Noise Be Gone; What Is Digital Noise & How Can You Get Rid Of It? Page 2

Noiseware ( is a Mac OS and Windows stand-alone application or compatible plug-in that removes high and low ISO noise and JPEG compression artifacts from digital files, as well as grain from scanned film images. Its interface is intuitive and you can get superb results without reading the Help file. Noiseware’s self-learning mechanism automatically calibrates a profile for your photographs and chooses the optimal noise removal settings without requiring camera-specific profiles. The latest version allows detected noise levels to be adjusted by tonal and color range. It preserves image detail based on tonality range and processing to guard against excessive alteration. The plug-in or application both use heuristic programming that continuously perfects processing so that every time you process an image, Noiseware learns more about your camera or acquisition device.

Noise Ninja includes a rich set of tools, including automatic and manual noise analysis, camera-specific profiles, a “Noise Brush,” and batch processing. The latest version of Noise Ninja supports Photoshop CS3 smart filters.

Noise Ninja, Picture Code’s Noise Ninja ( runs on both Mac OS X and Windows and is available as a stand-alone application or plug-in. The $69.95 Professional version works with 16-bit TIFF files (48-bits per pixel) and supports batch processing and multiprocessor computers such as my MacPro. The 8-bit home version is $34.95 and the stand-alone version only costs $10 more. Noise Ninja uses a proprietary type of wavelet analysis that avoids introducing artifacts that can cause blurred edges. It includes a set of tools for automatic and manual noise analysis and a “Noise Brush” that lets you undo or redo the effects of noise removal in the luminance, chroma, or all color channels. To refine its noise reduction capabilities it uses camera profiles that are offered free on its website. Picture Code recommends that photographers can use Noise Ninja even if an image was shot at a low ISO setting because they claim you’ll be able to make bigger enlargements before noise becomes a problem.

The latest version of Grain Surgery incorporates a second-generation noise reduction engine for faster, sharper results. Its redesigned interface allows quick access to all settings, and includes advanced preview controls for easy experimentation with different parameters, such as four snapshot views.

Grain Surgery ( can reduce digital noise and film grain and is an industrial strength Photoshop compatible plug-in that’s priced ($179) like one. Grain Surgery cleans up digital noise and film grain, reduces JPEG compression artifacts, and removes halftone patterns from scans. The interface offers easy access to all settings, provides a useful split-window preview, and lets you save settings to reuse later. You can even add grain and the plug-in ships with presets for common film stocks. A Sample Grain module lets you create and manage custom grain libraries pulled from your own images. The Auto Match Grain module has one click duplication of grain from lots of different kinds of film stock, including Ilford’s Delta 3200, a personal favorite.

There are now three versions each of Digital GEM Professional, Digital GEM Airbrush Professional, Digital ROC Professional, and Digital SHO Professional. You should upgrade if you have an Intel Mac and Photoshop CS2 or CS3 or plan to upgrade your system and reinstall the plug-ins under OS X or Vista.

Digital GEM, Kodak’s ( Austin Development Center offers a $99 Digital GEM Professional plug-in that supports 16-bit color images and provides Coarse/Noise and Fine/Grain noise suppression. Each algorithm is customized for different types of image noise and grain and has separate controls. The Coarse/Noise is aggressive and works better for extreme noise problems. Fine/Grain is not as aggressive and is tuned to remove grain and noise while preserving detail. Digital GEM Pro offers a Noise Preview Screen that lets you view the noise or grain you want to reduce. Adjustments can be made to define how much noise versus image detail you want to affect. You can toggle back and forth between Before, After, and Noise Preview screens and make adjustments to see how the plug-in can improve the image.

Imagenomic, LLC


Kodak’s Austin Development Center
8920 Business Park Dr.
Austin, TX 78759

Neat Image

onOne Software, Inc.
15350 SW Sequoia Parkway, Ste 190
Portland, OR 97224

PictureCode, LLC
7610-B Highway 71 W
Austin, TX 78735

Visual Infinity
2003 Rose St.
Berkeley, CA 94709