Show Me the Noise - Adobe Photoshop

Take a close look at the Ocean.tga image in Figure below. This noise seems fairly mild in the composite, and it may seem unnecessary to take out the grain. However, taking out the grain is the first thing you should do before working on an image. The price you pay further down the image-editing pipeline could be tremendous otherwise.

It is a bit noisy; you want to reduce this.

One of the best ways to test your image for noise is to increase the saturation, give excess sharpness, and use the find edges filter. Take a look at that step by step:

  1. Open Ocean.tga, which is shown close up in Figure below.
  2. This is a close up of a section of Ocean.tga.

  3. Press Command+U (Win: Ctrl+U) to bring up the Hue/Saturation sliders.
  4. Increase the saturation.
  5. Sometimes, this alone makes any grain or noise pop, and you can determine whether there is enough noise to warrant fixing. Figure below shows what happened when I increased the saturation.

    I increased the saturation by a value of 50.The grain is evident

  6. Apply the Unsharp mask. Even if the saturation did not pop the noise, applying the Unsharp mask can show how too much noise affects your corrections and editing. See Figure below.
  7. I used the Unsharp mask with a slightly excessive setting.

  8. To really see the noise pattern, go to Filter > Stylize > Find Edges.

The Find Edges filter is applied, as you can see in Figurebelow. Notice how the noise is represented by the overall square boxes overlaying and scattered throughout the image. If this test didn’t do much, then you have a clean plate and are fine to start your image editing.

The amount of noise is apparent after using the Find Edges filter.


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