Noise and grain aren’t always something to get rid of. A little noise can

be used for a variety of reasons in your video: to create a particular look or

even to hide things you’d rather your audience didn’t notice. In this quick tutorial I’ll explain why

you might want to introduce noise into your film, and some of the best ways to

do it.
Why Add Noise to Video
Grain Creates a Cinematic Look
We’re spoiled with having a choice of affordable, amazing

tech at our disposal. As recording devices and the way we watch films improves,

footage can sometimes now look too clean and sharp, particularly for some film

genres. For example, I recently watched a show that combined documentary-style

interviews with re-created footage, but they’d processed them both in the same way

and it was… odd.
Adding a little grain can help with a cinematic look, and

gives your audience a specific frame of reference. There are ways we’re used to

‘seeing’ in cinema in particular – 24fps, letterbox format and so on – and we

find that familiar and comforting, for want of a better word. Watching something

that looks too smooth and realistic can

actually put people off; we’re just not used to it.  
A Sense of Nostalgia
You might deliberately try to emulate a particular era, or

even just to age some contemporary footage you’ve shot. Adding grain or other

textures, can be a great way to ‘dirty’ this new, clean footage up and help

achieve the look you’re after.
It Can be a Sticking Plaster
Adding grain can help to hide things you’d rather your

audience didn’t see. If you have banding in your colours, or compression

artifacts, then including noise can mask those. However, beware when adding grain

to videos intended for online uploading, like Facebook

and YouTube. Those platforms will heavily compress your video. If you’ve added noise,

that’s extra information in your video that will be processed and compressed

and can result in more artifacts than you were originally trying to hide.
Photo by Joshua Newton on UnsplashHow to Add Grain and Noise to Your Video
Use a Built-in Generator
One of the easiest ways to add grain is to use the add-ons

your editing suite comes with. There are things to consider when you’re adding

grain this way. Adjust the opacity and blending mode of your noise layer(s) to get

a more tailored result. If you’re trying to recreate

an old film look, you’ll probably want several layers, one each for the

different effects like noise, scratches and dirt for example.
Use a Photograph
You can use a still image with transparency to add noise or

a texture. If you do this, it’ll look more realistic if you add some movement

to it and so better replicates moving cinema film. Fractal Noise in Adobe

Premiere Pro lets you add noise with motion.
Try a Template
A template pack can give you lots of customisable objects in one easy template. Give this one a try, from Envato Market:
Vintage

and Grunge Film Effect 06 for Adobe After Effects
Try this Adobe

After Effects pack to add a variety of effects to your film. The pack includes

noise (or grain), scratches, vignette, light leaks and more. The links to the

free fonts used in the preview are included too.
Vintage and Grunge Film Effect 06More Great Video Helpers

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