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Topaz Impression 2

Topaz Labs just released Topaz Impression 2, an updated version of their painting software, adding more presets, integrated masking, and many other features, listed below. The update is free to anyone who already owns Impression, and for those who don’t own it, Impression 2 will be on sale ($40 off) until July 7, 2016. You can share the coupon code “2IMPRESS” with your friends so they can also take advantage of the discounted price of $59.99 (regularly $99.99).

Here is the Topaz download link:
Topaz Impression 2  and enter “2IMPRESS” as the coupon code to get the $40 discount.

New features:
• 30+ New effects – Impression 2 now comes with over 140 effects!
• Larger Brush Panel – no more squinting to find the brush you need.
• Masking – Impression 2 now includes masking in application! Using a brush, color range, luminosity range, or spot masking, the masking panel even includes our color aware tool.
• Topaz Community – now you can share your created effects with the other users of Impression 2 with a click of a button. Not seeing an effect you like? Browse the Topaz Community to surf an ocean of custom user made effects.
• New brush customization options:
– “Number of strokes” options to change the number of strokes applied to the image.
– “Large Brush Volume” that adjust paint volume in large areas of color to help focus on the details.
– “Stroke “Rotation Variation” to add randomness to your effect strokes.
• Highlight and Shadow control in the lighting menu.
• Support for High DPI (4k) monitors in Windows 7/8/10

Below are some images that I processed with the new Impression program.

Topaz link to purchase, update, or try the Impression 2 plugin for 30 days at free:
Topaz Impression 2  and enter “2IMPRESS” as the coupon code to get the $40 discount.

Topaz ReMask5

Topaz Labs just released Topaz ReMask 5, an updated version of their masking software, complete with new features. The update is free to anyone who already owns ReMask, and for those who don’t own it, ReMask 5 will be on sale ($20 off) from August 25th – September 18th. You can share the coupon code “GetReMask5” with your friends so they can also take advantage of the discounted price of $49.99 (regularly $69.99).

Download the program, and run the installation program. The install program will create two versions – a standalone program and a plugin in your Filters menu. In addition, you can invoke Remask5 directly from Adobe Lightroom.

If you use the program in standalone mode, you can not only extract a masked element, but also replace and edit the background of the masked image without leaving the program. You can choose from transparent, solid color, or another image backgrounds. If you bring in another image as background, you can adjust the brightness, contrast, blur, and color saturation just by using the sliders, or you can scale the background image by grabbing the corners and dragging them outwards. Once done, you can save your composite image as JPG, TIFF, or PNG file.

Here is one image from which I extracted the canoe and then brought in another image with a section of a road, all done in a few minutes, and entirely in the ReMask5.

Here is the Topaz link:
Topaz Remask  and enter “GetReMask5” as the coupon code to get the $20 discount.

Topaz Glow

Topaz Labs is an interesting little plugin that detects hidden textures that aren’t visible to the naked eye and then illuminates these hidden contours in a special way (customizable through 72 presets and special sliders). The result is quite surreal – not necessarily applicable to just any image, but sometimes creating quite interesting look like tracing your photo with intense luminescent ink.

Topaz website has many stunning Before and After image examples processed by Glow. You can view them by visiting their site using the provided link below.

I am still experimenting with various options in the new program. Not every image lends itself for this type of processing and sometimes you may discover quite unexpected results. Here is one of my airplane images which I processed in Glow using two different resets:

Original image (Before)

and After


Below is a winter scene from my street after a snow storm.
First the original image:

Next picture processed by Glow’s Liquify preset and blended with the original image.

and the same image converted to Black and White


and here is something different:
Two plump chicks processed with the Fur-And-Feathers preset:

To view, purchase, and download the new Glow plugin, use the following link:
Topaz Labs Glow

[s]and enter “INTROGLOW” as the discount code to obtain $20 discount from the regular $69.99 price.[/s]

IMPORTANT: If you already own the Topaz Collection, use the same link and login with your Topaz id, and you’ll get additional $10 discount.

To purchase another Topaz plugin or the entire collection, you can use the same link and a discount code “lespalenik” for 15% discount. This will work at anytime for any Topaz single plugin or a complete bundle.

Topaz Clarity

Not to be confused with Adobe Lightroom and Camera Raw clarity sliders, this plugin is useful for increase of image’s levels of micro, midrange, and overall contrast. The effect is somewhat similar to NIK’s Tonal Contrast preset in their Color Efex Pro plugin, but Topaz Clarity has many more options, and it seems to be doing better job, when it comes to halos and noise.

I have used it routinely for several months now in combination with Topaz Denoise, Adjust and Impression programs. There are over 100 presets available at your disposal, but I use just a few, and even then sometimes I dial them slightly back. If you like contrasty images, you will like this software.

 

Usually, I run all my images through the Adobe Lightroom first, but in this case for the purpose of demonstration, I processed the image below just with Topaz Clarity program. The bottom image half is unmodified – exactly as it came out from the camera, while the top portion was processed with the Topaz Clarity “Color and Contrast Boost II” preset, and with some color saturation added (while in this preset). The resulting effect is quite dramatic – akin to a removal of obscuring plastic sheet.

Topaz Clarity Example

 
The second picture demonstrates the tonal adjustment capabilities of the program. This is a hidden gem in this program. If you just click on some of the presets (as we initially all do) without making any tonal adjustments, you are missing a lot of the Clarity’s potential.

Recently, at the end of the day, barely catching the last rays of sun, I took a picture of two big stalks of Brussels sprouts on a grass patch, and because of the poor light, I used the camera flash to add some light to the vegetables on the grass. The flash helped to bring out the details in the little balls, but it made the center of the picture also too bright, and thus making the overall looking quite artificial.

So after taking it into Topaz Clarity, I applied a slight increase in the contrast and saturation (pop), and then I used the Tonal adjustments sliders to lighten the background and to darken the highlights in the middle.

The next picture shows the “after” version with slightly darkened veggies, reduced hot spots on the tomatoes and softer shadows. Click on both versions to see it in more detail.

 

Here is one more harvest picture, this time from a large onion field:
This time, I processed the image first in Adobe Lightroom.

and a 100% crop from the central bottom section:

And then I ran it through Topaz Clarity, using the relatively subtle “Medium Contrast And Pop” preset (one click and done).

and a 100% crop from the central bottom section:

 

The last picture shows both versions side by side. Click on it to see it in more detail:

 

To download the latest Topaz Clarity program for a free 30 days trial, use the following link to enter the Topaz Labs website.

Topaz Clarity

To purchase it, use the same link and a discount code “lespalenik” for 15% discount. This will work at anytime for any Topaz single plugin or a complete bundle.

Topaz Impression

Topaz Labs has just released a brand new “painting” program, called Impression.

Topaz Impression

Impression will run both as a standalone program and also as a plugin. In their promotional piece, Topaz Labs emphasizes the power and flexibility of the program that can yield up to 7 billion variations for any pictures. I don’t know how they arrived at this number, but after browsing through the 47 presets/filters and numerous sliders/customization options, the number of possible variations seems indeed mind-boggling.
The selection of one of the available presets is simple and easy, but it is just a starting point. After choosing certain painting style, you can vary the brush size, stroke width and length, opacity, color saturation, contrast, blending mode, and more. And if that is not enough, you could even combine multiple styles.

According to Topaz: No prior knowledge of art is required – all you need is a photo and an unbounded imagination!

When you start the Impression program in the standalone mode, it will present a simple small window where you can browse your images and select one. The program loads very quickly the source image, displays it on the screen, and then it takes a few seconds to initialize its workspace. Then it will show the following screen with the first of the available presets which happens to be an Abstract style. All available presets are shown alphabetically in the right panel.

You can quickly review all “looks” in the right panel and choose something you like. Once you pick a desired preset, the right panel will display the customization sliders.

You can also select a canvas type and background texture.

The following section shows some of the styles which I applied to my Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse image.

Monet

Cezanne

van Gogh

Oil Painting

Pointilization

Chiaroscuro

Charcoal

Urban #1

In the above examples, especially in the small size, some options look very similar, so make sure to click on them and view them in larger size. Another thing to consider, is that the individual painting styles will behave differently for different type of images, and on top of it, you can customize each style by changing the brush and light parameters, as well as the color saturation and contrast.

Since the original image still exists in the memory and sits below your new creation (when using the program in standalone version), you can create yet another painterly version by changing its opacity and blending mode (similar to Photoshop). When you use it as plugin in Photoshop, you can create separate layers for several Impression presets, and then use the blending modes and opacity slider in Photoshop. This option may be overlooked, but it offers interesting and powerful transformation possibilities.

Here are a few more examples from my FineArtAmerica collection, demonstrating the renditions of Abstract, Oil Painting, Van Gogh, and Charcoal presets.

Art Prints

Art Prints

Art Prints

Sell Art Online

Photography Prints

Sell Art Online

Photography Prints

Art Prints

Photography Prints

Photography Prints

Art Prints

Photography Prints

Topaz Impression is a 64-bit program and it should work on the current crop of Mac and Windows systems. You can download a trial version for free and use it for 30 days. Note that if your graphics card doesn’t support OpenGL 3.2 or later, you won’t be able to install the program. If you have OpenGL 3.1 or earlier, visit Intel’s Driver Download page and follow the instructions to manually identify your graphics card driver.

If you already own the Topaz Simplify program with the simple painting presets, you can compare the two programs and see for yourself how much the automated painting evolved in the new Impression program. It’s definitely worth the try!

To download the latest Topaz Impression, use the following link to enter the Topaz Labs website.

Topaz Impression

To purchase it, use the same link and a discount code “lespalenik” for 15% discount. This will work at anytime for any Topaz single plugin or a complete bundle.

Topaz Adjust 5

Topaz Adjust has been around for a number of years and is one of the Topaz most popular plugins. The latest version adds over 100 new presets to their existing presets, so you get a really rich repertoire of many interesting and useful options both in HDR treatments and toning variations. The other main change is the option to add multiple filters similar to NIK Color Efex Pro without exiting back to Photoshop. That is quite useful if you want to combine HDR or saturation effects with some toning or vignette.

Adjustments / Settings

Frankly, with so many standard presets, there is a very good chance that you will never need to change any of those settings. But if you do have special needs, you will like the new Settings panel that has been also enhanced, and is indeed, extremely powerful now. With the many sliders in the Adjustment panel, you can fine-tune the settings in a variety of ways. In addition to the color balance, saturation, contrast and many other familiar sliders, there is now also a Curve adjustment, and borrowed from their Denoise product, also a very competent noise removal.

Topaz Adjust 5 now offers a user-definable Auto Create Layer. In the previous Topaz Adjust versions, as well as in most other Topaz programs, any effects are added directly to the current layer. Of course, you could always create a new layer in Photoshop prior to invoking the Adjust plugin, but it was an extra step. Now, a new layer is created automatically, but if you don’t want adding new layers, you can disable the Auto Create Layer in the user preference panel.

Another new feature is the Split screen capability that is useful for comparing the Before and After effects.

If you want to address just certain sections of your image without masking, you can use a local Brush and Edge Aware Brush tools. And similar to Photoshop Layer Opacity slider, Topaz Adjust 5 has now a Transparency slider which allows to dial back the amount of the applied effects.

Topaz Adjust 5 works with both 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Photoshop CS5-CS6 and CS CC on Mac and Windows systems. To download the latest Topaz Adjust 5 version, use the following link to enter the Topaz Labs website.

Topaz Adjust

You can use this link and a discount code “lespalenik” also for all Topaz single plugins or a complete bundle at anytime for 15% discount

Topaz Remask 4

Topaz Remask has been around for a while now, and it has earned high marks from photographers and graphic designers who need to isolate some elements or create complex masks to break the image into distinct layers. Remask 4 is the latest and most powerful version, released in July 2014. It is also more elegant and simpler to use than the previous versions. This program is different from most of the other Topaz plugins, and as such it uses a different user interface. If you used Remask 3 before, you’ll notice several differences how the new user interface is configured.

In this example, I’ll be using an image of a tiger which I photographed in a zoo and then pasted onto a sandy beach.

Source Image

Below is the Topaz Remask 4 version screen that appears after you invoke the plugin from Lightroom, Photoshop or other host image editing program (click on the image to display it in full resolution).

When you invoke Remask plugin from your editing program, it loads your image and paints it with semitransparant green color (as a default color for keeping the parts of image you’d like to work on).

Source Image

The procedure to cut out the desired part of image is very straightforward. Since the default brush mode is blue, you can immediately drop your pen or mouse on the tiger and start outlining the body with the blue color. It doesn’t matter where you start and you can draw the outline in as many steps as you like. When you finish outlining, fill the outside area with red (one click on the red bucket icon, and another click anywhere outside the tiger), and click on COMPUTE button.

To see the original image and compare it with the newly created mask or a cut out element. you can click on the desired option in the upper display option menu.

Display Options

Topaz Remask 4 Trimap screen

Extracted tiger

If you are happy with the outcome, press OK, and the program returns to your editing program (Photoshop or equivalent), having created a new layer with the cut out element on top of the original layer.

In my case, I copied the tiger and pasted it into another image, scaled down the new layer slightly, flipped it horizontally, and voila – a much more inviting prowling hangout for our tiger (almost exactly as I saw it in my mind when I pressed the shutter – just kidding).

Beach scene with the tiger pasted in

The whole procedure from start to finish took only a few minutes. The mask was created with a minimum effort and it looks quite good. There were a few color contaminations outside of the tiger body which I cleaned up in Photoshop. You can also finetune the mask in Remask by using the adjustment brush and changing the parameters shown in the Remask Control Panel.

 

The second example shows a felt hat, which was photographed with multiple backgrounds around the hat. The top portion is a white board which makes for an easy extraction, on the bottom there is a graduated shadow, shiny metallic can, and a patterned ground touching the right side of the hat.

Felt hat with a brim

The picture below shows the black and white mask layer with the very fine details all around the brim, all accurately rendered regardless of the surrounding background. Click on the mask to see the details at 100%.

Mask Layer

Cut out hat

Topaz Remask 4 works with both 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Photoshop CS5-CS6 and CS CC on Mac and Windows systems. To download the latest Topaz Remask 4 version, use the following link to enter the Topaz Labs website.

Topaz Remask

You can use this link and a discount code “lespalenik” also for other Topaz single plugins or a complete bundle at anytime for 15% discount

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