Introducing Topaz AI Clear – The Tool I Didn’t Know I Needed
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UPDATE 4/18/19: Topaz AI Clear has been discontinued and it’s functionality is now part of Topaz DeNoise AI. Click here to learn more about Topaz DeNoise AI and as always, contact me if you have any questions about Topaz applications!
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.
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