If you are a Photoshop Elements users then this is your time! The new Elements 11 was just released and WOW are there some BIG changes that make it more use-friendly and easier to use. Two of the first things you’ll notice upon opening it is the redesigned interface and the guided edits and filters. Together with your favorite plug-ins, you’re sure to see a definite boost in both productivity and creativity.

For those making the switch to PSE 11 (or doing a 30-day trial run) your Topaz plug-ins are already compatible, so just be sure to move them over so that you can still use them. If you don’t know how to move your plug-in files I have written some steps to quickly walk you through the process. (It’s pretty simple and should take less than 3 minutes) Learn how here.

Should you find any issues with Topaz or Photoshop Elements and need to reinstall (or any other questions) just contact our customer support and we can help you.

Once you get up and running in the new PSE11 let me know what you think. Do you like the new design and setup?

Simplify is getting even better. Soon we will be releasing the new and improved Topaz Simplify 4. Simplify 4 includes new tools and features, designed to help you become an artistic photo guru. Take a look at the new and improved features waiting for you!

What’s New in Simplify 4:
– New Presets and Preset categories
– New adjustments sliders for dynamics, structure and structure boost.
– Local Adjustments brush
– Apply button
– Curve Tool and Histogram
– Finishing touches

What’s Improved in Simplify 4:
– Split Screen. Use the 2-screen split view for easy before and after comparison.
– Interactive Sliders. Take advantage of interactive slider/control response during your workflow. This feature works best for faster systems. One-click to position slider abiity

411 on Simplify 4:

Q2. Is it really a free upgrade?
Yes, Simplify 4 will be a free upgrade to those that already own a previous version of Simplify (v1, v2 or v3). If you previously purchased a bundle or bundle upgrade that included Simplify then you ARE eligible for the free upgrade too!

Q2. When will Simplify 4™ be available?
Simplify 4 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, September 13. Sign up for the Topaz newsletter to receive notification once it is available. We will announce everything you need to know regarding upgrade and purchase information once Simplify 4 is released. So please hold all questions regarding: upgrade, purchasing, licensing, etc… until after the release as our staff will be busy preparing for the upcoming release.

Q3. Can I get a free copy?
Yes, for those that do not already own a previous version of Simplify, there will be chances to win! Be sure to sign up for intro webinars once the new Simplify program is released. During the webinars we will be giving away some free copies to a few lucky attendees. Just sign up for an intro webinar for your chance to win! You can sign up on our webinars page: www.topazlabs.com/webinars

Q4. Will there be a free 30-day trial?
Yes, as with all of our other Topaz programs there will also be a free, fully-functional 30-day trial. No watermarks or limitations (other than the 30 day limit).

Q5. Let’s talk price…what’s it going to be?
Simplify 4 will be a FREE upgrade for existing Simplify customers. There will be a special discount for those that do not own Simplify and would like to add it to their collection. Discount amount and coupon code TBA….but sure to be a SWEET deal!!

One of the new features in the just released photoFXlab 1.2 update is the ability to host certain 3rd party .8bf plug-ins. This new ability offers additional convenience and flexibility to your workflow.

Using Additional Plug-ins
Within photoFXlab you are able to use certain additional plug-ins that are compatible with Adobe Photoshop. However please note that there may be some plug-ins that aren’t supported. These additoinal plug-ins must have the .8bf extension in order to be used in photoFXlab. To add or remove these plug-ins to your photoFXlab Filters tab please go to Filter -> Add/Remove Plug-ins.

Once you select Add/Remove plug-ins, you will see your Additional Plug-in Manager

To add a plug-in to you will click on Add which will launch a finder menu allowing you to navigate your system to select the desired plug-in(s).

Follow the directions below to access your plug-ins…

For Mac:
Macintosh HD -> Library -> Application Support ->Select plug- in folder-> Choose

For PC:
C: -> Program Files -> Select plug-in folder -> OK

Once you select those file locations you will be directed back to the Additonal Plug-in Manager. You will see the plug-in folder that you selected, now in your Plug-in Manager. Once you click Quit, that will save the change.

How to Remove Plug-ins
To remove a plug-in from your photoFXlab program you will need to launch the Plug-in Manager and click the plug-in file that you wish to remove. Select Remove and then Quit to save the changes.

I don’t know about you, but I am super excited about the new Mountain Lion OS. As with all new software and OS updates, there are many questions regarding continued support of Topaz plug-ins.

I am happy to announce that the latest versions of Topaz programs are all compatible with the new Mountain Lion. So if you were a 10.5, 10.6 or 10.7 user then you will be able to make the easy transition to 10.8. Once you install your new OS, all of your Topaz plug-ins will be there waiting for you!

Now, for those still using 10.4 that are ready to make the big jump to 10.8, you will need to update your Topaz plug-ins (after you install Mountain Lion). See here for details on updating to the latest Topaz versions.

Ready to get started? Find out how to install OS X Mountain Lion on your Mac.

Enjoy and be sure to let me know what your favorite new feature of Mountain Lion is!

When creating your masks you may notice that images with stronger, saturated backgrounds can leave instances of color contamination (also called color bleed) along the edges of your subject.

ReMask offers color decontamination technology which can help solve these color bleed issues – located in your Refinement toolset. After you create and compute your Tri-Map in ReMask, you will gain access to the Refinement toolset (lower left of the interface). The Refinement tools help you clean up your mask.

The Recovery slider (under foreground color) helps reduce color contamination by eliminating tint and reviving the color of your foreground – in weaker / more transparent areas.

Here’s a quick example of color contamination and how ReMask can help reduce it…

1. You’ll see we have a black dot on a red background.

Original Image

2. When you mask out (cutout) that dot, a ring of red tint is left around the edges.

After Masking

3. If we increase the value of the Recovery slider to 100 (must be in the Keep view) you can see that it removes that red tint from the edges, giving us a cleaner cutout.

After Recovery slider use