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Review – Topaz ReStyle

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Review – Topaz ReStyle

Plugin edits images based on tone and colour selection

Site Notice: Like many working photographers, our work has diminished greatly in these challenging times, so I'm at home a lot. The silver lining is that I've lots of articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please do let me know - Keith
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Topaz Restyle allows for quite dramatic changes in image tonality.

The ReStyle plugin works as a standalone program or as a plugin.

In this review, Keith tests it in Photoshop CS6 on an Apple Mac. It works almost identically on other platforms.

We've reviews of all Topaz software. See the Topaz Category in the dropdown menu at the top of the right column.
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british museum lion

What does Topaz ReStyle do?

ReStyle is one of the more difficult of the Topaz plugins to describe easily. Think of the different way a portrait shot of someone might look in for example, your local park, on a sunny day, at dusk or under heavy cloud.

It’s the same thing but a very different ‘look’

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Buying Topaz Labs plugins:  Direct from Topaz [check link for deals]

Individual plugins are downloadable (30 day free trial) - we have reviews of all of the Topaz plugins.

If you buy any software via this link (bundle or individual plugin), then we get a small fee (it costs you no more). Neither Keith Cooper nor Northlight Images has any other connection with Topaz labs whatsoever. We believe strongly in making any affiliate links like this clear. 
Use our 15% discount code 'Northlight' for an additional discount on some promotions.

Latest Topaz Texture Effects 2 [Texture Effects 2 review]
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Changing aspects of such a photo without a re-shoot can take a lot of Photoshop work – ReStyle allows you to choose from hundreds of effects and then blend/adjust them.

I’ll just show a few examples here, partly since this just isn’t the sort of changes I generally make to my photography – that’s the clients’ job, or at least their designers, who make use of my photos.

Features (from Topaz)

  • ReStyle introduces a cutting-edge process of mapping colour and tone statistics from a selected style to a target image. This new technology creates high-quality transformations, even for dramatic styles and looks.
  • New Style/Preset Creation Method. ReStyle creates presets using a source image’s colour and tones, allowing you to save your own unique styles to use later.
  • Blending Modes. With ReStyle, we have incorporated blending modes for the adjustment modules, essentially showing 8 different looks for each style preset.
  • HSL Technology in 5-Colour Style Sliders. Easily enhance your selected style’s 5 dominant colours using the unique hue, saturation and luminance controls.
  • Advanced Masking Workflow. The masking module, attached to each adjustment tab, contains a comprehensive set of tools including an edge-aware brush, gradient mask, smart feather tool, colour aware tool and more.
  • User Interface Design. With ReStyle, we have continued to develop a cleaner, more modern and efficient interface to improve usability, workflow and overall aesthetics.

Using the Plugin

I’m using the plugin in Photoshop – it only alters the layer you are working on, so if you want to use its results as a new layer, then do remember to duplicate your image layer before using the plugin.

Before I start, I’ll just include this picture of a welder I took at a foundry – I’ve used ReStyle on it to give a warmish brownish palette to it. It’s really quite subtle – remember this when looking at some of the more ‘gaudy’ examples…

photo of welder, with light application of Topaz ReStyle

The software opens in a new window…

I’ll start with this local woodland scene.

On the left side are the vast numbers of preset options, grouped into collections. This is before you’ve customised it and added ones of your own. Take time to explore what’s there, since many of them will likely elicit a ‘why would I want to do this to my picture reaction’…

initial screen layout of plugin

On the right hand side are the controls where you can fine tune the results – I say ‘fine tune’ but actually you can change almost anything. Just remember to save stuff you like along the way.

Hovering over any preset gives a quick preview.

No, the names mean very little to me either… ;-)

optional preview images

There is a grid view too. Note the size of the scroll bar at the side. There are a lot of presets.

grid view of adjustment presets

A few more, this time form the ‘Architecture’ collection.

2nd grid view of adjustment presets

There are a lot of them…

collections organised by name

The split view allows you to compare effects – before and after.

split view comparing image editing.

Try a few presets and then look to see how the adjustments work.

Mouse over the image below to see a change in colour tint.

Original ImageHover Image

A simple tonal adjustment, such as boosting mid-tones (mouse over to see).

Original ImageHover Image

Altering ‘structure’ and sharpness can emphasise the near focus point of the image.

changing local contrast and sharpness

There are a number of blending modes available too – these alter how the edited image is blended with the original, and give a whole load more options. (mouse over the image to see the ‘screen’ mode).

Original ImageHover Image

You can also mask in (or out) the effect to the image. I’d normally prefer to do this back in Photoshop, but if your editor doesn’t support it, then give it a go.

It’s also possible to edit the colour groupings of the image – these are the ‘key’ colours identified in the preset (that strip of colours with the name).

altering colour channels defined in adjustment preset

A ‘cold day’ preset takes this shot of a tree on a late winter’s afternoon feel even more wintery.

a winter look to for an image

There is a lot you can do… it still takes skill, judgement and taste to do it well.

This late afternoon view of the British Museum is shown with two presets (mouse over to see).

Note how the slider bars change colour to reflect the way the image is being transformed.

Original ImageHover Image

A few more variations of this image.

collected adjustments dispalyed in grid

Remember that these are just starting points…

collected adjustments dispalyed in grid

This final set shows that in amongst the tawdry colours are a whole range of black and white transformations

a range of black and white adjustment choices

How not to get lost

It may seem that with so much choice, you are going to miss out, or just give up…

Fortunately, you can select a preview in grid view and look for similar.

See this view of a local market centre. All kinds of effects.

refining preset choice through similarity

By selecting on one version (Evenings City Streets) with the similarity tool, I get the second set of options shown below.

resulting group of 'similar' presets

Add to this the capability of flagging choices for your own collection, and you have a lot of additional ways of looking round.

Conclusions

An interesting editing tool.

New: Topaz Studio - complete editing package (info)

Buying Topaz Labs plugins:  Direct from Topaz [check link for deals]

Individual plugins are downloadable (30 day free trial) - we have reviews of all of the Topaz plugins.

If you buy any software via this link (bundle or individual plugin), then we get a small fee (it costs you no more). Neither Keith Cooper nor Northlight Images has any other connection with Topaz labs whatsoever. We believe strongly in making any affiliate links like this clear. 
Use our 15% discount code 'Northlight' for an additional discount on some promotions.

Latest Topaz Texture Effects 2 [Texture Effects 2 review]
>> Plugins and Topaz Studio

Probably not something of direct use in my work, but a great tool to explore image styles if you are looking to create a consistent look and feel for a promotional set of images.

As with other Topaz plugins, it’s well supported with tutorials and examples. The on-line help is worth looking at. There are a lot of small but useful features in the software that are easy to miss.

If it appeals, get the free demo and explore – I’ve only really scratched the surface of what it can do in this brief review…

Summary

Software plugin that can apply a wide range editing effects to your images

Many preset image styles, and adjustments give a huge range of options.

We've reviews of all Topaz software. See the Topaz Category in the dropdown menu at the top of the right column.
Studio and Plugins/addons have a free 30 day trial

System Requirements:

Mac OS X 10.8+

Windows 7+ x64, OpenGL 3.2

There is more information at Topaz Labs

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Site Notice: Like many working photographers, our work has diminished greatly in these challenging times, so I'm at home a lot. The silver lining is that I've lots of articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please do let me know - Keith
...Why not sign up for our (ad free) Newsletter to keep informed about new articles and subscribe to my YouTube Channel


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