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Archive 2013 · Anyone here using Topaz plug-ins ?
  
 
Alan321
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Anyone here using Topaz plug-ins ?


I'd like to know if Topaz plug-ins are worth using, but without me having to learn what you guys might already know. My Ps skills are minimal and I am not too quick on the uptake with new software these days. I am most likely to use the plug-ins with Lr (on a Mac) and I am most interested in InFocus, DeNoise, Detail, DeJPEG and maybe Clean. I get the impression that there is a lot of overlap in the capabilities of some of these plug-ins and that they might gobble up a lot of my time learning multiple ways to achieve the same thing in different ways.

Are they good stuff ? As in ... up there with the best for what they do ?

Is it worth buying the whole kit ?

Or do one or two of them do most of what the others do ?

Initially I am looking to get the most and best out of my less than perfect photos (i.e. most of them) for making large prints, but I might be tempted to try some of their more arty plug-ins later on. I'm not usually into that sort of thing.

Thanks in advance.
- Alan



Apr 10, 2013 at 08:52 PM
Mike Pearson
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Anyone here using Topaz plug-ins ?


Iím on Windows and use PhotoShop, so I canít speak to any platform issues, but I now use Topaz DeNoise, InFocus and Detail. I really like them. In the past I had used FocusMagic and Neat Image, but due to FocusMagic not being updated to 64 bit for so long I tried InFocus and found it much, much better. Then I trialed DeNoise and preferred it to Neat Image so I switched. For kicks I trialed Detail and unexpectedly found it quite useful.

There is a bit of overlap I guess, but not much. For instance, if I recall correctly, DeNoise has a sharpen slider but that has nowhere near the options and control of InFocus so I donít use it.

I found their plug-ins to be quite intuitive. Iím not much for reading directions and just jumped in and played with the programs a bit. If I were into reading, there are some adjustment sliders (that appear to be for functions I didnít get the program for, such as color adjustments) that I donít use. If I run into a problem my current work flow doesnít handle Iíll probably read. But no need so far.



Apr 11, 2013 at 04:19 AM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Anyone here using Topaz plug-ins ?


Clean & Simplify give you artsy effects like:





























Apr 11, 2013 at 04:55 AM
dcains
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Anyone here using Topaz plug-ins ?


What are the odd horizontal-line artifacts in the bald eagle pic? Almost looks like a canvas print.


Apr 11, 2013 at 05:25 AM
Alan321
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Anyone here using Topaz plug-ins ?


Thanks for that summary, Mike.

Tony, I could get to like those image effects. Do you find that it helps you to salvage something useful from a less than perfect photo, or does the original still have to be pretty good to make it work ? I'm thinking more in terms of exposure and noise and fine detail rather than composition.

- Alan



Apr 11, 2013 at 12:18 PM
mshi
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Anyone here using Topaz plug-ins ?


I have seen more amazing skin work done using Topaz Detail in Photoshop.




Apr 11, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Anyone here using Topaz plug-ins ?


dcains wrote:
What are the odd horizontal-line artifacts in the bald eagle pic? Almost looks like a canvas print.


Probably texture filter or painting filter.



Apr 11, 2013 at 03:35 PM
 

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Imagemaster
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Anyone here using Topaz plug-ins ?


Alan321 wrote:
Thanks for that summary, Mike.

Tony, I could get to like those image effects. Do you find that it helps you to salvage something useful from a less than perfect photo, or does the original still have to be pretty good to make it work ? I'm thinking more in terms of exposure and noise and fine detail rather than composition.

- Alan


Alan,

It of course helps to have an interesting image to start with. On the other hand, if you have a less than perfect photo, applying different filters can cover up a lot of things. e.g. I do all my cloning or pasting (like the geese in the last shot) before applying filters. That way the filter effects often cover up my sloppy results. The Topaz filters are great for playing around with. You can mix different filter effects, apply different effects to different parts of the image, and fade an effect after applying it. Possibilities are endless.

Here is an example of two mediocre shots combined for a more interesting image, then a couple of different Topaz filters added:






1







2







3







4







5




Apr 11, 2013 at 03:51 PM
Allynb
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Anyone here using Topaz plug-ins ?


I use Topaz Adjust and Detail. I really like the control they give you. They're inexpensive and do a great job.

Allan



Apr 12, 2013 at 02:44 AM
mshi
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Anyone here using Topaz plug-ins ?


This is what I did in Topaz Adjust four years ago.








Apr 12, 2013 at 03:48 AM
harrygilbert
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Anyone here using Topaz plug-ins ?


FWIW, I have the entire Topaz suite, and they allow one to very quickly achieve effects that would take much longer to do using native Photoshop (after years of training). I bought them whenever they were released at introductory price, but IMHO they are worth the (reasonable) full price. Besides, Topaz is almost unique in how they give free upgrades and are constantly improving and adding to their products. They also have a very generous policy of allowing installation on multiple machines - very useful if you have a desktop in the studio and a laptop for field work.


Apr 12, 2013 at 04:47 AM
Alan321
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Anyone here using Topaz plug-ins ?


FYI they have a couple of discounts going at present - one code for the B&W effects produce works for the entire plug-in bundle and gives 30% off. Another code gives $30 off their plug-in manager, which allows you to avoid Ps completely if you use Lr or Aperture or iPhoto. Both are on their site and not aimed at specific users.

I decided to get the whole lot. Obviously the arty stuff is outside the scope of Lr which is my primary photo software, but I'm looking forward to being able to improve on a few of the relatively tricky / poor photos that Lr cannot fix so easily. For some reason I seem to like anything that keeps me from having to put the effort into learning Ps properly

Thanks everyone for your input.

- Alan



Apr 12, 2013 at 09:22 AM
RDKirk
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Anyone here using Topaz plug-ins ?


I use several Topaz products. Most images get a touch of Adjust, but I also use ReMask, B&W Effects, and Detail. I have Lens Effects, but it gets the least use. I also use photoFXlab.


Apr 12, 2013 at 10:28 AM





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