When I processed film back in circa ’94 printing some those frames was almost like a magical experience. These days now in digital getting the correct film grain has been kind of a hit and miss with certain applications. As usual some work better than others, but in my opinion True Grain is in a class of its own. At the suggestion of one my readers I downloaded “True Grain” from Grubbasoftware and I couldn’t be happier. Keep in mind that True Grain’s “raison d’etre” is as they mention on their own site to:
accurately recapture the aesthetics of particular film stocks—including “lost” films—while retaining an all-digital workflow.
The attention to detail of this application is simply outstanding ― a full review is forthcoming in the next few weeks. Is it better than Silver Efex? I like it better. How does it compare to VSCO Films grain feature? It was nice meeting you VSCO, see you around. I’ve processed about 10 images already and I’m blown away with the results. The application is affordable, allows you to create and save presets, it works with Lightroom’s external editor feature, supports 64 bits( and 32 bits as well, something I highly appreciate it), and as icing on the cake ― it works in both, Windows (I’m thinking of getting a PC) and Mac. True Grain supports the following film types currently:
- Agfa APX 400
- Bergger BRF-200
- Forte Fortepan 200
- Fuji Neopan 400
- Ilford Delta 3200 Professional
- Ilford Delta 400
- Ilford FP4 Plus
- Kodak Panatomic-X
- Kodak Professional T-MAX 400
- Kodak Professional T-MAX P3200
- Kodak Professional TRI-X 400
- Kodak TRI-X Pan 400
- Kodak Verichrome Pan
- Konica Infrared 750nm
- Orwo NP22
With all that said, its definitely a winner in my book for covering all the bases. If you appreciate the film look in your digital files then I highly recommend you give True Grain a spin ― its a great addition to your digital darkroom, I just did myself. Talk about a companion to my Ricoh GR files. Thanks Jurgen!
Wordpess.com Tip Jpeg Compression Tip
When uploading your priced jpegs to the servers of WordPress.com make sure you know your theme’s maximum width for your images. What happens is when you upload an image that is higher than your theme’s max width wp.com compression factor kicks in and will alter (reads ― degrade) your priced upload. So keep that in mind. In my case its 890px wide so I have to export my jpeg from a tiff(True Grain saves a tiff file) file to that exact size in order to have my image be what it is ― my pride and joy, and not be degraded and hence the loss of visible grain on the image. Just something to keep in back burner when you upload. If you’re on wordpress.org you there is a function available, give it a google.
I feel so strongly about this application I added it to the sidebar to share the love of the software I use to create my vision.
TrueGrain 2.0 is out. I’m really glad, because for a while there it was impossible to purchase TrueGrain as their payment processor had gone out of business. Do try out the demo. It’s wonderful. Jorge, your photos are inspirational. I especially enjoy the fact that you also shoot with a Pentax K5IIs with an FA31, a combo that I also use. You’re showing us how it’s done.
Thanks for the heads-up; I’ll be sure to give this a go as soon as the GR is in hand. All 3 shots look really good, by the way!
I have been using True Grain for over a year, it does a really good and faithful job with the conversions. Worth every penny.
I concur John, its an excellent piece of software. Cheers! I just love the beauty of the grain it produces.
Tested it and it seems to be fantastic! Just love that grain. Thanks and your shots are great with TrueGrain!
Btw, have you noticed that the list you provided for the included film types is twice in your post? So, many of the film types is now missing from the list.
Great news Jonne! Yup, that grain is beautiful so film like its unreal. Thanks I just corrected it, silly me, didn’t notice it. Cheers.
Impressive post processing Jorge – like that first frame very much too !!
Thanks Pat! I’ve got more coming later on today. Cheers
Would adding a noise reduction tool like e.g. Nik’s Dfine before applying TrueGrain be of any value, in an attempt to further reduce the digital noice, or is it overkill? It could result in a more film-like look, but at the expense of reducing image details, specially textures.
I wouldn’t I’ve processed a few more and I’m quite pleased with the results. Stay tuned in a couple of hours – I just woke up.
Nice photos – really like #3. 🙂 Have you tried Alien skin exposure for B&W conversions? If so, how does it compare to true grain?
Thanks! I remember testing it out early last year and going back to SEP. Overall, I think True Grain is way ahead of both.
Thanks for the info. Looking forward to seeing more photos with True Grain, and may check it out. 🙂
For sure. Thanks, I’ll be using True Grain exclusively from now on. 🙂
Looks great! I will use this plugin for fine tuning the pictures so I’m really getting back that analog look instead of the digital pixel look, specially when cropping. Back then Kodak Tri-X and Fuji Neopan where the ones I used, so it’s great to see how well it really recapture the aesthetics of films in a more natural way. Now, where did I put my credit card…
Thanks Carlos! I’m totally floored with the results, one of the best addition to my digital darkroom for sure and hey, not messy chemicals haha.
I would pay twice if they could add Fuji Neopan 1600 😉
In Grubba softwares faq section they mention that if one is missing a particular film stock, just write to them and they maybe can help you. It could be worth an attempt. But don’t mention anything about paying twice, for the sake of new buyers 😉
Thanks for the heads up. With their 16 films right now and the customizations you can do to each – the sky is the limit.
jajaja, but Neopan 1600 was very special, still trying to emulate this, but i don’t get this smoothness so far. Anyway, one question, do you add the grain at the end of the process or before?
Lol, always at the end. I first I convert to BW from a dng, do my regular adjustments, then export to the tiff and into True Grain and the play a little more with the Dynamic Range feature and hop over the Grain module and that’s it. Cheers.