I have Hitfilm 4 Express and am thinking of buying the Repair Pack, which has the Denoise Effect. Would the Denoise really work well with fixing a 90s video downloaded from YouTube that has lots of physical noise or I am just kidding myself?
Download the Pro version of Hitfilm and try the denoise feature in that. It has all the Effects and more of Express+All Addons. You can't save the results, but it will answer your question more thoroughly than anyone could by guessing. That said: it's one of the best around so would probably be better than any other options out there at a lower price. Just depends if it's good enough for your needs.
+1 to what @Palacono said. That said, realize that some kinds of noise can't be repaired. My gut tells me that the average 90s video on YouTube is going to be tough to clean up, but it's worth a try.
+1 to both @Palacono and @jsbarrett HitFilm's Denoise is excellent and better than other options that will cost more but all denoisers have limits. There's also a difference between just denoising and attempting restoration work.
Thanks for the advice, everyone. I appreciate it. Palacono, I'll try your suggestion to see if that works. Aladdin4d, I will try to find video restoration software if Palacono's suggestion doesn't work.
Arguably the best Noise Reduction software out there is Neat Video. Hitfilm's does about as well as Neat Video (this is high praise), but Neat Video has a bit more control over how NR is applied.
Neat Video is much more expensive than the Express Repair add-on pack.
Note that any OFX plug-in noise reduction that says compatible with Hitfilm requires Pro. Express can't use third-party OFX plug-ins. (This includes the Neat Video OFX plug-in. Good thing there's a stand alone.)
Hitfilm's does a fantastic job, but 90's video will suffer from its original noise plus YouTube's heavy compression. It'll be difficult to remove noise without reducing all detail to a smear.
I have tried Neat Video several times on the video. But as you mentioned, Triem23, but it's difficult to not smear the video, and even after adjusting all the settings, I still get some smearing. I'm trying to find some cheap video restoration software. Most of it it just too expensive. I tried Viva, which is supposed to be free, but I don't have a big enough processor on my HP notebook. Sigh. I'll let you if I figure out what to do.
The best restoration tools are arguably Avisynth and VirtualDub with a host of plugins and scripts. Both are free but the learning curve can be pretty steep. This link should be an example of some clean up that can be accomplished.
The forum posting to go with it is here:
It's a good place to start learning about common restoration problems and fixes. Other places for learning about using Avisynth are Doom 9 and Anime Music Videos.
One thing to try--and Neat Video can do this, I think Hitfilm can, too--is to be aggressive on color noise, but less so on luma (Y-channel) noise. Luma is what carries detail, so more color noise (U and V channels) reduction and less luma reduction can often clear most of the noise while keeping details.
It's tricky. Noise reduction, by definition, is an advanced form of blur, so it's balancing reducing the noise with keeping details. In practical terms it's more or less impossible to reduce all noise without smearing or "airbrushing."
You'll always need to sharpen after noise reduction to try and bring back edge details.
That is very weird. Using an advanced form of blur to reduce blurs caused by noise. Wow! Anyway, Triem23, I have used sharpening, but I'll have to try your suggestions on the U,V, and Y channels. I'll let you know how that goes.