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

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Thanks Rick, that's the current Topaz DeNoise launch promo minus an additional coupon code such as I linked.

When such promos end, the coupon code is still good but of course it's best to combine them when possible.
 
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...What modes do you use and any lessons learned to get the best results?
My experience to-date has been as follows:

-"Sharpen" mode is the least selective but most subtle with results very similar to well tweaked USM.

-"Stabilize" is intended to correct blur caused by camera shake. It appears to analyze the image and selectively corrects parts of the image that exhibit effects of camera shake. It is both more selective and more aggressive(i.e.heavier sharpening on selected parts of image) than sharpen mode. On some images it produces impressive results.

-"Focus" is intended to correct blur caused by being slightly OOF. It seems to be the most selective and most aggressive of the three modes. It also produces the most random artifacts and can also grossly over sharpen some parts of the image. For example it tends to randomly sharpen portions of water surfaces while leaving other alone. But on some images that are indeed slightly OOF it can produce impressive results.

What I've found so far is that it is not obvious which mode will produce the best results on a given image. Even on images that are obviously OOF sometimes stabilize mode works better. But there is a preview mode and it is fairly easy to try all three modes as well as various slider settings before saving results.

Another thing is the random artifacts that can be generated and/or grossly over sharpened patches of an image. This seems to be more of an issue with focus mode. Sometimes the problem I'm trying to correct(e.g.slightly OOF eyes) will look great but there will be weird artifacts elsewhere in the image. In that case it may be necessary to use an editor capable of layering to mask out problematic areas of the sharpened image.

In the image of the harbor seal that I posted in the thread linked below stabilize mode produced the best results even though it was an obvious OOF problem.

Link: Test - Topaz AI Sharpen

Hope this is useful information.
 

Butlerkid

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My experience to-date has been as follows:

-"Sharpen" mode is the least selective but most subtle with results very similar to well tweaked USM.

-"Stabilize" is intended to correct blur caused by camera shake. It appears to analyze the image and selectively corrects parts of the image that exhibit effects of camera shake. It is both more selective and more aggressive(i.e.heavier sharpening on selected parts of image) than sharpen mode. On some images it produces impressive results.

-"Focus" is intended to correct blur caused by being slightly OOF. It seems to be the most selective and most aggressive of the three modes. It also produces the most random artifacts and can also grossly over sharpen some parts of the image. For example it tends to randomly sharpen portions of water surfaces while leaving other alone. But on some images that are indeed slightly OOF it can produce impressive results.

What I've found so far is that it is not obvious which mode will produce the best results on a given image. Even on images that are obviously OOF sometimes stabilize mode works better. But there is a preview mode and it is fairly easy to try all three modes as well as various slider settings before saving results.

Another thing is the random artifacts that can be generated and/or grossly over sharpened patches of an image. This seems to be more of an issue with focus mode. Sometimes the problem I'm trying to correct(e.g.slightly OOF eyes) will look great but there will be weird artifacts elsewhere in the image. In that case it may be necessary to use an editor capable of layering to mask out problematic areas of the sharpened image.

In the image of the harbor seal that I posted in the thread linked below stabilize mode produced the best results even though it was an obvious OOF problem.

Link: Test - Topaz AI Sharpen

Hope this is useful information.
Thank you so very much for sharing this information!
 

Growltiger

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Here is an example. This first image is a small 100% crop from a photo of a door that was carefully processed including some normal sharpening and finished last year.
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Now here it is after processing with Sharpen AI, using the Sharpen setting, at its default settings. It is now very very sharp.
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Make sure you look at them full size. I hope you can see what I mean.
 

Growltiger

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Here is the whole photo, so you can see what a small part I was examining above:
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
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Thanks Richard, that's a great shot! I've spent a lot of time myself photographing doors, windows, eaves, textures... ;-)
 
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Has anyone noticed that this has a side effect of effectively removing noise?

Before:
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


After:
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Mode: Focus
Blur: 0.7
Noise: 0.9
Grain: 0.2

Here is the output from DxO Prime:
(disabled all edits in DxO apart for brightening he scene a bit and applying the NR)
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)



Anyone else able to test?
 

Growltiger

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Yes, the Remove noise slider defaults to 0.5 but you can turn it down to 0 or up to 1. The default seems to work well. I see you used 0.9.

I'm surprised you used Focus mode instead of Sharpen mode. It isn't obvious which works best on any particular photo. The preview feature is useful in finding out quyickly.

Your example is excellent. The Sharpen AI result looks vastly superior to the DxO Prime result, which seems to have made the photo much more blurry.
 

Butlerkid

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Has anyone noticed that this has a side effect of effectively removing noise?

Before:
View attachment 1638807

After:
View attachment 1638808

Mode: Focus
Blur: 0.7
Noise: 0.9
Grain: 0.2

Here is the output from DxO Prime:
(disabled all edits in DxO apart for brightening he scene a bit and applying the NR)
View attachment 1638809


Anyone else able to test?
Interesting. I have used DxO Prime since 2012. I apply NR, CA and lens distortion only in DxO, save as .tif, and then do all other edits (including exposure, color profile, etc and capture sharpening) in ACR. This is the first image I've seen where DxO Prime created blurring and less detail. My experience has been just the opposite.
 
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Sorry for the confusion.
The DxO one was purely looking at the NR. Everything else was disabled. Also, the export sizes weren't equivalent etc.
Only wanted to compare NR.
 

Butlerkid

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This isn't a good comparison as it appears that the second image also used sharpening or focus-improvement settings in Sharpen AI that weren't similated in DxO.

As such, this doesn't seem like a fair comparison at all to DxO.

As I said, NR, CA and lens distortion are the only things I use in DxO. I have to use CA and lens distortion, because ACR won't recognize the lens used and apply CA and lens corrections to a .tif file. I have never see DxO Prime blur medium to fine detail.

ISO 8000, f4.5 printed large. fine detail still there but no noise....
Mother and baby
 
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Again, sorry for the confusion. Wasn't trying to compare the two, as in put them head to head. Just wanted to look purely at how much noise this can remove.
DxO is definitely better at NR ... even in this flawed comparison as you will note the splotches of colour in the girders in the Topaz version.

Can't recommend swapping the two but for those using other programs, this may be able to add to their NR toolkit. So for something like Luminar, a round trip to this could help with Noise as well subject to settings ... hence the request for tests.
 
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OK ... Took the the noisy NEF into DxO, switched everything off and exported as Jpeg (image on the left).

Opened the Jpeg in Luminar 2018 (The last decent version of Luminar) and round tripped to Nik Dfine default auto and then to Topaz Sharpen with the same settings as earlier. (Middle Image).

I think the middle image compares relatively well against the "Gold Standard" on the right which adds Prime NR to the NEF which Dfine on its own would not have.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Dfine does OK but always a step behind DxO Prime. Seems this may be able to help bring it a bit closer. Could work well for a Luminar user in particular as one thing it does well is round tripping to other tools. Wierd thing is that it does this better with the Nik Collection than DxO does as it is seamless.
 

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