One of the neat things about digital photography and post-processing is that your creativity is limitless. Everyday I receive questions about workflows and techniques used to create different effects with Topaz. Today I want to share with you a quick and fun way to create cartoon-like images using your Topaz programs. Now, keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to achieve this type of effect and this is just one of many ways. Also, as you are following along, keep in mind that you can adjust your settings more or less to perfect the optimal look that is right for your image. So let’s get started!

Above is an overview of my image transition. This was created using Simplify, Clean and Adjust. Now let’s break it down.

STEP ONE
The first thing I did was take my image into Topaz Simplify and applied the BuzSim preset. The preset simplifies the image by removing detail and saturates the image color. Manual adjustments were also made in the Simplify and Edges tabs. The parameters that were manually changed are as follows:

Simplify Tab:
1. Simplify Size decreased to 0.20
2. Feature Boost was increased to 0.28
3. Details Strength was increased to 0.10
4. Details Size was increased to 0.25

Edges Tab
1. Reduce Small was decreased to 0.13

When working on your images, be sure to play around with all of the settings until you find the right fit. Click OK to save the changes.

 

STEP TWO
The next thing that I did was take the image into Topaz Clean and apply the CrispStyle preset. Using the preset, we were able to smooth out the image, reduce just a bit of texture and stylize the edges and lines. Manual adjustments were also made in each of the tabs. The parameters that were manually changed are as follows:

Edges Tab
1. Sharpness increased to 1.65

Texture Tab
1. Texture decreased to 0.15
2. Boost decreased to 1.10

Again, when working on your images, experiment with the sliders. Click OK to save the changes.

You can already see the cartoon effect starting to take shape. You may find that you are happy with the effect after applying Topaz Simplify and Topaz Clean and that is OK. However, for this image I decided to take it one step further by running it through Topaz Adjust – which is one of my favorite programs.

STEP THREE

Now, the last set of adjustments were created in Topaz Adjust just to give it a little POP! The preset that I used in Adjust is one of my personal ones that I created. I will provide the settings used so that you can have it as well. If you like the preset then be sure to save it in your Adjust program after setting the parameters for your image.

The parameters are as follows:

Exposure Tab
1. Adaptive Exposure: 0.56
2. Regions: 32
3. Contrast: 1.07
4. Brightness: 0.09
5. Highlight: 0.00
6. Shadow: 0.04

Details Tab
1. Strength: 1.31
2. Boost: 1.21
3. Threshold: 0.18
4. Radius: 28.00
5. Sharpen: 1.02
(Process details independent of exposure is NOT checked)

Color Tab
1. Adaptive Saturation: 0.14
2. Regions: 15
3. Saturation: 1.31
4. Saturation Boost: 1.23
5. Hue: 0.00

Noise Tab
1. Suppression: 0.40
2. Amount: 0.75
(Use Topaz DeNoise IS checked)

If you want to save this preset then go to the presets panel on the left side of your interface and click “Save” then give it any name that you’d like!

Be sure to make adjust the parameters as needed to perfect your image. Once you are happy with your adjustments, click OK to process your image. And that’s it!

 

Of course this is just one example of the many types of effects that you can achieve in during post processing. All you need is an image and a little bit creativity. If you want to learn more about creating cool effects and other ways to incorporate to use Topaz in your workflow then be sure to stay tuned for our upcoming webinars. Details will be available online at: www.topazlabs.com/webinars

This post was originally posted on February 18, 2011

Yes, the new ReMask 3.1 allows you to save your mask / tri-map mid-workflow…making the masking process with ReMask even more flexible and easy to work with. This new save option is found in your ReMask menu. So let’s take a look at it.

So if you are in the middle of the masking process and want to save your tri-map/mask currently in progress so that you can return at a later time, simply go to Menu -> Save.

Name your file and select a safe place on your computer to save the file.

Your saved tri-map/mask will be saved as a .tiff and will appear in this format

Later, when you are ready to finish up your image, you can load that previously saved tri-map/mask to finish your editing. To do this simply open the original image file (Must be the original image with the same file name and also is Not your saved ReMask tiff) in Photoshop (or your other compatible editing program) and invoke ReMask. Once ReMask opens go to Menu -> Load and select your saved tri-map/mask that you saved to your computer in the .tiff format

Please note that you Must have the original image that pairs up with the selected mask in order to load it. If your loaded image does not match up to the tri-map/mask that you are trying to load then you will see the message below:

After that, you can complete your mask/extraction in ReMask and then click OK to save it back to Photoshop. From there you can make any additional adjustments or enhancements you desire.

This post was originally posted on February 4, 2011

Masking hair can be really tricky, but the new ReMask 3 offers some very helpful tools to help you tackle the hair challenge. This week I teamed up with our friend Greg to offer some insight into the difficult task of hair masking using ReMask 3. Checkout the new ReMask 3 Hair tutorial here.

For more masking help please also checkout the ReMask 3 workflow tips. Happy Masking!

This post was originally posted on January 7, 2011

Ashley wrote a new noise reduction tutorial, in which she covered the following topics:

– Benefits of using Topaz DeNoise
– When to use Topaz DeNoise in your workflow
– Best photo noise reduction and cleaning methods
– Basic DeNoise operation
– Working with image color noise
– Advanced steps to take with Topaz DeNoise.

Check it out here: DeNoise Tutorial (pdf)

Any questions? Discussion here: DeNoise Tutorial Discussion

This post was originally posted on November 12, 2009

This post was originally posted on October 8, 2009.

(Go to the Topaz ReMask homepage here.)

There’s pros and cons to having a software that is completely integrated with Photoshop with no user interface of its own. Even though the complete Photoshop integration makes it much faster and easier to use when you understand how it works, the same thing makes it a bit harder to learn. That’s why we’ve been hard at work since its release to provide tutorials and educational material (in addition to the User’s Guide) to help smooth the learning curve for you. Whether you’re a Photoshop novice or guru, you will still pick a few things up from the following Topaz ReMask educational resources.

These resources are ordered from least advanced to most advanced:

ReMask: The Basics (pdf) – The complete beginner’s guide to using ReMask. If you don’t know how to use layer masks in Photoshop, start here.

Getting Started with Topaz ReMask (pdf) – The fastest way to get started with Topaz ReMask without having to know any theory. Involves the included ReMask Actions set for ease of use.

Topaz ReMask Quick Start (video) – The video companion to the Getting Started guide. Ashley shows you a basic step-by-step way to get a quick mask with Topaz ReMask.

How Topaz ReMask Works (video) – Eric gives a quick primer on how Topaz ReMask works and explains a bit about tri-maps.

Topaz ReMask Best Practices (video) – Eric goes into more depth into how Topaz ReMask processes its masks and three best practices to keep in mind while using it. This video is highly recommended if your masks aren’t turning out the way you expect.

You can also check out a short ReMask FAQ here.

If you find something unusual while working with ReMask, please take a look at the most appropriate resource. There’s usually a very simple explanation for anything that might go wrong. Hope that helps!

This post was originally posted on October 8, 2009