Software

What’s New in Topaz Impression and How it Improved my Workflow

Topaz Labs has released a new version of their popular Impression photo processing software.  Topaz Impression is a digital painting program.

Flag Flying over the USS Arizona Memorial

Flag Flying over the USS Arizona Memorial (Processed with Topaz Impression 2)

Topaz Impression 2 added several new features.

  • Large Image Support.  Now supports images up to 80 megapixels.
  • More Painting Effects.  Now comes with 142 effects – up from around 100 in version 1.
  • Live Painting.  Instead of putting up a processing icon while you wait, Topaz Impression 2 paints your image layer by layer, updating as you adjust the effect.
  • Integrated Masking. Mask in application using traditional spot masks, as well as color, luminosity and brush masking tools.
  • Save and Share presets with the Topaz Community. This is the same feature that Topaz has in their Texture Effects software which gives you access to hundreds of additional presets for your photos. Presets in the Topaz community can be accessed by selecting “Community” or “Both” in the drop down next to sort at the top of the screen.  I have this highlighted in a red border in the image below.

My favorite new feature in Topaz Impression 2 is one that the company didn’t highlight in their release notes – the ability to save favorites.  This doesn’t sound like a great feature but it really speeds up my workflow in Topaz Impression 2.  You can use the ability to select favorites to store candidate effects instead of writing them down.  Read on to see my workflow.

Topaz Impression 2 Browsing Effects

Topaz Impression 2 Updated Workflow

  1. Launch the software with a photo.  I typically launch the software from Photoshop in case I want to do some additional work with a layer mask.  The software can also be launched from Lightroom or as a stand alone application.
  2. Click the “Browse” icon at the top right of the screen (circled in red in the above image)
  3. Select whether you want to see “Local” or “Community” effects, or “Both”.  Shown with a red square in the above impage.
  4. Scroll through the effects, single clicking on the effects that look interesting.  The effects you click on will be drawn on the left side of the screen.
  5. Click the “Heart” icon on the thumbnail for candidate effects.
  6. When done browsing effects and clicking the heart icon for ones you like, click the arrows on the dropdown to the right of the “Community” icon that displays “All”.  Select “Favorite” from the list.
  7. Continue to narrow down your selected effects by deselecting the heart icons.  You can refresh the thumbnails of favorite effects by selecting another item from the list and then reselecting “Favorite”.
  8. Once you decide on the effect you want to apply.  Click on the thumbnail to make additional edits to the photo.  You can modify the brush stroke, color, lighting, add texture and use a mask to only modify certain parts of the image.

Topaz Impression 2 Edit Screen

Overall, Topaz Impression 2 is a worthwhile upgrade.  It is a free upgrade for owners of Topaz Impression 1.

For those who aren’t current owners of the software, Topaz Impression 2 is available now for $99.99.

Written by Martin Belan

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