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Neat Video is a good one to use. It's not freeware, but there is a trail.
Filtering is done after picture lock has been obtained (unless you just want minor changes,then use whatever PP has). Use avisynth or virtualdub filters to do image control, but be warned it is a bit of a learning curve. You shouldnt have to pay for software after the editing/fx stage.
I use the Neat Video noise reduction plugin and there is some good news and bad news.
1. Good news- it works great with good adjustments to fine tune the noise reduction. Not much of a learning curve.
2. Bad news-IT IS SLOW to RENDER- eg. 18 hours on a quad core 2.83 with 4gb ram for 30-40 minutes of footage.
If you have After Effects...the Remove Grain filter works great and it's free. Use it with dynamic link.
Thanks for the tip; I like Neat Video but the render time makes it almost unusable with HDV.
I think I may go with Neat Video and bit the bullet for rendering time. Thanks for the warning (Ouch)... I expected as much.
Big help guys.
Like I said, I like the controls and effect. I would be very interested to know how the render time issue is for you to see if my experience is out of wack....
Will do... email me at email@example.com and give me your email (Soon as I'm going to kill that one... too much spam). I'll let you know. This is a huge project of remastering 17 hrs of Aurora footage... time laspse, color, levels... the whole works. May be months before I'm done.
Also... I just checked out their website. WOW...!!! Is it really that good? I'll be in heaven.
I see the Pro version lets you do HD Wide format... which I'll start shooting my projects in soon.