Reducing Noise in Apple Final Cut Pro
Nov 16, 2010 12:00 PM, By Jan Ozer
If you buy (or even try) the Neat Video filter, I recommend downloading the manual, since it will definitely help you get a better result more efficiently. You start by applying the filter in Final Cut Pro as normal, then choosing a frame in the Canvas for Noise Analysis. Ideally, this will be a frame with "flat, featureless areas that contain no visible details." In essence, if there are no details, any content in those areas must be noise, which the filter will attempt to automatically detect.
After choosing the frame, you click Options in the Filters tab in the viewer, which opens the plug-in configuration menu, shown in Figure 2. Then you click Auto Profile on the upper left, and the filter attempts to find a "flat, featureless area" like the box shown on my right shoulder in each frame. If the Quality setting in the middle right is higher than 60 percent, you'll probably achieve a very good result. My frame scored 67 percent, so I could have clicked Apply on the lower right and started rendering.
If the filter can't find sufficient areas, you have to manually attempt to create the profile. During this process, you choose a rectangle yourself in any of the four boxes, which represent composite view on the upper left, plus Y, Cr, and Cb valuesor, if you prefer, composite and R, G, B. If you've picked an area that's not sufficiently uniform, you'll get the error message shown in Figure 3.
Once you choose a suitable smaller box, you choose Auto Profile and gauge your progress by the aforementioned score. You can also use the noise profile equalizer graph on the right side of the interface to assess your results (Figure 4). If all the points in the equalizer don't have values, as the red line doesn't in Figure 4, you select another square and click the Manual Fine-Tune button on the lower left of the graph.
The goal of all these semi-automatic adjustments is to find a filter setting that optimizes quality. If you're not happy with the results, you can also go completely manual, using multiple controls.
Continue the discussion on “Crosstalk” the Millimeter Forum.