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Each time a new bit of software is announced I ask myself…
- Do I need it?
- Does it fill a hole in my workflow?
- Does it make my life easier?
- Does it solve a problem?
With so many noise reduction and sharpening tools on the market (and already on my computer) I did not think I needed Topaz’s new AI Clear Pro Adjustment for Topaz Studio. However, I decided to try it out, just for fun. My first couple of tests on high noise images were decent, but not earth shattering. On my third test I was blown away.
What is Topaz AI Clear?
Topaz AI Clear is promoted primarily for addressing noise – but the folks at Topaz also say it works well for sharpening, detail enhancement, and reducing artifacts.
The first two images I tested were high-ISO images. Topaz AI Clear definitely helped, but it wasn’t a dramatic improvement. The third image I tested was one of my older photos from Italy when I was shooting with a lens that had a faulty auto-focus thus making everything just a teeny bit soft (so annoying!).
I picked a beautiful window in the town of Caltagirone in Sicily that I captured in 2010. Here is the original (cropped with minor adjustments in Lightroom):
If you take a look at the zoom view – you’ll see that the details, while not necessarily out of focus, aren’t quite sharp.
I applied the Basic preset and loved the look, but thought it could use a little less micro contrast and a bit more vibrance in the Precision Contrast adjustment.
The result is definitely an improvement, but the slight softness is still there, so I decided to see if the AI Clear adjustment might help.
I ran with the default settings, but did nudge the Detail Boost up to Low.
With those results I can’t wait to try this software on a few of my other older images!
Here is the final photo in all of its glory:
Add Topaz AI Clear To Your Workflow
Topaz AI Clear is available as a Pro adjustment with Topaz Studio, a standalone photo editor as well as a plugin for Photoshop CS4+, Elements 6+, Creative Cloud, and as an external editor for Lightroom.
**Don’t forget to enter my coupon code ANGANDRIEUX at checkout to save 15% on your entire Topaz Labs Purchase!**