Need to reduce noise / but not detail

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tvstaff
tvstaff Senior Member • Posts: 2,634
Need to reduce noise / but not detail

Photo needs to be 8000px on long edge at 1200DPI for a client.   Is there is process outside of PS that will reduce noise but keep detail.  Or am I relegated to doing it by hand?  Not lazy just looking to enhance workflow if possible.

Thank you

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Erik Kaffehr
Erik Kaffehr Veteran Member • Posts: 4,649
Re: Need to reduce noise / but not detail
2

tvstaff wrote:

Photo needs to be 8000px on long edge at 1200DPI for a client. Is there is process outside of PS that will reduce noise but keep detail. Or am I relegated to doing it by hand? Not lazy just looking to enhance workflow if possible.

Thank you

Hi,

From the looks, I think you sharpen too much. 
Sharpening always enhances noise. What I would try is:

  • Develop the image (assuming it is raw) without sharpening.
  • Scale it to required size.
  • Use a tool like ImageMagick to do the sharpening.

What may also work, when opening the raw file in LR or PS you could use masking. That detects edges in the image and limits sharpening to edges.

Your client will probably not view the image at actual pixels, but probably will print it. Prints don't need a lot of sharpening at the finest detail.

If you have a JPEG with sharpening applied. It may be difficult to remove the artifacts.
Best regards

Erik

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D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 26,957
Re: Need to reduce noise / but not detail

I agree with Erik -- sharpening is the problem. Sharpening, if needed, should be the last process.

My preferred program for noise reduction is Neat Image.

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rubank Senior Member • Posts: 1,183
Re: Need to reduce noise / but not detail
5

If your client is asking for "1200 DPI" he/she obviously intends to print the photo, otherwise "DPI" has no meaning at all.

At 1200 DPI your photo will print at 17x12 cm (6,7x4,5 inches), and neither sharpness nor noise will be a problem, and most of the artefacts will be more or less invisible.
So why resample your photo to begin with? It can only deteriorate its quality (it will of course be resampled during printing).

Is it possibly so, that your client doesn´t understand what he/she is asking for?

Mark Scott Abeln
Mark Scott Abeln Forum Pro • Posts: 15,755
Re: Need to reduce noise / but not detail
3

tvstaff wrote:

Photo needs to be 8000px on long edge at 1200DPI for a client.

That camera can deliver images that are at most 5472 x 3648 pixels, and so anything wider than that is upsampled, interpolated detail. But that usually isn't a problem.

"Dots per inch" are pretty much meaningless with regards to digital image files. That is a value that describes how particular printers work. Each pixel is rendered as many dots of various colors, but the number of dots in the pattern varies between printer models and printer settings, none of which are encoded in the image file.

Perhaps they meant pixels per inch, but even if that were true, 1200 pixels per inch would be quite excessive, and I doubt that anyone could see the detail unless they examined the image under a magnifying glass. A better value is 300 pixels per inch. This would give us 4 dots per pixel, which is reasonable for some printers, but not all of them.

Under most circumstances, such as making images for the web or making prints using a desktop printer, I would recommend ignoring the pixels per inch setting altogether as being at best meaningless, and at worse misleading. In these cases, pixels alone are what's important.

Unfortunately, many page layout packages, such as Adobe InDesign, use inch dimensions for everything, and so images have to be tagged with a pixels per inch value in order for them to import at the correct inch size. It is easy for whomever is doing the layout to simply just change the pixels per inch value of the image, but that might get them upset at you. Of course, pixels per inch times inches is equal to pixels, so nothing really is different.

Is there is process outside of PS that will reduce noise but keep detail.

No, there is not. Some noise reduction software is better than others, but they all have to guess at what is noise and what is detail, and inevitably some detail will be lost along with the noise, and some of the noise will be retained as detail.

Or am I relegated to doing it by hand? Not lazy just looking to enhance workflow if possible.

As the others mentioned, this image is considerably oversharpened, and this image does not have a problem with noise; understand that sharpening enhances noise. I hope this wasn't done in-camera, but it looks that this was edited in Lightroom, and am hoping it was from a raw file.

What I'd do is reprocess this, but turn off sharpening upon import. I then would then save it as a 16 bit file, and import the image into Photoshop and then resize it to 8000 pixels wide at 300 pixels per inch.

I would move the image to 32 bit mode and then do sharpening there. The reason for this is that sharpening an image in either 8 or 16 bits tends to produce light haloes that are excessively strong, and dark haloes that are not strong enough, but 32 bits balances the strength of both, so you can eventually sharpen far more strongly without bad artifacts.

ASSUMING that the image will be printed at roughly 27 inches across (is this correct? Do you know the exact output dimensions?) then I would suggest using Smart Sharpen with a sharpening radius of approximately 1.5 pixels and an Amount of 100% to start. If you do see some noise being sharpened, you can adjust the tool for noise. You might have to stand back from the monitor a bit to give you a realistic view on the image. You want the image to look crisper but without visible artifacts, unless you unrealistically zoom way in.

Then you move the image to 8 bits using the Exposure and Gamma conversion without changing the sliders (don't use the default Local Adaptation method).

You may very well avoid sharpening the image altogether and then let the publisher know that they will have to sharpen the image to their taste.

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The Ghost of Caravaggio Contributing Member • Posts: 773
There Are No Miracles

This image seems to be over-sharpened and actually doesn't have a noise problem.

However, noise reduction algorithms can not increase an image's information content .[1] To some extent detail is always compromised by noise reduction algorithms.

Noise reduction is essentially a mathematical filtering process. At the risk of over simplification, regions with high noise are cleverly averaged with nearby regions with less noise. The result is a compromise. The perceived quality of noisy regions improves at the expense of the information content in less noisy regions. The image's total information content remains constant.

Often this compromise is worthwhile. The perceived decrease in noise can be more noticeable than the decrease in detail. When the loss of detail is acceptable, the perceived image quality increases.

1. Temporal noise reduction for still photography is relatively unsophisticated. For instance, when significant prior information is available, maximum use of image information content is possible. Loss of detail can be great reduced. However the image information remains constant. The difference is objective information from other sources is applied to the problem.

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57even Forum Pro • Posts: 14,740
Re: Need to reduce noise / but not detail
2

tvstaff wrote:

Photo needs to be 8000px on long edge at 1200DPI for a client. Is there is process outside of PS that will reduce noise but keep detail. Or am I relegated to doing it by hand? Not lazy just looking to enhance workflow if possible.

Thank you

Pixels per inch are not dots per inch.

8000 X 5333 is 42 megapixels (how big are they printing this??)

Start with an unsharpened image, upsize to 8000X5333 and use smart sharpen. Adjust the noise threshold slider to keep in in check, but remember that in the print it will not be as noticeable.

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tvstaff
OP tvstaff Senior Member • Posts: 2,634
Re: Need to reduce noise / but not detail

D Cox wrote:

I agree with Erik -- sharpening is the problem. Sharpening, if needed, should be the last process.

My preferred program for noise reduction is Neat Image.

Yes I see this.  There is nothing I see even after that.

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Enginel Contributing Member • Posts: 793
Re: Need to reduce noise / but not detail
1

Consider trying Topaz Denoise AI.
Photoshop typically has 10-15 years old algorithms, with only advantage of them coming all of them in package that people are used with.

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tvstaff
OP tvstaff Senior Member • Posts: 2,634
Re: Need to reduce noise / but not detail

Mark Scott Abeln wrote:

tvstaff wrote:

Photo needs to be 8000px on long edge at 1200DPI for a client.

That camera can deliver images that are at most 5472 x 3648 pixels, and so anything wider than that is upsampled, interpolated detail. But that usually isn't a problem.

"Dots per inch" are pretty much meaningless with regards to digital image files. That is a value that describes how particular printers work. Each pixel is rendered as many dots of various colors, but the number of dots in the pattern varies between printer models and printer settings, none of which are encoded in the image file.

Perhaps they meant pixels per inch, but even if that were true, 1200 pixels per inch would be quite excessive, and I doubt that anyone could see the detail unless they examined the image under a magnifying glass. A better value is 300 pixels per inch. This would give us 4 dots per pixel, which is reasonable for some printers, but not all of them.

Under most circumstances, such as making images for the web or making prints using a desktop printer, I would recommend ignoring the pixels per inch setting altogether as being at best meaningless, and at worse misleading. In these cases, pixels alone are what's important.

Unfortunately, many page layout packages, such as Adobe InDesign, use inch dimensions for everything, and so images have to be tagged with a pixels per inch value in order for them to import at the correct inch size. It is easy for whomever is doing the layout to simply just change the pixels per inch value of the image, but that might get them upset at you. Of course, pixels per inch times inches is equal to pixels, so nothing really is different.

Is there is process outside of PS that will reduce noise but keep detail.

No, there is not. Some noise reduction software is better than others, but they all have to guess at what is noise and what is detail, and inevitably some detail will be lost along with the noise, and some of the noise will be retained as detail.

Or am I relegated to doing it by hand? Not lazy just looking to enhance workflow if possible.

As the others mentioned, this image is considerably oversharpened, and this image does not have a problem with noise; understand that sharpening enhances noise. I hope this wasn't done in-camera, but it looks that this was edited in Lightroom, and am hoping it was from a raw file.

What I'd do is reprocess this, but turn off sharpening upon import. I then would then save it as a 16 bit file, and import the image into Photoshop and then resize it to 8000 pixels wide at 300 pixels per inch.

I would move the image to 32 bit mode and then do sharpening there. The reason for this is that sharpening an image in either 8 or 16 bits tends to produce light haloes that are excessively strong, and dark haloes that are not strong enough, but 32 bits balances the strength of both, so you can eventually sharpen far more strongly without bad artifacts.

ASSUMING that the image will be printed at roughly 27 inches across (is this correct? Do you know the exact output dimensions?) then I would suggest using Smart Sharpen with a sharpening radius of approximately 1.5 pixels and an Amount of 100% to start. If you do see some noise being sharpened, you can adjust the tool for noise. You might have to stand back from the monitor a bit to give you a realistic view on the image. You want the image to look crisper but without visible artifacts, unless you unrealistically zoom way in.

Then you move the image to 8 bits using the Exposure and Gamma conversion without changing the sliders (don't use the default Local Adaptation method).

You may very well avoid sharpening the image altogether and then let the publisher know that they will have to sharpen the image to their taste.

Hi Mark, Thank you.   I'm going to try your workflow and a few others suggested. They did not specify the intended dimensions, just the request. Thank you for writing.

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Christof21 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,841
Almost perfect

tvstaff wrote:

Photo needs to be 8000px on long edge at 1200DPI for a client. Is there is process outside of PS that will reduce noise but keep detail. Or am I relegated to doing it by hand? Not lazy just looking to enhance workflow if possible.

Thank you

Hello,

I know this was not the purpose of this thread but just wanted to give my opinion about this nice picture.

This is a really nice picture with nice colors in the background. I like it, except one thing..

The arm is really disturbing.

Euell Veteran Member • Posts: 4,532
Re: Need to reduce noise / but not detail

While I do not see a general noise issue, there are significant hot pixels that may show up in a large print.  Those should be eliminated with your noise reduction program before increasing the size of the file or sharpening.

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Mark Scott Abeln
Mark Scott Abeln Forum Pro • Posts: 15,755
Re: Need to reduce noise / but not detail
1

tvstaff wrote:

Hi Mark, Thank you. I'm going to try your workflow and a few others suggested.

Good luck! Let us know how it turns out for you.

They did not specify the intended dimensions, just the request.

Yes, that is a frequent problem, and it causes lots of frustration for photographers.

Thank you for writing.

You're welcome!

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tvstaff
OP tvstaff Senior Member • Posts: 2,634
Re: Need to reduce noise / but not detail

Mark Scott Abeln wrote:

tvstaff wrote:

Hi Mark, Thank you. I'm going to try your workflow and a few others suggested.

Good luck! Let us know how it turns out for you.

They did not specify the intended dimensions, just the request.

Yes, that is a frequent problem, and it causes lots of frustration for photographers.

Thank you for writing.

You're welcome!

Mark with Covid I'm not arguing with a client who pays their bills about a quirky request.  After losing the Olympics and then NYFW, just happy to have the few clients I do. Best to you.

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spider-mario
spider-mario Regular Member • Posts: 407
Re: Need to reduce noise / but not detail

In case you didn’t spot them, there seem to be two dust spots in the upper right corner. Could be good to clone them out.

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