Cinnafilm announced it will unveil its signature Dark Energy texture management as a plug-in for Adobe After Effects. Cinnafilm partnered in 2009 with post-production image specialists Digital Film Central of Vancouver Canada to develop groundbreaking de-grain, de-noise and dustbust software. ARRI Relativity was the first product released from that endeavor. Since then, Cinnafilm and DFC have worked to develop and enhance the software’s capabilities even further. Now branded as Dark Energy, the technology is currently in use at many of the world’s finest post production facilities.

While Dark Energy has been used to restore many important films, it is equally at home optimizing images in the high-end digital filmmaking process. For example, Dark Energy was recently used to up-res, de-noise and texturize Relativity Media’s Navy SEAL action film, “Act of Valor,” the nation’s top grossing movie on Oscar weekend.

“Cinnafilm’s Dark Energy does something no other plug-in or de-noise software can do,” says “Act of Valor” cinematographer Shane Hurlbut, ASC. “Because we shot so much mixed media from shot to shot – including over 200 hours of HD and 20 hours of 35mm film – I needed consistency. The look would have to be the same delivered on the DCP (Digital Cinema Print) as well as the Fuji film prints. This was only possible through Dark Energy’s texture management system. Just imagine being able to strip all 5D compression noise off of the images and then add precise amounts of authentic film grain to every bit of DSLR footage, matching the warmth of the 35mm film shots. That is the ‘lightning in the bottle’ that is Dark Energy.”

Digital Film Central partner and CTO James Tocher says, “Dark Energy can remove the fingerprint of any particular camera and enable filmmakers to mix film, digital and video footage. Since it can remove noise while maintaining image detail, creative freedom expands beyond previously accepted limitations when working with digital files. ‘Act of Valor’ is a great example of this and heralds a new chapter in digital filmmaking.”

Lance Maurer, Cinnafilm’s founder and president, agrees: “Even the very best digital cameras have noise, especially when the exposure is pushed, and with new monitors extending their dynamic range capabilities, this problem is not going away. A technology that can intelligently de-noise images, maintain detail and add realistic film texture can change the game of filmmaking – we think Dark Energy is that game-changer.”

Maurer continues, “After working with Shane and the crew at Bandito Brothers on ‘Act of Valor,’ we recognized this was where filmmaking trends are going. I’m a fan of the hard work Adobe has put into its editing and image processing products, so it was a no-brainer to release the Dark Energy plug-in for After Effects first. More killer features and additional platforms are coming. Dark Energy for After Effects is just the beginning.”


Dark Energy for After Effects is available now at a pre-release price of $299. For general release, slated for July 4, 2012, the price will be $399. The plug-in includes both Dark Energy’s signature de-noise and film simulation modules for High Definition image sequences.

For further information or to purchase go to Cinnafilm.

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