Software

Topaz Texture Effects Overview and Fast Workflow

Topaz Labs has released a new photo processing plugin called Topaz Texture Effects.  But, this plugin might have been incorrectly named.  Texture Effects doesn’t just add textures to your photographs, it has 14 other adjustment that makes Texture Effects a robust photo processing application.

Yellow Flowers - Topaz Texture Effects

3 Yellow Flowers – Created with Topaz Texture Effects

Topaz Texture Effects comes with over 130 preset effects that are categorized into 7 collections.  Topaz has also introduced a new Topaz Community with Texture Effects where users can share their effects with other users of the software.

Texture effects can be used as a plugin for Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, or run as a stand alone program.

Topaz Community

The Topaz Community is a great idea to share effects instead of searching the Internet to download presets like you have to do for other plugins. It looks like the community is only for Texture Effects at this time.  It would be great if Topaz opened up the community for their other plugins as well.

Topaz Texture Effects Screen Shot 2

Topaz Texture Effects – Adjustments Work Area

Create Your Own Effects

Although the software is called Texture Effects, textures are not the only effect you can apply to your photos.  Topaz Texture Effects allows you to apply the following adjustments to your images.

Basic Adjustment
Allows you to make changes to basic adjustments such as brightness, shadow, highlight, clarity, saturation, temperature, and tint.  But for some reason, it has no contrast adjustment.

Diffusion
Allows you to soften and blur the image.

Edge Blur
Lets you blur the edges of the image and change the area of focus in the photograph.

Edge Exposure
Lets you change the exposure of the edges of the image.  It’s like a vignette adjustment but it allows you to adjust each edge of the photo individually.

Film Grain
Allows you add film grain to the photo.  You can change the size, strength, and opacity of the grain.  The Film Grain adjustment also has a randomizer slider that lets you to change the pattern of the grain.

Posturize
Changes the image using only a small amount of tones.

Split Tone
Allows you to adjust the saturation and hue independently for the shadows and highlights in a photograph.

Vignette
Adds a vignette to the image with the standard controls.

Borders
Gives you the ability to add one of numerous borders to your photo.  You can also flip the border, change the blending mode, detail, opacity, saturation, and color of the border.

Color Overlay
The color overlay adjustment is nice when you want to add a color tone to the image.  You can change the opacity and blending mode for different effects.

Double Exposure
Is a cool adjustment that lets you blend multiple images together.  You can import your own images to blend.  You can also flip the background image, and change the size, opacity, blending mode, saturation, color strength, and color.

Dust/Scratches
Apply dust and scratches to the image to give it a vintage look and feel.

Light Leak
Using the Light Leak adjustment, you can add sunburst effects to your photos.

Textures
This adjustment lets you add textures to your images.  You can use one of their preloaded textures or import your own.  You can also change the size, opacity, blending mode, saturation, color strength, and color.

Topaz Texture Effects - Browse View

Topaz Texture Effects – Browse View

Topaz Texture Effects Workflow

After I load a picture in Topaz Texture Effects, I like to look at all the preset effects to see if there is one that is close to the look that I’m trying to achieve with that image.  Sometimes it is difficult to choose between the presets.  Here is a workflow that will help you decide between presets quickly in Texture Effects.

  1. Click on the browse button on the top right of the window.
  2. Decide if you want to see local or community effects, or both.  Filter the effects you want to see at the top of the window.
  3. Scroll through the effect presets and click on the presets that look interesting to see a larger view of the effect applied to your image in the upper left of the window.
  4. If you like the effect, click on the heart symbol on the thumbnail.
  5. Once you have favorite all the effects you like, close the browse window by clicking on the X in the upper right hand corner.
  6. In the dropdown box in the upper right hand corner that filters the effects (it should say Featured in the box), select Favorited.  The list of effects shown on the right side of the screen should now only show the effects that you favorited.
  7. Now go through the favorited effects again deselecting the heart for those candidates that you want to remove.
  8. The list of effects does not automatically refresh.  To refresh the list, choose a different selection in the drop down list and then select Favorited again.
  9. Once you select the effect you want to apply to your image.  Double click on the effect to make additional adjustments to your photo.

I really like the workflow that Topaz introduced with Topaz Texture Effects. The ability to select favorites is a feature that they really need to add to Topaz Impression as it really speeds up the process for selecting a preset.

Texture Effects is a terrific new plugin from Topaz.  The plugin has a large selection of adjustments that can be applied to your images and the new community to share effects is a great new feature that topaz should add to their other plugins.

Written by Martin Belan

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