Those who regularly read my blog will know I’m a big fan of Photoshop plugins. They save a tremendous amount of time in turning a RAW image into the final product. With a lot of time and energy you can get to the same end point through mastering layers in Photoshop, or you can let a plugin do the heavy lifting and get back to shooting.
Earlier today I received an e-mail from Ashley over at Topaz Labs offering a download of a beta pre-release of their upcoming Topaz Detail 3 plugin and I could not wait to get back to my studio, download the software and start playing with it.
I thought I’d give it a whirl on the image I’m planning for my Daily Photo for tomorrow. So I just imported the .tif file from my scanner (it’s a slide from 1989), duplicated the layer, went to the filter menu and selected Topaz Labs, Detail 3.
The interface was at once familiar yet different. Most obvious was the grouping of the provided presets in folder collections in the left-hand panel. There’s also a lot of new presets. The right-hand panel will be familiar to users of Detail 2 but there’s a new tab for Effect Masking!
With Detail 2, if I didn’t want the effect across the entire image, I’d use the masking power of Photoshop. Now I can switch to the Effect Mask panel and either brush in or brush out the effect with the usual controls you’d expect over the brush – strength, size, hardness, flow and opacity. Another nice feature on the masking brush is an ‘Edge Aware’ control. I can see this saving me yet more time in my workflow when using Topaz Detail.
Below I’ve posted a split screen of the image unaltered, from the scanner to the left and with an Architectural Detail II preset applied on the right. Below that is a screenshot of the Detail 3 desktop and below that a comparison of the Detail 2 desktop.
Unaltered image from scanner at left, Architectural Detail 2 preset from Topaz Detail 3 applied at right.
Screenshot of the Topaz Detail 3 desktop.
Screenshot of the Topaz Detail 2 desktop for comparison.
Here are some of the new features found in Topaz Detail 3:
- Improved Functionality. Process faster and larger with a significant boost in processing speeds and the ability to handle larger images.
- Enhanced Detail Control. Go beyond control over detail size and enjoy added selective control options that specifically target details found in shadow and highlight areas.
- New Presets. Enjoy a variety of new presets that offer detail enhancement styles for every type of photographer.
- Preset Collections. Enjoy preset organization and the convenience it offers, plus the ability to create your own collections.
- Improved Toning Control. Achieve more natural and consistent tone throughout your image with the integration of the Topaz IntelliColor™ technology.
- Effect Mask. Selectively brush detail in or out using the tools in the Effect Mask tab.
- Opacity Slider. Control the overall strength of your applied detail enhancements using the Opacity slider.
- Interactive Sliders. With the improved image processing speed you can now see your results instantly as you move the adjustment sliders.
- Split Screen. Get the perfect look every time using the 2-screen split view for easy before and after comparison.
Detail 3 will be a free upgrade for existing users and there will be a discount offer at release for new users and is expected to be released in just a couple more weeks time. If you don’t have any of the Topaz plugins, you should definitely check them out – treat yourself to an early Christmas present and get something you actually want!
Enter discount code rdavisphoto for a 15% discount on your purchase or upgrade of any Topaz Labs plugin or the stand-alone photoFXlab! Click on the image below for this offer.