Day 24: 24 Insights In 24 Days – 2020 New Year Marathon!
Revisiting Noise Reduction Part 2 – Looking at the Basic and Advanced Workflows of Neat Video 5.1
Neat Video is one of my favorite third-party OFX plugins and it remains incredibly popular for good reason – it’s (relatively) fast and very good at what it does!
A little over four years ago, Robbie did a fantastic insight on Neat Video version 4.1 but I thought it was worth revisiting as Neat Video (recently updated to version 5.1) has come a long way, both in terms of performance and noise reduction quality. It’s a great opportunity to see what’s changed, what’s improved and I use how the newest version fits within my noise reduction workflow.
Similar to the previous insights on Neat Video, this is not meant to be a step-by-step ‘how-to’ on Neat, but rather it’s intended to give you an overview of the options and features available within this powerful tool.
New Options and Improvements:
Similar to their previous updates, The Neat Video development team has added a ton of new features, support for new hardware and new software, plus a wide assortment of under-the-hood optimization and performance improvements. I mention a few standouts in the insight video and below, but here’s their entire list of changes.
- Significantly improved performance (up to 3x), especially with single GPU systems.
- More intuitive UI with 9-frame interactive playback.
- Several “Assist” modes to aid in building an accurate noise profile.
- Flicker reduction
- New Resolve version that’s more affordable than the traditional OFX version
Neat Video has always had the incredible ability to make even the most offensive video noise disappear within a few clicks, and the latest version only adds to that legacy.
Worth the Upgrade or Purchase?
If you use Neat Video already, I highly recommend the upgrade to version 5 – you get better performance, more control, and something I didn’t really highlight in the video, better quality noise reduction.
Neat Video offers several affordable upgrade options. Depending on which host application you use, the upgrade prices range from $50 to $150.
If you don’t already own Neat Video, the price of admission ranges from $75 to $250, with a nice bundle discount if you purchase the plug-in for use inside multiple host applications.
Comparing Neat to Resolve Studio’s Noise Reduction:
While both the performance and quality of the native noise reduction tools in Resolve Studio are quite good, I regularly run into problems that I can’t solve with them and I often find myself reaching for something with more control and features than the native noise reduction tools. Neat fits that need perfectly.
From a workflow perspective, I love having a variety of specialized tools! While I usually try the built-in Resolve noise reduction tools first on subtle NR tasks, I’ll definitely be utilizing Neat Video more often, especially with this version’s significant performance improvement.
Wrapping It Up
I think even if you own DaVinci Resolve Studio (or another application that supports native video noise reduction such as FCPX), Neat Video Version 5.1 is still a great investment and a powerful tool that continues to surprise me every time I use it.
Footage courtesy of Anthony Meindl’s Actor Workshop