If you’ve ever used Topaz DeNoise for high ISO noise reduction you might have noticed a posterized effect occur on certain images. Often this posterization isn’t evident until you increase the auto-brightness, where you then see the unnatural swerving of tone gradation going this way and that.
Baffled by this effect, like a scientist I sought to figure out how to get rid of it, mixing the sliders up every which way until…eureka! To get rid of posterization all you have to do is increase the ‘Add Grain’ slider and bam! Posterization depleted.
Now you might be thinking, “why would I want to add grain back in when I’m trying to remove noise artifacts?”. Well, this is the pretty kind of grain – the kind you’d see on film that isn’t a major distraction like digital noise.
Also, let’s say your image has a ton of noise to the point where you’re losing major image details when the noise is removed. If you increase the ‘Recover Detail’ slider this is only going to worsen that noise, so in its place you can increase the grain slider to bring back the appearance of detail.
After smoothing out the noise in this image with DeNoise, I brought it into Topaz Detail and applied the ‘Cloud Detail I’ effect to give the clouds a minuscule punch. Important note: when using Detail on a noisy image be sure not to increase the small detail sliders, which will only amplify the noise.
Topaz Detail – Cloud Detail I
It’s better to increase medium and large detail sliders, and then decrease the small detail boost slider when dealing with noisy images in Detail. And don’t forget about the Effect Mask which will allow you to creatively sharpen specific areas and leave other areas untouched!
I took this image while whale watching off the San Juan Islands. Sadly didn’t see any orcas that day, however I did get to see other wildlife such as bald eagles, minke whales, harbor seals and sea lions (things typically not seen in Texas).
The lighting wasn’t the most ideal, however with the help of the Topaz Lab’s plugins I was able to make the scene pop. I’ve edited this image so many times from scratch that there are many variations as to what can be done, however here’s what I did in this particular instance:
1. Adjust-> increase the adaptive exposure and region sliders to correct tonalities and dynamics, adding overall depth to the image.
2. Clarity-> Landscape Collection-> Landscape Pop I
3. ReStyle-> treat your image to a color makeover by choosing between hundreds of styles. In the Seascape Collection the preset ‘Frothy Lighthouse’ was applied to this image with an opacity reduced to 40%.
4. Detail-> bring out small details in the island by increasing the small detail slider. This will help to sharpen the image, however be sure to use the Effect Mask to remove this effect from the sky and sea.
Test out this easy black and white conversion workflow (works well on images with patterns and repetition):
1. Straightening and cropping conducted in Photoshop
2. B&W Effects -> Classic Collection -> High Contrast II
3. In B&W Effects make additional adjustments in adaptive exposure and regions.
4. Topaz Clarity -> Architecture Collection -> Exterior Texture
Try applying these effects to your cityscape image to make it stand out:
Step 1 (skip this step if your image doesn’t have any noticeable noise): Topaz DeNoise -> increase the Overall Strength slider to reduce noise caused by your camera’s high ISO settings. Under Detail Recovery, increase the Recover Detail slider to recover lost details.
Step 2: Topaz InFocus -> Blur Type -> Unknown/Estimate -> increase the Blur Radius to around 4 -> increase Suppress Artifacts and then boost the Sharpness slider as deemed appropriate. The capture sharpening within the plug-in will help to make the cityscape significantly defined.
Step 3: Topaz Adjust -> increase the Regions to around 18 and then boost the Adaptive Exposure slider. For this particular effect the Brush Out tool was used to remove the exposure adjustments from the landscape where halo-ing had formed.
Step 4: Topaz Clarity -> Architecture Collection -> Cityscape I, followed by additional tweaking in High Contrast, Mid-tones and Luminance.
Step 5: Topaz ReStyle -> Architecture Collection -> apply the “Glaucous Haze” preset or a different color filter that is suiting to your image. Reduce the opacity to around 46%. Optional: change the blending mode (this feature can be found in the top right corner adjacent to the opacity slider); for this particular image the “Color” blending mode was used.
Step 6: Re-size your image if needed and make any other adjustments as desired before conducting output sharpening.
Step 7: Topaz Detail -> Creative Detail Collection -> Feature Enhancement I -> use the Effect Mask to mask out the preset from the landscape so that it is only applied to the cityscape.
Hope this gives you some ideas for your image editing workflow!
1. Topaz Clarity -> Landscape Collection -> Color and Contrast Boost I
2. Topaz Adjust -> Classic Collection -> Brilliant Cold (apply)
3. Topaz Adjust -> HDR Collection -> Dynamic Brightness (reduce Overall Transparency as desired under Finishing Touches)
4. Topaz Detail -> Creative Detail Collection -> Overall Detail Light II
Images of scenic landscapes and nature are commonly brought into the Topaz Simplify plug-in to render beautiful, painterly results. The technology behind the plug-in uses scale space algorithms that close off holes to help eliminate details. As a result, artifacts such as webbing might be created; this is most often seen in the branches of trees. To remove the webbing is quite simple. To start, you will need a program such as Photoshop Elements or Photoshop that supports layers and a few other necessary functions.
Read on to learn how to eliminate webbing artifacts caused by the Topaz Simplify plug-in.
Today I finally finished my business cards! I’ll be showing six photography canvas prints this Saturday in the Pancakes and Booze Art show. All prints this time were taken with my cellular phone in the Austin area. I would be thrilled to sell something (they’ll be priced at around $80 a piece), but if not I won’t be totally upset. It’s always about the experience. Besides, if nothing sells I’ll either have:
1) new art for display at home
2) future show material
3) pieces to submit to coffee shops, restaurants, etc. for permanent display and sale
4) holiday gifts
Yesterday evening’s sunset was magnificent! Right before my eyes the sky’s colors advanced so that every time I glanced up the clouds were doused with additional saturation, adding to a stronger contrast of cool and warm tones.
Topaz DeNoise was applied for noise removal, smoothing out the sky. I masked out the fence which was separately sharpened with Topaz Lens Effects (lens sharpening) and Detail (creative + output sharpening).
You can see the before and after by scrolling along. :)
San Juan Island, Washington
1. Topaz Clarity -> Landscape Collection -> Landscape Pop II -> HSL adjustments in saturation (blue and green), boost in mid-tones
2. Back in Ps duplicate layer
3. Topaz ReStyle-> Landscape Collection -> Moss Covered Rocks preset -> Opacity reduced to 30%
4. Back in Ps, layer opacity of final image reduced to 75%
Topaz B&W Effects 2.1
1. Traditional Collection-> Lo Key II
2. Transparency reduced to 75%
Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, WA
1. Topaz ReStyle -> Nature Collection -> Mantis Showoff preset -> opacity reduced to 75%
2. Topaz Clarity -> General Collection -> Micro Color Boost II
3. Topaz Detail -> minor increased adjustments in small details, small details boost, and medium details sliders