How to use the Topaz filters?

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Adalbert
Posts: 1092
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:09 pm

How to use the Topaz filters?

Post by Adalbert »

Hello everybody,
Does anybody know how to use the Topaz filters as DeNoise, Clean and Detail ?
- sequence (first DeNoise then Clean then Detail ?)
- settings (standard or user-defined)
- the best work-flow (e.g. first scale down to the Web then use Denoise, … ? )
Thank you in advance.
BR, ADi

Cactusdave
Posts: 1631
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:40 pm
Location: Bromley, Kent, UK

Post by Cactusdave »

Everyone who uses these tools will have their own ideas, but this is what I tend to use.

Firstly, and this is obvious but worth repeating, try to take your images in such a way that they won't need a lot of post processing with these kind of tools. Try to get your iso choice, exposure, sharpness, and contrast as good as you can in camera. The fact is no post processing tools, no matter how good, can undo fundamental flaws in your image. They can help with some types of issue, but can't make a really blurred image sharp, or recover fully blown highlights for example.

My preference is to use DeNoise first. Look at your image at 100%, if you see noise, apply as little noise reduction as will deal with it to your satisfaction. Watch background and detail. You should be aiming to remove noise without losing significant amounts of detail.

I don't use Clean, I don't like its effects. I do find Topaz Clarity sometimes useful when increased contrast is called for. It's effects can be quite strong, so it needs to be used carefully.

I find Topaz Detail very useful. It's my preferred sharpening tool. It has lots of sliders and presets and it is possible to get a really well tailored, sympathetic sharpening. The Topaz Detail highlights, shadows and black level sliders are also useful for tweaks that could be done in Photoshop, but by staying in the same plugin its easy to evaluate their combined effects.

It's worth remembering that at least in Photoshop CS6 which I use, you have the option of fading any Topaz alterations if they look good but a touch too strong.

After you have resized the final image for the web it may be a good idea to resharpen a little, if it looks as though detail has been lost when viewed at the intended size. I tend to use the Photoshop unsharp mask tool for this.

All this is pretty subjective and as I said, I'm sure others will have their own opinions.
Leitz Ortholux 1, Zeiss standard, Nikon Diaphot inverted, Canon photographic gear

Adalbert
Posts: 1092
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:09 pm

Post by Adalbert »

Hi Cactusdave,

Many thanks for the hints!
”It's worth remembering that at least in Photoshop CS6 which I use, you have the option of fading any Topaz alterations if they look good but a touch too strong.”
Unfortunately I have the CS5. Does the CS6 have any new feature which allows the modification of the changes caused by the Topaz-filters?

BR, ADi

Cactusdave
Posts: 1631
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:40 pm
Location: Bromley, Kent, UK

Post by Cactusdave »

Does the CS6 have any new feature which allows the modification of the changes caused by the Topaz-filters?
Yes. This is what you can do in CS6. I have no experience of CS5. I migrated from Elements straight to CS6. When you have completed your Topaz plugin action and accepted the changes, the Topaz plugin will drop you back into the CS6 editing window. If you immediately go to Edit and inspect the drop down menu, you will find the top option is Undo Topaz (Clarity for example), the fourth option down is Fade Topaz Clarity. If you click on this option a slider opens which allows you to vary the strength of the Topaz changes from 0% to 100%. I sometimes find that I'm pleased with a Topaz change, but would like it to be a little less strong. Taking the slider back to between 65%-75% often produces a result that I'm happier with. This is particularly true with Topaz Clarity, which is great for boosting contrast, but sometimes needs to be 'dialled back' a bit. Of course if you a really unhappy with the Topaz edit, hit Undo and start again! :lol:
Leitz Ortholux 1, Zeiss standard, Nikon Diaphot inverted, Canon photographic gear

Chris S.
Site Admin
Posts: 3498
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:55 pm
Location: Ohio, USA

Post by Chris S. »

The fade feature has been part of Photoshop for quite a few generations.

For a similar but more robust method of dialing in how much of a filter's effect you want, copy the image into a new layer (control+j on a PC), run the filter on that layer, and then adjust the opacity or blending options of that layer.

--Chris S.

Cactusdave
Posts: 1631
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:40 pm
Location: Bromley, Kent, UK

Post by Cactusdave »

Thanks for the tip Chris.
Leitz Ortholux 1, Zeiss standard, Nikon Diaphot inverted, Canon photographic gear

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