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Videos Constantly Rejected for Noise — How do I fix this?


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Hey everyone — looking for tips on how to reduce noise in video clips. About 90% of my clips are rejected for noise and I have yet to find a free software that gets rid of it adequately (I know Premiere Pro has a feature that fixes this, but I don't work with video often enough to justify paying for the subscription). Does anyone have tips? Keen to move past a photo-only portfolio as it's not generating the earnings I want :) 

 

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If you are exposing and shooting properly with a decent camera you should very rarely need to do any noise reduction in post.  Noise reduction in post is always destructive (loss of detail) and should

Doug, we've had this discussion before and I know your position with regard to noise reduction filters, but not everyone has expensive equipment when they start off learning video and noise can be a p

I use Premiere Pro but the noise filter is just so, so.  If you are having 90% of your videos rejected, Jade, then you are potentially losing money, so if you can't upgrade your camera, then spen

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Hi Jade, can you give some specs of your rejected videos? What kit and ISO are you using?

Are you using a mobile phone?

If you are using a moderately priced DSLR on a ISO higher than 200 then it's quite possible that there is noise in the video clips. Try stiicking to ISO 100. 

Also, I noticed that a number of videos in your portfolio are shot handheld. A potential client is likely to prefer a stable footage. There are always exceptions of course.

Use ProRes Codec when exporting the clips to give your customer the best quality you can offer.

 

HTH.

 

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On 6/17/2021 at 6:26 AM, Jade Prevost Manuel said:

Hey everyone — looking for tips on how to reduce noise in video clips. About 90% of my clips are rejected for noise and I have yet to find a free software that gets rid of it adequately (I know Premiere Pro has a feature that fixes this, but I don't work with video often enough to justify paying for the subscription). Does anyone have tips? Keen to move past a photo-only portfolio as it's not generating the earnings I want :) 

 

I use Premiere Pro but the noise filter is just so, so. 

If you are having 90% of your videos rejected, Jade, then you are potentially losing money, so if you can't upgrade your camera, then spending a little money on a top noise filter plugin is probably a much better deal.

The best noise filter on the market is Neat Video. Neat Video - best noise reduction for digital video

I bought it a few years ago because I took some night time GoPro driving pov clips - which you can imagine would be the worst for noise - and NV was amazing. They then passed very fussy reviewers and sold very well, as well.

Yes, exporting in ProRes gives you much better quality than say H264 codec, but if the camera is at fault then having a good noise filter plugin is sometimes the only way to go. I also use it for drone shots with pure blue skies (blue skies can have a lot of noise). I now use a Sony a7riii for most of my videos, which doesn't have a problem with noise, but sometimes you may be out on the go and see something great and shoot it with your smartphone. Another time when you will need a good filter. I don't recommend just smartphone clips, but if the content is worth it and you have nothing else, then take the shot. And apply a great noise filter. After all, content is king in this world of stock video. 

 

DaVinci Resolve, an excellent video editing software, has a free version, if you want to as you say, move past a photo-only portfolio, and work more with video.

 

 

To James Jiao, if your edited clips have lower quality than the original versions, then it may be the quality of the camera. I use GoPros quite a lot for aerials and driving povs, and Gopros are not great quality cameras. The way to get around that is do as little editing as possible. Definitely don't apply any saturation because that will exaggerate any problems in the clip. But once again, with high quality cameras, you shouldn't have any problems. 

 

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If you are exposing and shooting properly with a decent camera you should very rarely need to do any noise reduction in post.  Noise reduction in post is always destructive (loss of detail) and shouldn't be accepted as part of the routine workflow.  If you address the root problem of WHY your videos are coming out noisy at the time of shooting (substandard equipment and/or poor shooting techniques), then noise reduction software in post mostly becomes a moot issue.

With all that said, maybe the problem isn't actually noise at all.  Shutterstock definitely has a problem with erroneously rejecting footage due to noise -- when there really isn't any noise.  These days it is difficult for me to get clips accepted that have rain, fog, fire, smoke, back-lit dust, etc.   The AI sees it all as "noise" even when those particles are an integral part of the clip.  Applying noise reduction processing in post is not what I want to do, nor is it likely to solve the issue any way.

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1 hour ago, Milleflore Images said:

DaVinci Resolve, an excellent video editing software, has a free version, if you want to as you say, move past a photo-only portfolio, and work more with video.

Resolve is an integral part of my workflow and I couldn't run my stock footage business without it, but unless something has recently changed at Blackmagic, the free version of Resolve does not offer noise reduction.  But if you have the paid version NR works great and offers tons of adjustments and different modes to get the results you want.

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34 minutes ago, Doug Jensen said:

If you are exposing and shooting properly with a decent camera you should very rarely need to do any noise reduction in post.  Noise reduction in post is always destructive (loss of detail) and shouldn't be accepted as part of the routine workflow.  If you address the root problem of WHY your videos are coming out noisy at the time of shooting (substandard equipment and/or poor shooting techniques), then noise reduction software in post mostly becomes a moot issue.

With all that said, maybe the problem isn't actually noise at all.  Shutterstock definitely has a problem with erroneously rejecting footage due to noise -- when there really isn't any noise.  These days it is difficult for me to get clips accepted that have rain, fog, fire, smoke, back-lit dust, etc.   The AI sees it all as "noise" even when those particles are an integral part of the clip.  Applying noise reduction processing in post is not what I want to do, nor is it likely to solve the issue any way.

Doug, we've had this discussion before and I know your position with regard to noise reduction filters, but not everyone has expensive equipment when they start off learning video and noise can be a problem. And Neat Video is certainly well above most others I have tried. Have you ever tried it?

And for me, there are certain situations, like action cameras at night, being inexpensive yet very flexible cameras, that definitely need noise reduction. I sell a lot of driving povs and there's no way I am going to put my Sony on the front bonnet of my car! lol 

I also agree with you about certain conditions such as rain, fog, etc, and the way AI recognises it.

But that being said, I haven't had a video rejection in a long, long time. My last one was fixed with Neat Video. 

I don't use DaVinci Resolve, I have always used Premiere Pro. I included it here for the OP as free alternative recommendation for someone who doesn't want to spend much money when learning video. But if the OP wanted to try Neat Video, then they could combine it with Resolve. 

 

And yes, I agree that all other factors considered, learning how to use your camera is of utmost importance. 

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34 minutes ago, Milleflore Images said:

Doug, we've had this discussion before and I know your position with regard to noise reduction filters, but not everyone has expensive equipment when they start off learning video and noise can be a problem. And Neat Video is certainly well above most others I have tried. Have you ever tried it?

Excellent video cameras are dirt cheap these days and within reach of anyone who is serious about stock footage, so cost is not really a factor or excuse for having noisy video.  Yes, specialty cameras such as GoPros and drones are more prone to having noise or excessive detail that looks like noise to the AI , but even with those caemeras I rarely need to apply noise reduction in post if I have setup the camera properly and exposed correctly.  Your experience is different, and that's fine.

No, i haven't tried Neat video.  I have the paid version of Resolve (cost $1000 when I bought it) so I have no use for Neat.  Resolve is by far the best software for grading and exporting clips for stock.  I do most of my regular editing with Premeire, but everything I shoot goes through Resolve first for grading and export. I couldn't run my business without it. Even the free version ought to be part of anyone's stock footage workflow for many reasons. I don't know how much Neat video costs, but whatever it is, I htink that money would be better applied towards the cost of the paid version of Resolve. 

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2 hours ago, Doug Jensen said:

If you are exposing and shooting properly with a decent camera you should very rarely need to do any noise reduction in post.  Noise reduction in post is always destructive (loss of detail) and shouldn't be accepted as part of the routine workflow. 

 

2 hours ago, Doug Jensen said:

The AI sees it all as "noise" even when those particles are an integral part of the clip.  Applying noise reduction processing in post is not what I want to do, nor is it likely to solve the issue any way.

Totally agree in all. This also goes for still photo.

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7 hours ago, Doug Jensen said:

Excellent video cameras are dirt cheap these days and within reach of anyone who is serious about stock footage, so cost is not really a factor or excuse for having noisy video.  Yes, specialty cameras such as GoPros and drones are more prone to having noise or excessive detail that looks like noise to the AI , but even with those caemeras I rarely need to apply noise reduction in post if I have setup the camera properly and exposed correctly.  Your experience is different, and that's fine.

No, i haven't tried Neat video.  I have the paid version of Resolve (cost $1000 when I bought it) so I have no use for Neat.  Resolve is by far the best software for grading and exporting clips for stock.  I do most of my regular editing with Premeire, but everything I shoot goes through Resolve first for grading and export. I couldn't run my business without it. Even the free version ought to be part of anyone's stock footage workflow for many reasons. I don't know how much Neat video costs, but whatever it is, I htink that money would be better applied towards the cost of the paid version of Resolve. 

Neat Video = 30 day free, after that $75+

My recommendation to the OP's immediate problem is to get free Resolve + free Neat Video to try and clean up those 90% of videos to see if they can get them through. 

After that, yes, learn from the masters. 😉 lol

 

...

I've been working with gopros since the 4 and 5 hero blacks were the only ones available. Pretty bad quality back in those days, but we could still clean them up, get them passed through review and sell. They had very limited camera settings. A lot of my 4s and 5s clips still sell.

The last one I bought was a 7 hero black, much better. More camera settings. But I believe there's a 9 out now. Haven't heard any first hand reports about it yet. 

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I'm not in the business of testing and reviewing cameras so I cannot give you a comprehensive list. I'm mostly familiar with the Sony product line because I have owned most of the cameras in the following list, but I know there are cameras from other manufacturers that are also good enough.  If you're on a budget BUY USED!!  There are some great deals to be had out there on gently used cameras that were top of the line a few years ago and are still plenty good enough for shooting stock footage.   As far as I know, any modern full-frame mirrorless camera with a removable lens from Canon, Nikon, or Sony is probably going to be good enough for stock.  There's probably even cheaper cameras that are good enough, but I don't know what which ones so I cannot recommend them.

HD only:  Sony EX1, EX3, F3, FS100, FS700, Panasonic XF305, etc.

4K and HD:   Sony AX700, NX80, Z90, Z150, Z280, FS5, F5, F55, FS7, the A7 series of mirrorless cameras, Panasonic S1H

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20 hours ago, Doug Jensen said:

I'm not in the business of testing and reviewing cameras so I cannot give you a comprehensive list. I'm mostly familiar with the Sony product line because I have owned most of the cameras in the following list, but I know there are cameras from other manufacturers that are also good enough.  If you're on a budget BUY USED!!  There are some great deals to be had out there on gently used cameras that were top of the line a few years ago and are still plenty good enough for shooting stock footage.   As far as I know, any modern full-frame mirrorless camera with a removable lens from Canon, Nikon, or Sony is probably going to be good enough for stock.  There's probably even cheaper cameras that are good enough, but I don't know what which ones so I cannot recommend them.

HD only:  Sony EX1, EX3, F3, FS100, FS700, Panasonic XF305, etc.

4K and HD:   Sony AX700, NX80, Z90, Z150, Z280, FS5, F5, F55, FS7, the A7 series of mirrorless cameras, Panasonic S1H

Thank you so much!

Regards,

Rudra

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I often shoot with my Sony A7R3 with Canon 24-105mm f4 lens and if I don't go above ISO 160 I don't get any rejections on the technical grounds. The biggest advantage of a small camera is that it doesn't draw too much attention when working in public places, as I often do, even when it is on a tripod. For night or low light shoots in public places I stick to BMPCC 6K without the cage. Easy to carry on public transport and relatively light-weight too. It works for me.

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2 hours ago, LSP EM said:

The biggest advantage of a small camera is that it doesn't draw too much attention when working in public places, as I often do, even when it is on a tripod.

That's exactly what I love about my Panasonic S1H.  It is a full-blown 10-bit 4:2:2 4K cinema camera hidden in a DSLR body that doesn't attract any attention at all.  I've been able to get some really nice stock footage in places where I'd never be allowed (or would attract too much attention) with my other cameras.  If only it had built-in ND filters and an articulated viewfinder it would be almost perfect.  The OLED viewfinder has excelellent image quality, but it can't be angled for proper shooting from a tripod, down low on the ground, etc.

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2 hours ago, Doug Jensen said:

That's exactly what I love about my Panasonic S1H.  It is a full-blown 10-bit 4:2:2 4K cinema camera hidden in a DSLR body that doesn't attract any attention at all.  I've been able to get some really nice stock footage in places where I'd never be allowed (or would attract too much attention) with my other cameras.  If only it had built-in ND filters and an articulated viewfinder it would be almost perfect.  The OLED viewfinder has excelellent image quality, but it can't be angled for proper shooting from a tripod, down low on the ground, etc.

Yes, I have the similar kind of limitations on my BMPCC 6K. That's why I resort to housing it in a SmallRig cage and use a bright Atomos Shinobi with it, not ideal when pretending to be an amateur in a public place! 

Out of interest Doug, what percentage of your shots are handheld when shooting with your Panasonic in a public place?

I find that DaVinci Resolve does a pretty good job in stabilising the footage when I shoot handheld.

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1 hour ago, LSP EM said:

Out of interest Doug, what percentage of your shots are handheld when shooting with your Panasonic in a public place?

Overall, I'd say less than 1% of my total portfolio was shot handheld.  But probably 30% - 50% of the S1H outdoor clips I have submitted have been handheld.  The camera has a built-in stabilization system that is far better than anything I've used on Sony's camcorders, plus as you say, Resolve can usually clean up most of whatever unwanted motion remains.  But my preference is to us a tripod whenever possible.

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24 minutes ago, Doug Jensen said:

Actually, I just took a look at my portfolio and I think I overestimated how much handheld footage from the S1H I have submitted that was shot at public locations.  Maybe 10-15% at best.

I often use a monopod with three feet at the bottom (made by three legged thing) to steady shot when I am out and about and it does a pretty good job. It folds away nicely and is easy and portable to carry. Who knows which passer by (not concentrating where they are going) might trip from my tripod, which might create a big drama...

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