Getting to Know Topaz Studio 2
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Topaz Labs recently released the latest addition to their product lineup – and the successor to one of their flagship apps – Topaz Studio 2. It is specifically designed for creative photo editing and comes with an amazing range of innovative filters that can be combined and layered for endless possibilities.
What’s New in Topaz Studio 2?
If you’ve been using Topaz Studio (v.1) you’ll notice a lot of changes. Here are the three most important:
- New User Interface – The new user experience is focused around layers. You can drag and drop to rearrange layers, access layer masks, and control bend modes and opacity.
- Non-destructive Layers – Everything you do in Topaz Studio 2 is completely non-destructive. Looks (formerly known as presets) now go on their own layers so you can mix, match and stack them.
- Pricing change – Instead of paying for individual “pro” add-ons, all adjustments are now available for a flat fee. If you previously purchased Pro Adjustments for version 1 of Studio you may be eligible for a free upgrade (be sure to read the Upgrade section below).
The first thing I noticed was that the user interface is very different compared to Studio v.1. It is clean and efficient…once you learn your way around.
It took me a bit of time to figure out where each of my favorite tools were, and how navigate between layers/Looks (presets)/filters, but after processing a few images I have a pretty good handle on where everything I need resides.
While I’m overall quite happy with Topaz Studio 2 the most notable thing missing is plugin support (for the Topaz AI plugins). Luckily it is on the Roadmap and should be implemented over the course of the next few updates. The Topaz team has been releasing updates to this software with record speed to address missing features and fix bugs. Hats off to all of them for their hard work!!
The first image I worked with was a focus stacked floral macro. It is a nice image (and executed well technically) but lacking artistically IMHO.
Since I wasn’t terribly happy with it on its own, I decided to see what I could come up with using the creative photo editing tools in Topaz Studio 2.
I scrolled through several Looks (presets) and stumbled across “Burning Dust”. The textures and colors in this Look turned this ho-hum photo into a dreamy art piece that I really like!
The next image I worked with was captured at sunrise years ago. The soft colors are lovely, but again, I felt it needed something extra.
For this image I couldn’t find a Look that suited my vision so instead I applied a slight motion blur, Impression for a painterly feel, and a vignette.
The added drama makes the photograph a great deal more interesting.
The third photo I worked on was captured a few months ago in Balboa Park. It is one of my favorite vantage points – thus I’ve photographed it more than once. I decided to give my structured black and white process a more artistic flair this time around.
After searching through several Looks I found “Degas Dancers”. (I love the work of Edgar Degas!)
The “Degas Dancers” Look added depth and drama and while many of the painterly-style looks can obscure detail, this Look accentuated the swirly details in the columns, foliage, and iconic Botanical Building.
Upgrade to Topaz Studio 2
For those of you who have been using Topaz Studio (v1) here is what you need to know about upgrading:
- If you own Pro studio adjustments with a total list price greater than $99.99 you’ll receive Studio 2 for free.
- If you own Studio adjustments with a total list price less than $99.99 you’ll receive store credit for the adjustments you do own.
- The dollar amounts above are calculated on the full price (not paid price) so if you received an earlier product as a free upgrade or made use of sale and/or discount code you’re getting an even better deal!
- Verify your upgrade eligibility here.
A couple of other things to know if you’re currently using Topaz Studio v1:
- You can have versions 1 and 2 installed on your computer simultaneously – upgrading doesn’t erase version 1.
- The old Studio 1 .tsp format will not work in Studio 2. If you saved files in the .tsp format DO NOT delete Studio 1 from your computer.
- Studio 2 doesn’t currently support using plugins, but this functionality will be added in an upcoming update.
- For more information on upcoming features be sure to check out the Roadmap.