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Review: Red Giant Magic Bullet Denoiser III

A look at Magic Bullet's Denoiser III video noise reduction plug-in


Magic Bullet Denoiser also includes a sharpening feature. One advantage of this feature is that it enables you to sharpen a clip without adding the graininess that comes when you apply the Sharpen effect in Premiere Pro.

I have a testimonial clip from this event that I shot with a prime lens with a very shallow depth of field that wasn’t well focused on the subject. I don’t have any significant exposure or color issues with the clip, so I’m just focused on the focus in this case.

For comparison’s sake, I applied Premiere Pro’s Sharpen effect at 60% on the left side of the clip, and Magic Bullet Denoiser’s Sharpen effect at 60% on the right side. Again, these clips can be keyframed and applied to portions of a clip with masks, but in this case I’ve applied the effect to the entire clip without keyframing. You can see the encoded clip below.

Rendering Times

In our review of Denoiser II, the biggest issue the reviewer raised was the rendering times associated with the Denoise effect. While the Sharpen element of the effect has a relatively minor effect on rendering times, the Denoise effect substantially slows things down. I’m working with a 6-core i7 8700 (8th Generation) processor @ 3.20 gHz with 48GB RAM and an NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080 with 8GB GDDR5X GPU.

With no effects applied, this 42-second 4K clip (1080p H.264, single-pass VBR, Hardware Encoding enabled) took just under 11 seconds to encode.

With the Sharpen element of the Denoiser effect applied, encoding took 2 minutes, 44 seconds to encode.

When I added noise reduction to the clip, encoding time increased to 12 minutes, 2 seconds to encode the 42-second clip.

While the Denoiser effect can salvage otherwise unusable footage in some cases, and I’ve found it a great asset on a number of highlight clips in the 2-4 minute range, I don’t recommend it for longer projects.

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