Quick Start Guide — After Effects
This guide is for Neat Video v5 plug-in for After Effects being used with After Effects СС 2017.
If you use another Neat Video plug-in or another video editing application, please select the corresponding quick start guide.
1. Installing the plug-in
To install the Neat Video plug-in for After Effects:
- Make sure you have started After Effects at least once before installing the plug-in. If you have not done it yet, start After Effects and exit it.
- Download the installer of Neat Video for After Effects:
- If you already purchased the product and have a current license for the Home or Pro plug-in, please download the corresponding Home or Pro plug-in from My Products page
- If you want to try Neat Video before purchase, please download the Demo plug-in from Download page
- Start the installer:
Double-click the downloaded EXE file to start the installer
a. Double-click the downloaded DMG file to mount the disk image
b. In the mounted disk image, double-click the Install file to start it
(you may be prompted to enter the Name / Password of the MacOS administrator account)
- Proceed through the steps of the installation. Use the default settings offered by the installer. This should automatically make the plug-in available to After Effects.
- Start After Effects and find Neat VIdeo > Reduce Noise v5 in After Effects’ Effect menu.
If Neat Video has not become available in After Effects, please contact Neat Video support for assistance.
2. Running Neat Video on a sample video clip
Please download the test-kit prepared to help you start using Neat Video. Having downloaded, please unzip it to a new folder on the hard disk.
The test-kit includes a sample video clip: SampleClip.mpg. This is a typical video clip captured by a digital video camera in high-gain mode. Some technical information about the sample clip is available in the SampleClipInfo.txt file.
Please start After Effects and go through the steps below to clean the clip using Neat Video.
2.1. Add the sample clip to the project
1. Create a new composition in the default empty project
Use the Composition > New Composition... menu item in After Effects:
Select the ”HDTV 1080 25” preset or manually adjust the frame size to 1920x1080 pixels and frame rate – to 25 frames per second.
Click OK and then the Timeline and Composition panels will open.
2. Add the sample clip file to the project
Use the File > Import > File... menu in After Effects to import the SampleClip.mpg file into the project:
3. Add the sample clip to the composition
Select the sample clip in the Project panel and drag-n-drop the clip into the composition:
The After Effects preview window will display the sample clip and you will see that there is strong noise in it. The task of Neat Video is to reduce this noise.
2.2. Add Neat Video effect to the composition
- Select the layer with the sample clip in the Timeline panel:
- Make sure After Effects’ preview is set to work in full resolution: select Full in the Resolution / Down Sample Factor popup under preview in After Effects:
- Disable Fast Previews using the corresponding control under preview in After Effects: set that control to the Off (Final Quality) mode:
- Use the Effect > Neat Video > Reduce Noise v5 menu item to add Neat Video to the layer. This will add Reduce Noise v5 to effects in the Timeline and Effect Controls panels:
2.3. Configure Neat Video
1. Open Neat Video plug-in window
- In the composition in the Timeline panel, use the Current Time Indicator to select a frame with large flat featureless areas; the selected frame will be used for noise analysis in the next stages.
- Use the effect's Options... link (to the right of the Reduce Noise v5 effect name) in AE's Effect Controls panel, or use the Prepare... button (available in latest versions of After Effects).
(If you run the Demo plug-in, click OK in the popup splash screen of the plug-in to proceed further).
The Neat Video plug-in window will open and display the current frame from the clip:
2. Build a noise profile for the clip
To reduce noise in this frame and in the whole clip, Neat Video needs a noise profile describing the noise properties of the clip. You can prepare such a profile using the Auto Profile function:
- In the Prepare Noise Profile tab click
Neat Video will automatically find an area without details and will analyze noise in that area to build a new noise profile:
- Visually inspect the selected area. It should contain no visible details, only noise; otherwise the noise profile and subsequent noise reduction may be inaccurate.
If the selected area does contain any details, move the selection to a featureless area or simply draw a new selection in such an area (the selection must be at least 32x32 pixels large). Then click the Build Profile button.
- After that Neat Video is ready to filter the sample clip.
3. Check Preview
- Switch to the Adjust and Preview tab
You will notice that Neat Video has already applied noise reduction based on the default filter settings and the preview shows a clearly visible difference: there is less noise than in the original frame.
You can try to adjust the filter settings and see how that affects the results. For example, try to adjust the Temporal Filter > Radius setting (in the Temporal tab in the Filter Settings box in the right part of the window) from 2 to 1 or to a higher value. This will apply weaker or stronger temporal noise reduction to the frame (see the user guide for more details).
4. Apply the changes
- Click in the bottom of the plug-in window.
Neat Video will save the current settings and close its main window.
(If you run the Demo plug-in, it will also describe the limitations of the Demo version at this point).
Once this step is completed and Neat Video window is closed, the filter is ready for work.
The Preview panel in After Effects now shows the clip with noise reduction applied to it:
2.4. Render the video
To apply Neat Video noise reduction
- Use the tools available in After Effects to render the clip and play back the results.
For example, use the menu command Composition > Preview > Play Current Preview to render the clip and play it back (playback may be slow during rendering, it should play at full speed once rendering is completed).
After Effects will then apply Neat Video noise reduction to the sample clip to help you evaluate the filtration results (and adjust the filter settings if necessary). You will see that the noise in the resulting clip is significantly reduced while the true details are preserved.
Please see the User Guide for more details about adjusting the filter settings and other aspects of using Neat Video. These Video Tutorials will also help you to get the most out of Neat Video noise reduction.