NEW FROM TOPAZ! Sharpen AI (discounted/free, replaces InFocus)

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Today Topaz released the latest in its AI image processing series, Sharpen AI. It's free for existing users of their InFocus plug-in, or discounted for new users.

See my review here.

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Growltiger

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Very interesting. Good results. This looks very like Gigapixel to me, set to 1:1.

Did you notice that with Gigapixel you can set the scaling to 1x - choose the manual scaling on the right and type in 1 below. Could you try that on your images and compare it with the Sharpen AI results?

Do you think we will get a Denoise AI product?
 
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Great idea as always Richard! I will work on that approach ASAP.

I am not sure about a DeNoise AI but these Topaz products are popping up quickly.
 
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The main idea of Gigapixel is image Enlargement without losing details. Sharpen AI just does the image sharpening in 3 modes without Image enlargement. If you consider he 1:1 ratio also, I think Sharpen Ai does a better job in sharpening.
FOr more review images and samples: Topaz Sharpen AI Review
 
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This software does a pretty decent job of selective sharpening/blur removal. But it is so slow as to be un-usable for anything larger than web resolution images. I tested it on several images on a gaming laptop with gen8 Intel i7 chip, 16G RAM, 4G video card, and SSD. For an 8MP image of a sea otter on smooth water it took about 5 minutes after each setting change to generate a preview and almost 20 minutes to final process the image.
 
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Of course cutting edge software like this is going to require a huge amount of processing power. Topaz is mindful of the investment of time required and is always working to improve that.
 
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Of course cutting edge software like this is going to require a huge amount of processing power. Topaz is mindful of the investment of time required and is always working to improve that.
If it were perfect it might be worth the time. But it's not. On my test image the focus mode did an impressive job on the slightly OOF main subject. Unfortunately at a setting that resulted in adequate sharpening it caused artifacts in the bokeh. That required generating two copies of the image, one at desired sharpening and another at a lower setting then opening both in layers and masking out the artifacts with the lesser sharpened layer. That's 2x 20 minute to process the images plus another 20 minutes or so between slider changes to find the right settings. Over an hour to sharpen one image. Perhaps worth the time for software that stays on the hard drive for the occasional recovery of images that can't be rendered usable with conventional methods. But at the price of $60 for occasional use it doesn't compare well with alternatives.

And speaking of the price, I am a current user of InFocus and did not receive the promised email with a free license to AI Sharpen. Nor did I receive a reply to an email sent several days ago inquiring about same.
 
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As for your free upgrade, while I don't work for Topaz support I can reach out to my contacts there for you if you wish. You can PM me the order # which I expect should be sufficient for them to track you down.
 
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Well I'm happy to report that Topaz did make good on the free "upgrade" from InFocus to AI Sharpen. Thanks to plugsnpixels for facilitating that with Topaz customer support. I will continue testing and if time allows will do some test image comparisons to alternatives.
 
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I've got an important update on this topic. Previously I said:
This software does a pretty decent job of selective sharpening/blur removal. But it is so slow as to be un-usable for anything larger than web resolution images. I tested it on several images on a gaming laptop with gen8 Intel i7 chip, 16G RAM, 4G video card, and SSD. For an 8MP image of a sea otter on smooth water it took about 5 minutes after each setting change to generate a preview and almost 20 minutes to final process the image.
During testing I saw some incredible results on some images. Enough so that I kept at it in spite of the issues with processing speed. Then by pure accident I was able to resolve the issue with the processing time. I'm happy to say that now the processing time to generate a preview on a 2560x1440 monitor is now only 10-15 seconds. And time to process the full image and save it is maybe a minute or so.

There is a preferences drop down menu with only a couple of options. One of those is whether the program uses the GPU or CPU to process the image. The default setting was set to GPU. I toggled it to CPU and saw some improvement but not huge. Then it occurred to that the Nvidia control panel has to be set to recognize the application otherwise the Nvidia GPU is inactive. On my laptop to save energy the default GPU is the integrated Intel graphics. So I set up the Nvidia GPU to function when AI Sharpen is running and toggled the GPU setting back on in the AI Sharpen settings. Voila. Still not instant results but well within tolerable time limits.

The software does an incredible job on some images. Much better than any of the alternatives that I've tried. Unfortunately I've not yet recognized the common elements of images on which it performs well. But now it's usable software and easy enough to give a try on problematic images.
 
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Interesting Dan! GPU is always the way to go if at all possible. It seems you are on a PC where you can make these driver adjustments so you've got some flexibility there.
 
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Very interesting. Good results. This looks very like Gigapixel to me, set to 1:1.

Did you notice that with Gigapixel you can set the scaling to 1x - choose the manual scaling on the right and type in 1 below. Could you try that on your images and compare it with the Sharpen AI results?

Do you think we will get a Denoise AI product?
I ran this test and NO the results are no where near the same. I cranked up the "remove blur" in Gigapixel AI all the way and did the 1:1 ouput and there was virtually no evident sharpening effect.

AI Noise has now been released. Based on what I've seen with AI Sharpen and Gigapixel I will certainly download the trial version and give it a test.
 

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I ran this test and NO the results are no where near the same. I cranked up the "remove blur" in Gigapixel AI all the way and did the 1:1 ouput and there was virtually no evident sharpening effect.
OK. But try this. Use Gigapixel to resize to 4 times, then take the resulting photo and reduce the size back to the original size using a photo editing program. Great sharpening?
 
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OK. But try this. Use Gigapixel to resize to 4 times, then take the resulting photo and reduce the size back to the original size using a photo editing program. Great sharpening?
OK I ran this test on one 4.5MP TIFF file. It did result in marginal sharpening but noise was also slightly sharpened/enhanced(which surprised me). I'd say the result was comparable to using USM with radius=1, strength=100, threshold=0. Certainly not worth the trouble.
 

Growltiger

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OK I ran this test on one 4.5MP TIFF file. It did result in marginal sharpening but noise was also slightly sharpened/enhanced(which surprised me). I'd say the result was comparable to using USM with radius=1, strength=100, threshold=0. Certainly not worth the trouble.
OK.
Now that Sharpener AI is out, I agree it is far better. I am impressed.
I just timed it on my system
An 18MP image took 38 seconds. That isn't too bad.

I have been trying it on some random photos in my collection which have already been carefully edited, including sharpening to my satisfaction. The result is remarkable, the sharp photos are now far sharper, incredibly sharp.

Can a photo be too sharp, assuming there are no classic signs of over-sharpening, such as halos?
 
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OK.
Now that Sharpener AI is out, I agree it is far better. I am impressed.
I just timed it on my system
An 18MP image took 38 seconds. That isn't too bad.
Yes now that I figured out how to make my computer use the GPU it's pretty snappy. Particularly the preview which only processes the portion of the image that is in the 1:1 view on your monitor. Generates the preview on 5 seconds or so.
 

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Yes now that I figured out how to make my computer use the GPU it's pretty snappy. Particularly the preview which only processes the portion of the image that is in the 1:1 view on your monitor. Generates the preview on 5 seconds or so.
Agreed. I have an AMD GPU which is a fairly fast one.
Since your reply I had edited my post just above...
 
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...Can a photo be too sharp, assuming there are no classic signs of over-sharpening, such as halos?
I'd say yes in two ways. First off we are all conditioned as to what we expect to see. So images that are sharper than our expected norm may appear to be fake(over processed to us togs). Secondly, it is possible for the image to have higher contrast than reality. For example in fur/feathers where there may be subtle differences in tonality an image can produce much higher contrast than reality.

When the D7100 first came out I received comments on some images that I posted that they were over sharpened. In reality I had not applied any sharpening at all in my PP. I think it was that people just weren't used to seeing images from DSLRs w/out AA filters and they looked TOO sharp.
 

Butlerkid

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OK, the introductory offer of $59 has expired. Guess I'll have to wait for another offer. :( I don't really have a need for it right now, but thought I'd add it to my tool kit.

What modes do you use and any lessons learned to get the best results?
 
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