have needed to render for at least an order of magnitude longer. You might not have access to the $20,000 DaVinci Resolve suite, but the software itself is actually free for up to HD resolution, and there are plenty of plugins that deliver similar results.
I was only able to export 1080p stills – the results are even more apparent in full 4K resolution as the video will be.
Still from a tower destruction video before noise reduction
Still from a tower destruction video with noise reduction applied
The noise reduction led to an almost noise free image – any small patches of noise will be undetectable on the 4k version and when it is in motion. The technique will work even more effectively in a Cycles render or if the traditional LuxRender API is used (I used the LuxCore experimental Path OpenCL mode), because both of these allow changing the noise seed with each frame. I didn’t have this available, so the noise pattern was identical in all frames and this meant that I couldn’t fully use a special type of noise reduction – “temporal noise reduction” – since the noise stayed the same with time.
In any case, thanks for reading and I hope you found this useful.