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advantages of adding film grain shaders to low resolution content

My journey with film grain began with a revelation. Witnessing its beauty in Steven Spielberg's "The Fabelmans," I grasped its power as a unique visual language, shaping the very experience of the film.

Film stock selection is an art form itself, meticulously chosen to evoke emotions and establish eras. Far from a flaw, film grain is a deliberate tool, adding texture and depth to the narrative.

However, the digital age, with its pristine visuals, has reshaped perceptions. Viewers accustomed to this aesthetic may view film grain as an outdated relic.

But the story doesn't end there. Both piracy, streaming services and legitimate transfers often remove film grain, catering to this perceived desire for a flawless digital look. This trend, unfortunately, erases a vital artistic choice, exemplified by recent, "degrained" versions of classic films like "Terminator 2."

Yet, a beacon of hope emerges. Advancements in AV1 encoding and film grain synthesis pave the way for its return. YouTube content, from artistic endeavors to music videos, is witnessing a resurgence of film grain. This resurgence signifies a growing understanding of its artistic merit, a recognition of the beauty that lies in embracing imperfection.

Film grain reminds us that true beauty often resides in the subtle, textured imperfection that the pursuit of digital perfection can erase. It's a reminder to appreciate the artistic choices ingrained in the very fabric of the film experience.

Now, let's get onto the real reason we are here. The usage of film grain shaders to mask compression artifacts, and to help with upscaling of content.

I had seen on the doom9 forums of using the grain option in enhancements of madvr to help mask compression artifacts that are enhanced when you are upscaling from lower resolution to higher resolutions such as 480p to 2160p. There even is a patent on the usage of this

I have found that it really works well for low bitrate highly compressed videos, for example using this shader stack for mpv which you can get from here

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Here are some images that show the difference

[Nmixx second photobook film grain off]

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[Nmixx second photobook face film grain off] Ty's Music Corner

[Nmixx second photobook film grain on]

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[Nmixx second photobook face film grain on]

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