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Author Topic: Is Topaz Studio's Colorspace Customizable?  (Read 758 times)

Brad Paulson

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Is Topaz Studio's Colorspace Customizable?
« on: January 11, 2018, 11:32:59 PM »

Hi - I just downloaded Topaz Studio and really like it so far.  However, I can't find the place (if there is one) where I can assign a custom colorspace.  Even when using it as a plugin, I'm guessing it might be operating in the background using ProPhoto RGB because the histograms are different and unless I use it as a luminosity layer, it's affecting my preferred color workspace.  Anyone finding the same thing or a workaround?

Otherwise I love it as a plugin for the things Topaz has always done well, its cohesiveness and its newfound speed.

Thanks
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Is Topaz Studio's Colorspace Customizable?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2018, 05:53:59 AM »

Hi - I just downloaded Topaz Studio and really like it so far.  However, I can't find the place (if there is one) where I can assign a custom colorspace.  Even when using it as a plugin, I'm guessing it might be operating in the background using ProPhoto RGB because the histograms are different and unless I use it as a luminosity layer, it's affecting my preferred color workspace.  Anyone finding the same thing or a workaround?

Otherwise I love it as a plugin for the things Topaz has always done well, its cohesiveness and its newfound speed.

Hi Brad,

The concept of a Working space has changed somewhat with the advent of Photo-editors that use floating-point calculations. TopazLabs Studio uses floating-point and GPU calculations where possible and beneficial. This means that while it uses whatever colorspace the source document has, it's not set in stone what it uses for Raw conversions. Studio then uses what's needed for a parametric/reversible workflow, and the floating point math will avoid losing/clipping information along the way.

Only when saving out the processed image, you get a choice of colorspace (sRGB or  ProPhoto, 8-bit or 16-bit, Compression: None or LZW or ZIP). You can also save your result as a Project file, which remains reversible to whatever you started with.

Cheers,
Bart
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Brad Paulson

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Re: Is Topaz Studio's Colorspace Customizable?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 10:04:50 AM »

Thanks Bart. This sounds promising. Maybe describing further my particular workflow and experience will help at least me understand how it works as a Photoshop plugin better.

I use Phocus as a raw converter and have recently started outputing files from Phocus with the Hasselblad L* colorspace into Photoshop for further processing in that working space. When using Topaz Studio as a plug-in, I use it on a separate merged visible Photoshop layer.  On that layer (so far) I only used the Clarity, Detail and Sharpening adjustment layers, and within those only he sliders that are not HSL related. When I save my work in Topaz and return to Photoshop, I set the Topaz adjustment layer to luminousity. But when setting it to luminosity I am observing some slight but noticeable color shifts. It could be that my adjustments themselves are causing the color shifts and Topaz is colorspace neutral, which would be great news, or it could be that Topaz is operating on the layer as if it were assigning it a ProPhoto working colorspace and returning a layer that has been slightly shifted as a result which I am trying to avoid. This seems with limited experience so far particularly visible in the dark end of the blue channel, which is where there are the most significant differences between Prophoto and L* and which is something Iím consciously lately trying to avoid. 

So anyway, I say this all just to be sure as I do have some possible data points suggesting something ProPhoto-ish could be happening behind the scenes.  A mapping from L* to PP and back would be important to know, for instance in how I use Topaz.  But Iím hopeful itís nothing to worry about. Any thoughts on that?
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Brad Paulson

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Re: Is Topaz Studio's Colorspace Customizable?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 10:28:54 AM »

BTW I canít find the option to save the file as a project file at least using it as a plugin.  If that is in the stand alone version, I suppose I could save and export the file to Topz, then copy in the processed file. What I really am trying to avoid are behind the scenes color conversions and working with some of the large bits of imaginary colors that are in the Prophoto colorspace, which are not quite so present in L*.
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andrewrodney

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Re: Is Topaz Studio's Colorspace Customizable?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 10:41:12 AM »

Only when saving out the processed image, you get a choice of colorspace (sRGB or  ProPhoto, 8-bit or 16-bit, Compression: None or LZW or ZIP).
Isn't that true for any raw converter? You render and encode the data into a defined RGB working space (or color space for other needs).
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Andrew Rodney
Author ďColor Management for Photographers"

Redcrown

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Re: Is Topaz Studio's Colorspace Customizable?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2018, 01:34:37 PM »

I think Topaz plugins definitely do some colorspace or bit depth manipulation. But I can't figure out what it is.

To test, pick a ProPhoto 16bit image with gamut that far exceeds sRGB or Adobe98. I use Andrew's Printer Gamut Test File, which is a composite including the Granger rainbow and Atkin's balls.

Load this image in Photoshop, dupe the layer and run a "do nothing" Topaz filter on it. Just flush it through Topaz with no adjustments. I used Clarity. Then put the layer in Difference mode and look at the StdDev value in the histogram pallet. I get a StdDev value of 3.61. That's a big difference.

Now do it again, but first convert the image to sRGB 8 bit. I get a StdDev of 7.57. An even bigger difference. Why would that be?

Do it again on some ProPhoto 16bit image that fits within the sRGB gamut. I still get a StdDev between 0.5 and 0.3. Do it again using Detail or Adjust or Denoise instead of Clarity. I get different results with each one. The only Topaz plugin that does not change the image is Remask.

P.S. This is all with the last versions of the plugins before the move to Studio.
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Brad Paulson

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Re: Is Topaz Studio's Colorspace Customizable?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2018, 03:42:37 PM »

Great idea Redcrown. 

I just did the same thing with an L* image I'm working on in Topaz Studio.  This image is not as broad spectrum as Andrew's test file, but is entirely within the L* gamut (as can be seen in the Colorthink pic attached).

First I duped the layer, then ran the duplicate through Topaz Studio doing absolutely nothing but saving immediately upon arrival.  Looking at the resulting difference layer and the histogram statistics there was a standard deviation of 0.31 and a mean of .11. 

Then I opened a separate file in the stand alone version of Topaz Studio.  I did nothing but save it as a separate file.  I then opened it in Photoshop, converted it to L*, then copied that image as a difference layer together with my original file.  There was a standard deviation of 0.32 with a mean of .11.

Then for frame of reference, I converted my L* image into ProPhoto, saved it, then converted it back into L*, copied it as a difference layer into the original L* layer file.  The standard deviation was .03 with a mean of .00.

So something is going on when using Topaz that's now completely inexplicable to me.  Maybe there's a conversion into some other workspace.  I really like what Topaz can do, but I wish i understood a bit more about all this as merely opening it up appears to be more consequential than a colorspace conversion, at least for my test file which admittedly is hardly a comprehensive test. 

I noticed that saving the file separately using Topaz's stand alone version of Studio that I was given the choices of saving in only ProPhoto, sRGB or ".TSP" format.  TSP appears to be an extension used by Topaz so that if you save in it, you open back up the existing project in its current state.  See https://help.topazlabs.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001574951-Project-Files-tsp-.

So now it's more a mystery at least to me.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 02:33:08 AM by Brad Paulson »
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Jack Hogan

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Re: Is Topaz Studio's Colorspace Customizable?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 03:06:17 AM »

Topaz plugins didn't do color management when open (don't know about Studio because I haven't been able to use my licenses there, grrr).  In other words it appeared that they disregarded the profile - and colors may look different with the plug-in open vs the final image, which may instead be color managed.   I addressed this question on their old forum a couple of years ago but I didn't get an answer.  I used PS as a host, others were using other programs and seeing the same issue.  There were also a few threads elsewhere (DPR etc.).  Here is the link to the forum thread (for some reason Chrome flags it as a fishing site but you can click through if you insist), and here is the image I posted, an Adobe RGB TIFF opened with Clarity via CS5.  In the background the image after it was saved by the plug-in, in the foreground open in the plug-in just before being saved, check out the blues:



Perhaps they ignore color management intentionally, but at least they should know and explain what they are doing.  As mentioned elsewhere, lousy service.

Jack
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 03:47:43 AM by Jack Hogan »
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sankos

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Re: Is Topaz Studio's Colorspace Customizable?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2018, 04:34:53 PM »

Topaz have a patchy colour-management history and the blending mode trick seems to confirm some unnecessary shuffling around with colour conversions (Nik Collection doesn't do that). Some revisions could break CM in some plugins, and then the next revision could fix the problem in one of the plugins but not in others. I remember getting the support acknowledge an issue with DeNoise and Detail, and then they fixed it. Currently DeNoise 6.0.1 seems to manage OK (but the Preview Navigator looks unmanaged), Detail 3.3.0 looks OK (both Preview Navigator and main window), and ReMask 5.0.1 looks desaturated on my wide gamut monitor when invoked from PSE and in the standalone mode (fortunately colours don't matter when masking).
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