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Kodak's logo. Courtesy of Eastman Kodak Co. Click here to visit the Kodak website! Kodak announces DIGITAL GEM Professional plugin
(Thursday, July 29, 2004 - 17:25 EDT)

Eastman Kodak Co.'s Austin Development Center has announced a new plugin for Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and PhotoDeluxe, as well as JASC's Paint Shop Pro, that aims to help users control image noise and grain in their digital images.

Available for both Windows and Macintosh systems, the Kodak DIGITAL GEM Professional plugin is fairly simple to use, and offers quite good results given that fact. Two operating modes are available (Noise Suppression or Grain Suppression), and the results can be previewed at anywhere from 12.5% to 400% scale in a 408 x 306 pixel box which can be panned anywhere in the image. The preview box lets you select to see the crop before or after processing, and also the noise that has been detected in the image with the current settings. In Noise Suppression mode there are two slider controllers (values can also be entered directly), where you can select the level of suppression in Highlights and Shadows. Grain Suppression mode instead gives sliders for Suppression level, and Detail Sensitivity. Both modes offer a Clarity function which controls image sharpening or softening with sliders for Amount and Radius; a separate Blending control allows you to mix the processed image with the original to fine-tune the strength of the effect.

Kodak's DIGITAL GEM Professional plugin. Copyright © 2004, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!

A quick test of the program using a recent gallery photo shot at ISO 400, which was captured with Nikon's Coolpix 8700 digital camera, can be seen below. (The thumbnails link to 800 x 600 pixel 1:1 crops from the original and processed images, and show how the plugin handles a variety of different textures, as well as extreme shadow, highlights and saturation)

Kodak DIGITAL GEM Professional v1.0.0
Cropped comparison images
(click for an 800 x 600 sample in a new window)

Kodak's DIGITAL GEM Professional plugin, 'Before' sample image. Copyright © 2004, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!

Kodak's DIGITAL GEM Professional plugin, 'After' sample image. Copyright © 2004, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Click for a bigger picture!


Kodak lists the following programs as compatible with the DIGITAL GEM Professional plugin:

  • ADOBE PHOTOSHOP 5.0, 5.5, 6.0, 7.0, or CS
  • ADOBE PHOTOSHOP Elements 1.0 or 2.0
  • ADOBE PhotoDeluxe Home Edition 4.0 for WINDOWS OS
  • ADOBE PhotoDeluxe 2.0 for MACINTOSH OS
  • JASC Paint Shop Pro 7 for WINDOWS OS

In our own testing, we found no problems using the plugin under JASC's Paint Shop Pro 8. A trial version is available for download at www.asf.com, but applies digital watermarks to images. A software key to remove the watermark can be purchased for $99.95, and the plugin can also be purchased on CD-ROM at the same site. Existing DIGITAL GEM Plug-In owners can purchase the new Professional version for $49.95 thru 9/30/04.

Original Source Press Release:

Kodak Introduces New DIGITAL GEM Professional Plug-In

Free Trial version of the DIGITAL GEM Professional Plug-In now available at www.asf.com

Rochester, NY (July 25, 2004) - Eastman Kodak Company today introduced the new DIGITAL GEM Professional Plug-In, which enables users to dramatically reduce both visual noise and film grain in their digital images without excessive softening. This new, professional plug-in has the same basic features and functionality as the award-winning DIGITAL GEM Plug-In, plus it offers 16 bit support, more control and improved results for automatic noise and grain reduction.

In conjunction with the release of the new DIGITAL GEM Professional Plug-In, the original DIGITAL GEM Plug-In price has been reduced from $79.95 to $49.95. The recently released DIGITAL GEM Airbrush Professional Plug-In which automatically smoothes and renews skin surfaces without affecting prominent details like hair, eyes, lashes, etc, rounds out the family of DIGITAL GEM products.

The image correction and enhancement plug-ins provide easy and effective methods for automatically improving digital images in ADOBE PHOTOSHOP Software and compatible image editing applications. Other members of the suite include the DIGITAL SHO Plug-In for revealing hidden details in shadows or dark image areas, and the DIGITAL SHO Professional Plug-In, which adds more control, functionality, and the ability to reveal hidden detail from highlight areas. The DIGITAL ROC Plug-In restores, corrects, and balances image color, while the DIGITAL ROC Professional Plug-In adds advanced features for brightness and contrast control, as well as 16 bit support. These award-winning software products were developed by Kodak's Austin Development Center (formerly Applied Science Fiction), which has been a leader in automatic image correction and photo restoration applications since the mid 1990s with its revolutionary DIGITAL ICE Technology for film and flatbed scanners which automatically removes surface defects like dust and scratches from scanned film and prints.

The DIGITAL GEM Professional Plug-In now has two unique and powerful algorithms to reduce digital image noise and film grain in both 8-bit and 16-bit color images. Each algorithm is customized for different types of image noise and grain, and each has separate controls associated with it. The "Noise Suppression" algorithm is an improved version of the algorithm used within the original DIGITAL GEM Plug-In. This algorithm is very aggressive and works better for extreme noise problems. The "Grain Suppression" algorithm is not as aggressive,
but is specifically tuned to reduce grain problems, while preserving more detail within the image.

The DIGITAL GEM Professional Plug-In also offers a new "Noise Preview Screen" which enables users to view just the noise or grain that they want to reduce. Adjustments can be made to define how much noise/grain versus how much image detail they want to affect. Users can then toggle back and forth between the Before screen, the After screen, and the Noise Preview screen as they make adjustments in order to see the how the plug-in will improve their image.

The "Clarity" control is for overall image sharpening or softening and a "Blending" control to mix the plug-in effects with the original image are also incorporated into the new product.

"The DIGITAL GEM Professional Plug-In adds many advanced features to give the user more control in managing noise and grain problems. It should be your last step in image correction and enhancement before you save the image." said Dan Sullivan, General Manager, Kodak's Austin Development Center. "Whether you're a professional or an enthusiastic home user, this new plug-in provides a quick, easy, effective, and affordable solution to make good pictures even better."

A FREE trial version is available for download at www.asf.com. This fully functional trial version applies digital watermarks to images. To disable the watermark, users may purchase a software key via a secure, e-commerce site for $99.95. Plug-in product CD-ROMs are also available for purchase at www.asf.com. A special, limited-time offer will be made available to existing DIGITAL GEM Plug-In owners to purchase the new Professional version for only $49.95 (offer good thru 9/30/04). See www.asf.com for details.

About Eastman Kodak Company and infoimaging

Kodak is the leader in helping people take, share, print and view images - for memories, for information, for entertainment. The company is a major participant in infoimaging, a $385 billion industry composed of devices (digital cameras and flat-panel displays), infrastructure (online networks and delivery systems for images) and services & media (software, film and paper enabling people to access, analyze and print images). With sales of $13.3 billion in 2003, the company comprises several businesses: Health, supplying the healthcare industry with traditional and digital image capture and output products and services; Graphic Communications Group, offering on-demand color printing and networking publishing systems consisting of three wholly owned subsidiaries: Encad, Inc., NexPress Solutions, and Kodak Versamark; Commercial Imaging, offering image capture, output and storage products and services to businesses and government; Display & Components, which designs and manufactures state-of-the-art organic light-emitting diode displays as well as other specialty materials, and delivers optics and imaging sensors to original equipment manufacturers; and Digital & Film Imaging Systems, providing consumers, professionals and cinematographers with digital and traditional products and services.

KODAK, DIGITAL GEM, DIGITAL ROC, and DIGITAL SHO are trademarks of Eastman Kodak Company. All other trade names, trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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