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What is “Grain”?

Film grain or granularity is the random optical texture of processed photographic film due to the presence of small particles of a metallic silver, or dye clouds, developed from silver halide that’ve received enough photons. While film grain is a function of such particles (or dye clouds) it is not the same thing as such. It is an optical effect, the magnitude of which (amount of grain) depends on both the film stock and the definition at which it is observed. It can be objectionably noticeable in an over-enlarged photographic film photograph.”
More information


Explained with a screen:

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What is the actual difference between Grain and Noise?

Even I don’t really know that. When we speak of anime most people associate “noise” with something bad. Something, you always should remove. While “grain” is on purpose, something you shouldn’t remove. In other words, “noise” is the light version of “grain”. It’s bloating the file size without a reason. You’ve it in every source, even when it’s almost not noticeable (like “grain” in the screen above). That’s why I recommend always putting a denoiser on your source (except it’s heavy grained). Be careful and use light denoising. Grain is used for changing the mood of an anime. Maybe the whole time, or maybe just in flashback scenes.


Another website with good information about that topic


 

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