Is Topaz Video AI the gold standard for purely denoising?

From a purely removing noise (denoising) perspective, is Topaz Video AI the best option or are the better options on the market today? If so, what do the competitor products do better than Topaz?

Depends on the source resolution. I have not found any unwanted artifacts from 1920 by 1080 sources when just denoising, but all DVD resolutions come out painting-like.

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For de-noising, probably not. There is variety of noise issues and artifacts you want to solve, and Topaz does a good job at some of them and not so good at others, especially if you need fine tune control or if you need to use it in a pipeline with other apps.

Topaz is probably the best at inventing details and removing by the same method compression artifacts. But there is very little control over the process. For example, you can’t choose to remove only one kind of noise problem and not the other, like chroma vs. luminescence noise, or dust and scratches, etc.

For the restoration of old film scans, etc., same problem, you sometimes want fine tune control over just some elements not others. Also in some scenarios that are not well trained for AI models can be too aggressive or have too many elements added to the original. Sometimes that is not what you want.

Also Topaz is not the fastest in processing speed and Topaz and proper color management are still not on speaking terms, so almost always in Topaz you will end up with color shifts and wild west style color management, that is virtually no existent. Sometimes, again it’s not what you want.

So when it comes to products for video restoration and noise reduction , here are few pretty good ones that are specialized for those tasks.

The most obvious and most popular choice is a plug-in Neat Video. You can check it out here.

DaVinci Resolve Studio has some good tools built in for both noise reduction and many other operations for repairs, so does Nuke.

Another set of tools is DVO tools from Filmworkz. They are a bit outdated, but very specialized and can fix some problems other tools are simply not designed to do, and Topaz would be too much for some jobs and would fix or try to fix stuff you don’t want.

There are also some open source code based solutions out there, but I haven’t been using those very much because of all the complicated coding for someone like me who is not comfortable with it.

Also my advice is to use any tool that can help you in getting it done. Sometimes you need more than one tool and more than one pass.

Good luck.


Thank you for the exhaustive answers. I have been mostly using Artemis Medium to lightly remove noise/grain from videos. Your responses are still applicable, correct?

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Well I could say that my response is applicable relative to your application. If you need to restore specific videos that have specific problems, you can look into some of the other tools. If you are doing home video restoration or just for most pleasant viewing than most of what I wrote is not that important. So it really is dependent on your use case. Also , are you also upscaling a video or not is important etc.

@TomaszW had the curtesy and post his presets for all kind of uses cases.
download his preset bundle and try them out. I found the 8KUltraHD (don’t get fooled by the name), was very good video cleanup and good sharp quality. give it a shot.
in general I would stay away from Artemis as much as you can, it generates to artificial image in my opinion.

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Sorry, where is this presets bundle? I’d love to download it and test it out.

That is a good point. TVAI is superb for reverting compression artifacts (especially since there are few other pieces of software, at least in the public domain, who can do it).

As a general denoiser TVAI kinda sucks, really. It’s an average denoiser, an sich, but since it’s trying to do A.i. too, the reparations in certain places is detrimental to your ability to denoise afterwards, as the uniformity of the noise has been broken at that point.

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From your pov, what do you suggest as the gold standard for purely denoising (removing grain/noise)?

I usually use VapourSynth filters. I think currently KNLmeansCL is the best (either standalone, or in combination with QTGMC). Or MCTemporalDenoise. Use those in an AVFS setup with TVAI, and you’re golden. :slight_smile:

Would you be so kind to share with me a guide how I can leverage KNLmeansCL or MCTemporalDenoisein combination with TVAI utilizing this AVFS setup? Sounds so fascinating and would love to try

You can read all about it here: How to load Avisynth scripts into TVEAI

That thread contains links to my original AVFS post, but goes into deeper installation requirements, and holds several example scripts for Avi- and VapourSynth.