With 14 plug-ins total in our complete collection of products, it can sometimes be confusing as to which to use and in what order. In the above chart the programs are separated into several tiers depending on your photographic and creative needs. The Topaz Workflow is a very subjective workflow and in the end what you use depends on your creative vision.
1. Host Program
The Topaz plug-ins must be accessed through a compatible host program like our stand alone editor, PhotoFXlab. You can also access our software with Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, Aperture, iPhoto, Corel PaintShop Pro, PhotoImpact, Serif Photo Plus and Irfanview. See our knowledge base on how to install Topaz in any of these programs if needed.
2. Technical Fixes = Clean Up Image
This relates to technical issues that will only get worse if you edit your images without cleaning the image first. For instance, noise and jpeg artifacts will become more obvious and difficult to remove during the workflow if you do not remove them prior to making additional adjustments.
InFocus– Fantastic for capture sharpening and slight de-blurring. If you are blowing up an image and want it to be tact sharp this is the program for you. Even the most sharp images out of camera can use some capture sharpening. The program also works well with image blur of ten pixels or less.
DeNoise– The program shines with heavy ISO noise reduction. Often to get a good capture you will need to increase your camera’s ISO, so if you are a night shooter or take images indoors without a flash this program might appeal to you as it works very well at removing that type of noise.
DeJPEG– If you grab an image from the Internet or have an image that has been saved over and over as a jpeg there’s going to be a breakdown; a lossy type of save this is and you may notice a grid-like pattern occur across the image. This program removes jpeg artifacts specifically.
3. Photo Effects = Core Photo Programs
B&W Effects– Quickly convert your image into black and white and add in realistic looks from simulated filters.
ReStyle– This is our creative program that allows you to recolor and restylize your image. The plug-in contains over 1,000 photographic effects, different blending modes and an opacity capability.
Adjust– Our flagship product, Adjust adds amazing pop to your image, allowing you to adjust exposure and reduce noise. The core technology is adaptive exposure, however there are also tools for detail, color and noise removal. Use this plug-in for the “Topaz” look which is an HDR (high dynamic range) style.
Clarity– Best use for flawless image definition. The intelligent contrast algorithm focuses on specific areas of contrast and will break an image down into different contrast variations that you can adjust. With the program you can create an image that has a lot of pop and depth without any sort of heavier effect, whereas Adjust will give you a more stylized image; Clarity is more natural.
Lens Effects– Your digital camera bag. Use this program after the four above. The plug-in contains many filters that simulate physical equipment that you can actually add to your camera while shooting. Tilt-shift and bokeh are a couple of examples.
4. Artistic Effects
Clean– This is our texture and edge tool. You can achieve cartoon and vector-like effects. It is also the best skin softener for portrait images. The program works on texture in a very smart way. Although it is more commonly used for cartoon effects, it does have a beautiful impact on skin.
Simplify– A painterly type of tool where you can turn your images into sketches and drawings. The program will take out the detail in an image on a sized based scale and simplify your image more and more as you continue to take those adjustments up. You can add painterly like strokes, drawings, sketch-like work and so on that turns your photo into digital art. Another use of the program is for removing dust and spots from images such as old scans and negatives.
Detail– An amazing output sharpener when you increase the small detail slider. Aside from that you can also add lots of creative detail and color work. But when using for output sharpening, you should use this program last in your workflow because an image should not be changed after sharpened for output. It’s something you do after you’ve reduced the image to its output size whether it be for print or uploading to the web.
6. Use Throughout Workflow
Star Effects– Add realistic star effects to light sources and make beautiful sun glares. You do not need to use this program at the beginning or end of the workflow, just within the process at the time you deem most appropriate.
ReMask– Make advanced selective adjustments, replace a background, cut out an area of your image…this program can be used anytime throughout the workflow.