RealGrain 1.0.1

Reviewed by: Mario Georgiou, February 2007
Published by: Imagenomic
Requires: Photoshop CS/CS2/CS3 or Elements 3/4 or a recent edition of a plug-in compliant program; Windows 2000, XP or Vista; Mac OS X 10.3.x/10.4.x; 256MB RAM, 10MB available hard disk space
MSRP: US$99.95

Of all the tools Imagenomic makes, RealGrain is my favorite. The main reason for this is its versatility and the accuracy with which it emulates a wide variety of film types and film development processes. With this useful plug-in you can emulate black & white or color films from Agfa, Fuji, Ilford and Kodak. You can even emulate effects such as cross processing, split toning, black & white or color infrared, sepia toning and a whole lot more. The range of film stocks which are emulated is awesome. RealGrain is available separately or as part of the Imagenomic Professional Plug-in Suite along with Portraiture and Noiseware Professional.

Like all other Imagenomic offerings RealGrain really needs no manual. The user interface in the filter speaks for itself. I got to grips with it quickly with no need to refer to the manual and had hours of fun trying things out. The ability to automatically adjust grain size so that it is based on an images physical dimensions and resolution is another feature which puts this plug-in ahead of its competitors.


The ability to control how grain is generated is one of the best implementations I've seen yet with only one competitor producing better results. Even though the addition or manipulation of digital grain isn't quite perfect, in RealGrain it is still by far the most versatile with control over the tonal range, balance and intensity as well as grain size. The only way to improve upon this would be to develop a method of modeling the shape of chemical film grain so that you could more accurately represent the real world equivalents.

With the range of film stocks and looks being emulated it is hard to see what could be added to improve this easy to use tool. Nonetheless, I have some suggestions for Imagenomic for emulations I'd like to see: selenium toning, sistan toning, cyanotypes and lithprinting among others.

Cons: Would like to see some more control over the look of the grain. I think there's still some work to be done by Imagenomic to create more realistic looking grain. It would be nice to be able to access all the presets in one place.

Pros: RealGrain is fast and easy to use. Highly configurable. Excellent selection of film types. Great value for the money. This is without a doubt one of the best tools of its kind. With a few small improvements in how film grain is handled and the addition of a few more film type effects it will be hard act to beat. Highly Recommended.

KSN Product Rating:





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