The Pixelmator and Photomator photo editing platforms have been updated this week with a new Denoise algorithm that the developers say allows both applications to better recognize noise and, therefore, better remove it.
Pixelmator says that the Denoise tool has been completely redesigned so that it can now tackle noise of any scale. The company explains that this means editors are no longer limited to removing fine digital noise, but can also get rid of analog film grain and even synthetic noise that has been added in image editing apps. Overall, it says that it multiplied its machine learning training dataset by two, which allowed it to quadruple how much smarter its noise analysis is and double its overall noise reduction performance.
“What’s more, by leveraging a UNet-like architecture — a specialized type of neural network — we’ve doubled the size of the noise removal model which, in turn, makes Denoise twice as smart at filtering out noise compared to the previous version,” Pixelmator says.
“This helped us fix issues from previous versions where noise would be removed unevenly, or image areas would become too blurry, so you can now enjoy much cleaner images, without unwanted artifacts.”
Pixelmator says that Denoise no longer simply removes noise, but it can now also recover image colors and contrast, too. This allows it to actually address problems like faded, flat colors that are usually associated with high ISO photos and is one of the factors that makes them look worse — in addition, of course, to the fact they are usually incredibly noisy.
Using the updated Denoise feature, Pixelmator says that editors can revert some of the “noise damage” that was created when the photo was taken and bring back the contrast and original colors that should have been captured.
Even further, Pixelmator also removes a type of noise artifact called RAW decoder artifacts.
“From unwanted color shifts to color banding, these artifacts are not present in the original RAW images but can get introduced in the process of converting the read-only sensor data of a RAW file into a viewable image. By removing RAW decoder artifacts, Denoise offers a great way to ensure your RAW images maintain the highest possible quality,” the company claims.
The update also introduces a Denoise Intensity slider, which allows editors to have more control over how much noise they want to remove from an image. The company says that lowering the Denoise intensity will preserve more of the original image details but keep a bit of noise, while increasing the intensity will make the image appear smoother.
The update is rolling out this week for Pixelmator Pro or Photomator on Mac, iPhone, or iPad and is free to all existing users.
Image credits: Pixelmator