I just finished testing Topaz Denoise AI and the results were disastrous to say the least;
Gone are the detail reconstruction sliders
Gone is the healthy grain slider
Gone is the color correction slider
Gone are the shadow and highlight controllers
Gone are the banding sliders
With that being said, I tested the software on some film images, and found that it completely wiped details without any form of user control to mitigate the effects.
Which occurs even at 0(zero) noise reduction
Following this, I also detected edge deterioration along with color fringing due to the admission of NR in the scene.
Needless to say, the prognosis for this AI NR software is not good in it’s current state.
Denoise 6 is a really good plugin, and for those who have taken the time to learn how to properly use it, it can produce really good results.
The whole idea of AI software is to simplify a task, and so DeNoise AI shouldn’t need to have all the DeNoise 6 sliders, or the need to learn how best to use them.
For the majority of noisy images I give it, Denoise AI works well. Sometimes its AI Clear mode produces a better result than its DeNoise mode, sometimes the other way round. In a worthwhile number of cases it has very quickly and simply produced a better result than I have been able to obtain manually from DeNoise 6 (and by that I mean it has satisfactorily removed the noise without producing as much softening of the image).
Does it always work brilliantly? No, and that is the thing with AI, it doesn’t always work the wonders expected of it. In some cases, it hasn’t given me an acceptable result, but that has become obvious very quickly, and I have then gone on to use Denoise 6, or a combination of DeNoise6 and Denoise AI or AIClear to get me where I need to be.
Along the way some of the DeNoise AI versions did temporarily introduce some unwanted issues, but I’m finding the current version V1.3.0 is working well.
At no stage have I experienced “disastrous” results from it.
I also wanted to add, that I’ve been using Topaz Denoise since it was first demo’d by Albert Yang nearly 11 years ago now - and it has become a major part of my image restoration and editing workflow.
With that said, and based on what I’ve seen to date, I don’t think Denoise AI makes use of the same NR algorithm as Denoise 6 - which is most likely why it cannot compare in higher-end noise reduction tasks.