How to Use Dfine in Photoshop

Dfine is a Photoshop plugin which gives users control over which areas to apply noise reduction and by how much. Noise is used to refer to any imperfections created by digital cameras. The type and amount of noise is influenced by the type and quality of imaging sensor on the camera. Here is a brief guide to using this plugin to apply noise reduction.

Step 1: Load the Working Files and Plugin

Open Photoshop by double clicking on the icon located at the computer desktop. After loading the program, click File then Open. A dialog box will open allowing you to browse for the files to be edited. Once the image has been located and selected, click Open to load the image. To load the plugin, look for the Filter menu at the topmost part of the program window. Click once to access the drop down menu. Look for the corresponding plugin version installed on the system.

Step 2: Move around the Image

There are three preview types offered by the plugin, located at the top left side of the interface. By default, the option selected is Single Image View. Other options include splitting the screen view horizontally or vertically. This gives you the option to see both the before and after effects within the same view. The guideline which splits the screen can be moved up and down or left and right, depending on the view.

To move around the image, there is the Zoom and Pan tool located to the right of the series of preview buttons. Another method is by using the Loupe and Navigator tool. This feature is part of the Noise Reduction window, located at the right hand part of the plugin interface. The Loupe and Navigator windows allow you to zoom into specific parts of the image and use the push pin button to lock the position.

Step 3: Measure the Noise

Dfine offers users two options in measuring the existing noise on the image. One is through the Noise Reduction Window. There are two measuring options available: Automatic and Manual. Click the Measure Noise button to confirm the settings. Slightly underneath is an added feature of the plugin which allows you to save the image’s EXIF data such as the brand of camera used, the number of megapixels and the ISO.

The settings used to measure this particular data are saved as a profile. Once the saved profile is loaded, any image loaded onto the plugin that has the same EXIF data as the saved profile is automatically measured using the saved settings. By clicking the Settings button located at the bottom left corner of the screen, you can also allow the plugin to automatically measure each image that is loaded.

Step 4: Reduce Noise

The Dfine plugin offers three options in reducing noise. You can choose to reduce the noise on the entire image or only on selected areas determined by color ranges or through control points. For selected areas, click the Brush tool located at the bottom right of the interface. This opens a new layer in Photoshop where you can choose the areas where the noise reduction feature is applied.