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  • Writer's pictureJonny O'Brien

A Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing Grainy Footage with Neat Video

Grainy, noisy footage can significantly detract from the quality of a video and can be a headache for any video creator. Luckily, with modern software like Neat Video, you can clean up your footage and restore its professional look. This blog post will guide you through the process of using Neat Video to fix grainy footage.

What is Neat Video?

Neat Video is a digital filter designed to reduce visible noise and grain in digital video footage produced by digital video cameras, camcorders, TV-tuners, digitizers of film, or analog video. Whether you are using Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, After Effects, or other common video editing software, Neat Video offers compatible plugins for a seamless experience.

How to Use Neat Video: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Import Your Footage: The first step is to import your grainy footage into your video editing software.

  2. Apply Neat Video Plugin: Once your footage is on the timeline, apply the Neat Video plugin. Depending on your software, this may involve searching for Neat Video in your effects panel and dragging it onto your clip, or it could be found in the menu under "effects."

  3. Open Neat Video Interface: After applying the plugin, open the Neat Video interface by selecting the "Prepare" or "Setup" button in the effect settings. This will open a new window where you'll perform noise reduction.

  4. Select a Noise Profile: To start, you need to create a noise profile. This is essentially Neat Video learning what it needs to remove from your footage. Click on the "Auto Profile" button and Neat Video will select an area of the frame that it believes is best to build the profile. Ideally, you want to find a flat area that has no detail and only noise. If the auto-selected area isn't optimal, you can manually select an area by dragging the selection box.

  5. Check Noise Levels: After a profile is created, check the noise level percentages in the Noise Filter Settings section. If these values are below 60%, consider finding another area of the frame to create a new profile. Values between 60-100% typically provide good results.

  6. Adjust Filter Settings: Now that your noise profile is set, you can tweak how Neat Video will reduce noise. There are two main sections in Noise Filter Settings: "Temporal Noise Filter" and "Spatial Noise Filter." Temporal reduces noise between frames over time while Spatial reduces noise within each individual frame. Experiment with these settings to see what works best for your footage.

  7. Apply to Sequence: Once you're happy with your settings, click "Apply" to close the Neat Video interface and return to your main editing timeline. You should see that the noise has been reduced in your footage.

Remember, when using Neat Video, the goal is to reduce noise, not necessarily eliminate it entirely. Overuse of noise reduction can lead to a "plastic" look in your footage that's just as undesirable as the noise itself.

Wrapping Up

While it's always best to try and capture clean, noise-free footage straight from your camera, sometimes you're left with clips that are less than ideal. Thanks to Neat Video, grainy footage doesn't need to be a deal-breaker. With just a few steps, you can greatly improve the look of your video and ensure that noise and grain don't distract from your story.

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