Today on Blogcritics
Home » Culture and Society » Science and Technology » Software Review: Topaz Labs Plug-In Bundle, Part III

Software Review: Topaz Labs Plug-In Bundle, Part III

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

This is the third of a three part review that will look at the six products that come with the Topaz Labs Plug-In Bundle. They include Topaz DeNoise 5, Topaz Adjust 4, Topaz Simplify 3, Topaz Detail 2, Topaz Clean 3, and Topaz ReMask. The goal of this bundle is to give you everything that you need in one package to handle all of your photographic editing and enhancing needs.

 Topaz Labs Plug-in Bundle

Topaz Clean 3
Topaz Clean is a plug-in that works as a stylization tool that controls the depth and intensity of image textures, edges and details for artistic flattening, smoothing, contouring, and line enhancement. At its heart, Topaz Clean is a texture adjustment program that is designed to provide advanced smoothing and texture effects while increasing or decreasing the appearance of detail depth within your images.

The goal of Topaz Clean is to preserve the contours and overall image integrity while optimally removing the less desired details. Most often this is done in portraiture to remove medium-sized discolorations and blotches while preserving major facial features and tiny but important skin detail. It also has a Skin Even preset to quickly touch up skin.

You can also use Topaz Clean to create some interesting effects through the use of its edge detection and smoothing functions. This can add extra punch to a photo as well as limiting details for an artistic look that can pop right off the page.

What Do You Get with Topaz Clean 3
• New, more user friendly interface that allows you to expand and collapse the preset panel and the tool panel for a more adjustable workspace. This gives you more control over your workflow

• Preview section that gives you the ability to compare the original image with the processed image and examine the results. You can also pan around the image or zoom in and out.

• You have the ability to use existing presets as well as creating ones of your own. This gives you the ability to speed up and simplify your use of Topaz Clean. These presets are previously defined settings that you can reapply at any time. You can tweak these presets and save them for your own use as well as sharing them with others.
 Topaz Labs Plug-in Bundle

• You also have three settings tabs and a total of nine parameters that will help you process your images. The Clean tab provides the ability to flatten textures, removes weak image detail, and makes images look more smooth and flat. The Edges tab stylizes image detail and edges. It is ide¬ally used for making edges smoother. And the Texture tab is used for refining by allowing you to reintroduce some the original image features back into the image by imposing them on top of the processed image from the changes made by the other two settings.

Now what does this mean to you? It means that you can use the smoothing enhancements to provide a wide range of effects from edge sharpening to much more artistic effects. It gives you the ability to smooth skin on portraits as well as create smooth and silky effects in landscapes.

Where I see the most benefit is with portraiture. Topaz Clean will allow you to work faces and skin without the loss of important detail. It gives you high quality sharpening without a lot of work and at the price, makes it a very affordable solution.

Topaz ReMask 2
 Topaz Labs Plug-in Bundle

Topaz ReMask is plug-in that is dedicated to allowing you to mask and extract portions of your image quickly and easily. If you have ever tried to remove a background from person or object and replace it with another, you know how hard and time consuming this can be.

Topaz ReMask is engineered to reduce the time and tedium from the masking and extraction workflow for photographers and designers. As opposed to other masking tools, ReMask doesn’t require intricate brushing, sampling, and refining for a detailed mask. Instead, it analyzes the information in the image and you create a tri-color map to help determine what to keep and what to remove. You then just refine the map.

What Do You Get with Topaz ReMask 2
• An easy-to-use interface.
• Three color areas – Green tells ReMask what to keep, Red tells ReMask what to remove, and Blue tells ReMask what to process. It extrapolates the data from the green and red parts of the image to figure out the blue parts with a high degree of accuracy.
• The ability to extract data with intricate details – traditionally hard to create masks for, are extracted without much user input.
• Topaz ReMask can also take advantage of the built-in Photoshop layer mask feature. If it detects that the layer in Photoshop contains a layer mask, ReMask will automatically save the mask directly to the layer mask instead of removing any pixels.You can even re-import the layer mask back into ReMask, which will detect and re-use the layer mask’s contents. This full layer mask compatibility very effectively streamlines the Photoshop workflow.

 Topaz Labs Plug-in Bundle

So what does ReMask do for you? It gives you the ability to quickly and easily mask out objects from within photographs. And it does it in a really easy and painless method with very little work from you. ReMask is very easy to use once you start with it, and the results are very, very good even with difficult selections. The more complex the selection, the more effort will be needed, but with the magic brush, it is much easier to accomplish.

Topaz Clean goes for $29.99 and Topaz ReMask runs for $69.99 as standalone versions. Or you can get the whole Topaz Labs Plug-In Bundle for $179.99 which is a savings of $160 over the individual prices.

Just like with the all of the Topaz products, I really like the way that both Topaz Clean, and Topaz ReMask were easy to use, and really produced nice results. In both cases it was simple to get to the exact results that I wanted without a lot of effort. This makes it very easy to highly recommend both of these products as they will save you time and effort in getting your best shot.

Powered by

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.