Review – Topaz Adjust AI
Topaz Adjust AI review
Topaz plugin and app updated.
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Topaz have just announced Topaz Adjust AI.
It’s a single app/plugin, but as such incorporates aspects of some other Topaz plugins as well.
As ever, Topaz are supporting many users of older software with free updates.
- All existing users of Topaz Adjust, Clarity, and/or Detail will receive Adjust AI for free.
- Current owners of the original Adjust will still be able to use the original copy in addition to receiving the new Adjust AI.
- The original Adjust will no longer be available for new purchases after 11th June
Adjust AI will work as a standalone or Photoshop / Topaz Studio plugin.
Check the free trial versions of Topaz Software
Use our discount code ‘Northlight’ for an additional discount on some promotions.
Looking at Topaz AI
I’ve had a chance to try out Topaz AI to get a feel for it. I should of course note that I’m looking at a version a few days before release and there is some functionality to be expanded. As such I’ll update the article (or write another) when there are new features of note.
Update note – As I’d expected, there are a few menu naming changes in the release version and Split Toning has been added. The changes don’t affect my review here, but see the notes at the foot of the article
With all Topaz software, there is a free 30 day demo, so feel free to give it a go.
Opening the software
The software works as a stand-alone application or (more usually for myself) a plugin.
The easiest option is to just start with the presets, although do note that with very big files (16bit and 50+MP) you will get a bit of a wait generating the previews.
For this example I’ve just opened the app and dropped a large JPEG file on to it. Extreme changes are more likely to run into issues with 8 bit JPEG files, so I generally prefer to work from within Photoshop where I’m working at 16 bit and possibly a larger colour space.
[click on images to see at a larger size]
There are no adjustments by default, just a selection of presets.
You can create your own presets but note that original Adjust presets cannot be imported into this version. You’ll still be able to use any user-created presets in the original Adjust.
I’m using a fairly flat image take high in the Yorkshire Dales on a day that was just a bit too hazy for my liking.
A couple of examples of the presets give a feel for the somewhat intense effects you can get.
I’d note that there is an overall intensity slider, so you can turn down any effect.
The split view give a better feel for what’s going on.
It’s moveable (although vertical split only).
The image is a 50MP file, so worth zooming in for detail.
Note this is where I took photos for the 250MP image discussed in my recent review of the Panasonic S1R and its 187MP high res mode.
For myself, the presets are massively more than I’d normally want to do to my images, so I view them as being indicative of what can be done, rather than perhaps what should be done.
Just above the presets is a button called ‘controls’. This gives you control over all the different settings available.
Here’s all the current ones.
These will be set at whatever was required for any preset you’d selected.
Note at the top though, the ‘Auto Adjust AI’ settings – these are the ‘smart’ controls in the software.
You can set them to Off/Standard/HDR
Turning off the effect, tones down the results of the preset shown earlier quite a bit.
However, the HDR effect doesn’t fail to live up (down?) to its name…
Fortunately, there are intensity adjustments for these effects, and reducing both to ~20% yielded results of a less dramatic nature.
Standard at 20%
‘HDR’ at 20%
It’s worth having a go adjusting things to your own taste, just with the sliders. From my own point of view, using Adjust AI as a plugin, it’s the two ‘detail related’ sets of controls that I feel will be of the greatest use – brightness and colour will have been taken care of in my RAW processing.
Here’s the image above manually tweaked more to my taste – note how I have made some brightness/colour adjustments, which tell me that I should perhaps go back to the RAW file and spend a bit more time processing it?
One final example, showing some dark woodland.
I’ve adjusted the ‘Dynamic’ and ‘Detail’ sliders to give some of the extra punch I’d be looking for if I was making a print from this (47MP Panasonic S1R) photo.
You may need to see the images at full size to see the differences, but it’s the sort of thing that can make a real difference with large prints.
The software makes a good attempt at bringing some of the various Topaz tools together in a fairly simple to use manner. Remember this is an early version of the software, so as with many of the recent ‘AI’ range of tools I’m expecting a degree of refinement, that and the updates probably won’t cost you anything…
If you’re already using the Topaz Adjust plugin, then you get the chance to try the new tools for free, and continue to have your old software.
This is good since there are quite a few changes from the old Adjust – see my previous reviews for more.
I’ve looked at a lot of Topaz software offerings over the years – several are key elements of my editing workflows.
See all of my Topaz reviews and articles
The initial release version has a few minor changes:
- The Dynamic menu is now named ‘Contrast’
- A Split Tone option has been added
- Global Strength is now called Opacity
- Minor chances to preset options
This phone pic of my Dad shows how the basic features are still there…
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