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Author Topic: Looking at Topaz Clarity  (Read 1315 times)
keith_cooper
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« on: June 24, 2013, 01:01:35 PM »
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One of the problems I've found with a lot of processes that bump up local contrast, is unwanted halos.  You can't totally get rid of some effects, but with care they can be kept to acceptable limits.

I regularly use Nik Silver Efex Pro and have looked at techniques to reduce the more obvious halos
http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article_pages/photo-tips/sfx-halo.html

Recently, I got the chance to try out Topaz Clarity, and have been impressed at the way it handles contrast/colour/tonality adjustments.
What can look a bit excessive on screen, has made for some very effective prints.
http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/reviews/plugins/topaz-clarity.html

As someone who doesn't care much for some of the current fashion for 'HDR type' images, it's good to have another tool that doesn't draw too far towards the tawdry side of the force :-)


Disclosure - I have a purchase link on the site, but no other connection with Topaz
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Jack Hogan
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2013, 02:02:40 PM »
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Recently, I got the chance to try out Topaz Clarity, and have been impressed at the way it handles contrast/colour/tonality adjustments.

Me too, but I am still struggling with it.  I watched the videos and played with it a fair amount, but I still have not figured out how to get what I want consistently.  And I am quite sure the image I see in the plug-in is not the same that I get in the end in the PSCS layer: I use aRGB as a working color space, and the colors definitely change from one to the other:



Color and Contrast Boost III: the bottom half is how it looks in the plug-in, the top half is how it looks after hitting ok and the plug-in closed after doing its stuff.  A product with good potential, but not quite there yet both in terms of usability and finish.  Pity, I am right in its target market and I otherwise like it.

Jack
« Last Edit: July 03, 2013, 02:17:02 PM by Jack Hogan » Logged
keith_cooper
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2013, 02:44:08 PM »
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What version of PS and what system (win or Mac) are you using?

I just looked with a very colourful proPhoto image on CS5 and Mac osx 10.6  and don't see any colour changes on an Eizo CX240 monitor
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Jack Hogan
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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2013, 02:51:26 PM »
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The example above is CS5 on a profiled wide gamut Dell U2410 off Win7.  I don't have any color problems switching back and forth to other color managed programs like C/VNX2.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2013, 02:55:28 PM by Jack Hogan » Logged
keith_cooper
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2013, 03:50:38 PM »
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Looks like it's a windows specific issue for the plugin. I was using prophoto for the image, even though I'd been doing web work today and had the default working space as sRGB.  I found a similar issue when testing DxO filmpack a few years ago, which the developers had missed :-) This is now something I always look for when testing new software

Have you tried the Topaz forums/support? I'd have thought such an issue would have been spotted if common? I can't offer any other ideas, since we're entirely Mac based.
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2013, 04:16:39 PM »
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Really thorough and informative review of the Topaz Clarity software, Keith. You really have a knack for honing your reviews down to get to the crux of the important and useful stuff.

So I take it you're not finding this halo issue with local contrast fixed in ACR/LR versions that implement PV2012? From what I've read of the new features online about PV2012 that type of processing artifact was one of the major fixes or maybe I'm confusing it with the Fill/Recovery induced halos.

Just curious is the over saturated blooming of the pink flower petals in the bee image intentional? I just got me a new LG27" LED display and its gamut is a bit less than sRGB and I've been keeping an eye on levels of blooming in images edited on wide gamut monitors and posted online in sRGB. Your bee image is the first I've seen of blooming in natural objects.
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Jack Hogan
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2013, 04:34:33 PM »
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Good idea, I left a message on the board there.
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keith_cooper
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2013, 05:42:31 PM »
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Thanks Tim

My own issues with halos tend to come from later in post processing, rather than in ACR. Probably because I don't really push things at the RAW conversion stage?

The colours in the article are more to give an indication of what the plugin does. The flower is a really intense colour to start with (taken with a 1Ds mk3) - converted to ProPhoto.

The strong colour in the article was also partly because I'm testing a Canon 6450 and had been looking for some images that really push the gamut, and to see how they look on the Eizo cx240 (also a test item). A problem however is grabbing screen shots from the wide space monitor and then crunching them to sRGB for the web.

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