When to apply Denoise AI in Lightroom workflow

Hello everyone,

I’ve been using Denoise AI for some time and it’s been great. But there’s something I’ve never been quite sure of. I read somewhere that Denoise should be applied early on in the workflow. I understand that but I want to get more specific and am looking for some expert advice, please.

I use Lightroom Classic to edit my raw files. After some initial edits, I use the plugin to apply Denoise and save it as a TIF file to carry on with my workflow. But it’s how far I can go with my initial edits that is puzzling me.

For example, with the raw file (before Denoise) I might edit exposure, white balance, highlights, shadows, white point, black point, vibrance and saturation.

But I don’t do anything that comes close to sharpening - meaning I don’t apply sharpening, clarity, dehaze or texture. I also wait to apply anything in HSL or do any gradient/radial/adjustment brush work - until after I have applied Denoise.

So really my questions lie here. Is that correct to wait with those edits after Denoise? Or can I apply clarity, texture, adjustment brushes before Denoise when I have the benefit of the raw file? What do the experts advise?

I can appreciate that doing any sharpening could affect Denoise so I’m not doing that until afterwards.

I’m just still unclear about how early exactly I should be applying Denoise or just how much I can do before I should Denoise.

Thanks for any advice or tips.

Much appreciated.


1 Like

Hi Julian, it is recommended that you remove the noise in your images before you do other adjustments because those adjustments can also adjust the noise. DeNoise may be able to still remove the noise after some of those procedures, but you are making it harder for the software to do its job, and therefore it may not be able to do it as well as it could if it was used first.

I understand wanting to keep the benefit of the raw file and you can do that by saving your DeNoise image file as a TIF/TIFF for example. Editing exposure before DeNoise, I sometimes find can actually help with the noise removal, by exposing some noise in the darker areas, so it is visible to DeNoise. Of those you have listed the only two I can think of which might cause some trouble would be vibrance and saturation. Clarity and Texture, also most likely will make it more difficult for DeNoise to effectively remove the noise.

My work flow is to allow DeNoise to do its magic (before I do much more than sometimes correcting the exposure) then save it as a TIFF, and then I’ll essentially have the same digital information to work with that my RAW file had and I don’t lose anything.


Hi Terry, Many thanks for your message and advice. I have been experimenting with setting only profile and possibly adjusting white balance in raw before passing the image to Denoise AI and it’s working very well. Then, with the TIFF file, I carry on as before.

Using Denoise in this way, at the very beginning, and using the TIFF file seems to give me an efficient workflow and all the benefits I’d been looking.

Thanks again for the response.

Much appreciated, Julian