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Author Topic: New Topaz Clarity  (Read 1416 times)

Rajan Parrikar

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New Topaz Clarity
« on: September 10, 2017, 09:04:49 PM »

Anyone here tried it? It is a significant improvement over an already powerful plugin.

BartvanderWolf

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Re: New Topaz Clarity
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2017, 08:33:31 AM »

Anyone here tried it? It is a significant improvement over an already powerful plugin.

Hi Rajan,

'Precision Contrast' is quite similar to the classic "Clarity" plugin, but there are some useful enhancements (besides the huge speed gains that allow a much faster workflow).

The only difficulty I have is that the new Contrast sliders have a different effect (more subtle and also at the same time with larger range), so it's not easy to get the same effect for your old presets. So I'll need to re-tune my new personal presets.

The enhancements allow more control over micro-contrast colors (which may suffer from Luminosity based contrast adjustments), and there's a Vibrancy control. The HSL adjustments are now to be found in a separate HSL plugin (which now has a fine Details control).

The Brightness adjustments can be equalized (less or more) across regions of the image.

So there is now improved control over some subtle effects, but the basic improvements from halofree Contrast adjustments are still there and are mostly unchanged (besides more range). Whether the improvements are significant enough depends on the user, but since I like subtle adjustments the improvements are for me a welcome addition.

Of course, the possibility to combine with other plugins, and save all those settings as a new global preset, is also a big plus in 'Topaz Studio'.

Cheers,
Bart
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Tim Lookingbill

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Re: New Topaz Clarity
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2017, 02:10:14 PM »

I solve the halos produced from ACR 6.7's PV2010 Clarity slider by applying a negative Clarity adjustment brush to where the halos form which in most of my photos show up along high contrast edges like white billowy clouds against dark blue skies.

Sometimes for some strange reason the Clarity slider doesn't produce halos if I max out Exposure slider just before clipping and set Brightness to zero and then add highlight kicker by selecting both the middle and highlight point nodes in the Medium Point Curve and lift it a bit. I also do this kicker to override the highlight detail compression after applying a lot of Recovery slider.

I just don't see the need for adding additional software to a workflow with already robust editing tools.
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: New Topaz Clarity
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2017, 07:02:18 PM »

I solve the halos produced from ACR 6.7's PV2010 Clarity slider by applying a negative Clarity adjustment brush to where the halos form which in most of my photos show up along high contrast edges like white billowy clouds against dark blue skies.

Sometimes for some strange reason the Clarity slider doesn't produce halos if I max out Exposure slider just before clipping and set Brightness to zero and then add highlight kicker by selecting both the middle and highlight point nodes in the Medium Point Curve and lift it a bit. I also do this kicker to override the highlight detail compression after applying a lot of Recovery slider.

I just don't see the need for adding additional software to a workflow with already robust editing tools.

Tim,

The adjustments that 'Topaz Clarity', or its more recent incarnation as 'Precision Contrast' and 'HSL Color Tuning', can achieve in seconds, are very hard and time-consuming to achieve by a skilled retoucher if even possible. They would also be very hard to apply in a consistent reproducible manner to multiple images.

These plugins are heaven-sent tools to enhance creativity (because it is so easy to try different effects) and reduce the amount of time needed to achieve those results. And the resulting image quality can be significantly better than a simple mid-tone S-curve type of tonemapping or a HiRaLoAm (High Radius Low Amount USM) adjustment.

The Power of Topaz Clarity
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQGhPfbZS10

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 07:18:08 PM by BartvanderWolf »
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Rajan Parrikar

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Re: New Topaz Clarity
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2017, 09:10:55 PM »


These plugins are heaven-sent tools to enhance creativity (because it is so easy to try different effects) and reduce the amount of time needed to achieve those results. And the resulting image quality can be significantly better than a simple mid-tone S-curve type of tonemapping or a HiRaLoAm (High Radius Low Amount USM) adjustment.


Furthermore, when used in concert with, say, Tony Kuyper's V5 panel the level of fine control and creative possibilities are multiplied manyfold.

Tim Lookingbill

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Re: New Topaz Clarity
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2017, 10:59:50 PM »

Tim,

The adjustments that 'Topaz Clarity', or its more recent incarnation as 'Precision Contrast' and 'HSL Color Tuning', can achieve in seconds, are very hard and time-consuming to achieve by a skilled retoucher if even possible. They would also be very hard to apply in a consistent reproducible manner to multiple images.

These plugins are heaven-sent tools to enhance creativity (because it is so easy to try different effects) and reduce the amount of time needed to achieve those results. And the resulting image quality can be significantly better than a simple mid-tone S-curve type of tonemapping or a HiRaLoAm (High Radius Low Amount USM) adjustment.

The Power of Topaz Clarity
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQGhPfbZS10

Cheers,
Bart

Of course that's your subjective opinion. It doesn't take very long for me to get what I want. And I don't believe you know for sure what a pro retoucher goes through since you're not one.

What looks natural according to the YouTube video is not what I call natural. Also I don't use USM. I do everything in the Raw converter.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 11:03:46 PM by Tim Lookingbill »
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Peter McLennan

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Re: New Topaz Clarity
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2017, 12:29:46 PM »

Nice functionality. Lots to learn. Hate the new "Topaz Studio" integration.  Far prefer the old plugin. Frequent crashes.
W10 12GB Core i7
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Rajan Parrikar

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Re: New Topaz Clarity
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2017, 12:41:27 PM »

Nice functionality. Lots to learn. Hate the new "Topaz Studio" integration.  Far prefer the old plugin. Frequent crashes.
W10 12GB Core i7

Peter,

Yes, that Topaz Studio I don't much care for either. But works fine on my Mac Pro.

BartvanderWolf

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Re: New Topaz Clarity
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2017, 02:19:36 PM »

Nice functionality. Lots to learn. Hate the new "Topaz Studio" integration.  Far prefer the old plugin. Frequent crashes.
W10 12GB Core i7

As for the 'Topaz Studio' integration, I understand the reasons why they chose that route. The main part is the GPU accelerated functionality which probably is hard to achieve as a plugin to Photoshop. Also, it offers a low memory footprint host application for those who do not start out with Photoshop, or have no subscription. That's why they made the host functionality free.

A benefit of the 'Studio' integration is that presets can use multiple plugins at the same time, thus speeding up the workflow. One can e.g. save a preset that does Precision Contrast adjustments, and Hue/saturation adjustments, a bit of Detail enhancement, and some Sharpening. All with a single mouse click, and fully adjustable after application because the changes are parametric.

This can be taken to the extreme but it can also be used with restraint, one can even reduce the opacity of all the effects together, or individually.

'Studio' even does a decent basic Raw conversion should one be in a hurry, and it allows to 'Heal' out features.

Cheers,
Bart
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Peter McLennan

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Re: New Topaz Clarity
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2017, 07:20:48 PM »

Anyone else experiencing frequent crashes?  I see a failure about one instance out of three. 
It's a W10 error message: "Unfortunately, Topaz Clarity has stopped working".
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: New Topaz Clarity
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2017, 08:32:11 PM »

Anyone else experiencing frequent crashes?  I see a failure about one instance out of three. 
It's a W10 error message: "Unfortunately, Topaz Clarity has stopped working".

Hi Peter,

Yes, I've experienced a couple (also W10), but not since I updated to the latest incarnation (V1.1.9 as of this writing). I've also updated my video drivers at about the same time, so it might have been due to that.

Cheers,
Bart
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