Not at all happy with getting started with Topaz plug-in -- SOLVED

Growltiger

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It's too late for me for that; I already downloaded the software before registering.
You're correct that the system resets the password. The problem is that the system doesn't accept that newly created password. I've tried it using four newly created passwords.
Caps lock?

Or start again.
Uninstall. Create a new account using a different email address. If you don't have one you can make a gmail one in 5 minutes.
 
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Caps lock?
Nope. The passwords Topaz generates are quite long with a lot of types of characters in upper and lower cases, so to ensure that I wasn't making a mistake I copied and pasted them. EDIT: I seem to remember my wife telling me that some companies require that the password is typed, so I tried typing it. No luck again.

Or start again.
Uninstall. Create a new account using a different email address. If you don't have one you can make a gmail one in 5 minutes.
I considered doing that but I'm in no rush. I don't want to have to keep track of another email address. At this point I would rather wait for Topaz to get back to me.
 
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The reason I'm interested in it is with the hope that it will sharpen the parts of my drop art photos that are out of focus because the depth of field when using the macro lens is necessarily smaller than I would prefer.
I'll be interested in your experience. I have the software and find it to be unpredictable in its performance. With some (few) images the results are nearly miraculous while other, similar images—which to my eye have the same level of OOF elements—are rendered poorly with little, if any, improvement. Additionally, I find a fair number of images can be improved enough for online posting but not for printing.
 
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I agree with Lucky Duck, as sometimes Topaz Sharpen AI oversharpens or undersharpens and doesn't quite achieve the results for which I had been hoping. I notice this particularly with shooting birds swimming in choppy water -- invariably it oversharpens the water, and I have to dial back or just not bother using their treatment of the image. When it works well, it really works well, but when it doesn't..... It's definitely an app worth having and I do like using it when a particular image or situation calls for it.
 
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With some (few) images the results are nearly miraculous while other, similar images—which to my eye have the same level of OOF elements—are rendered poorly with little, if any, improvement.
sometimes Topaz Sharpen AI oversharpens or undersharpens and doesn't quite achieve the results for which I had been hoping. I notice this particularly with shooting birds swimming in choppy water -- invariably it oversharpens the water
Does selecting the area to be sharpened, rather than sharpening the entire scene, help with those situations?
 
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Mike, the bulk of my use has been global. I have not tried masking within the app or sending PS selections to it.
 
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I just ran a quick test on a macro shot using AI globally, with a PS selection (which AI did not honor, had to cut and paste the selection to a new layer) and finally with the AI masking tool. With this particular image, no noticeable difference among the three methods was seen. I did note that this newest version of AI still leaves vertical lines (artifacts) when using stabilize mode. These are not always readily apparent at 100% so it's not a deal-breaker, but it is annoying that they are there.

EDIT: Below are crops from another image, an old focus mapping test; original first, AI second. The vertical lines can be discerned here if you look closely.

Orig.jpg
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AI.jpg
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Good results here, don't see this often enough.

Orig2.jpg
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AI2.jpg
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I heard back from Topaz today, which is the first business day since I sent my issue to them. They wanted me to use some recording software to record everything so they could troubleshoot the problem.

The following is my response:

"Thanks for getting back to me quickly, Eric.

I would rather not take the time to download Loom, provide recordings and the like. That's because, to be frank, I'm not interested in taking the time to help trouble shoot your company's problem. Instead, I hope there is some way you can either clear my account on your end as if it was never created or that you can get your system to recognize the passwords your system is generating. In the end, the real problem is that when your software generates a new password, it doesn't recognize that password whether I copy and paste it or type it into the pertinent field. Then once either of those situations is made to happen, I could make everything happen.

Alternatively, I also wonder if uninstalling AI Sharpen and reinstalling it seems like a viable solution. I didn't try that for fear that your software might lock me out and force me to create a new email address, which I'm unwilling to do.

Please let me know which of the above solutions seems most likely to succeed. Thank you!

--Mike"
 
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Growltiger

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I just ran a quick test on a macro shot using AI globally, with a PS selection (which AI did not honor, had to cut and paste the selection to a new layer) and finally with the AI masking tool. With this particular image, no noticeable difference among the three methods was seen. I did note that this newest version of AI still leaves vertical lines (artifacts) when using stabilize mode. These are not always readily apparent at 100% so it's not a deal-breaker, but it is annoying that they are there.

EDIT: Below are crops from another image, an old focus mapping test; original first, AI second. The vertical lines can be discerned here if you look closely.
That eye example is miraculous isn't it! A bit more with the noise reduction slider would improve it even more.

Regarding those vertical lines (I have never seen them), I have read that it can make a difference which technical processing mode you choose (in Preferences). I have read something like "If you get this issue and are using the GPU, don't, instead use CPU with Open VINO. If you still get it, try Not CPU and Not Open VINO although that is slower."
I think it depends which GPU you have too. Which do you have (I'm guessing you have Nvidia as that is always the make with software and driver issues)?

Note that as the product developed, the orginal GPU speeds have been equalled or nearly equalled by the CPU Open VINO technology.
So try Open VINO and turn off the GPU.
 

Growltiger

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The reason I asked is that the Topaz website highly recommends using the sharpening selectively in certain situations.
While I understand they have added a masking feature, if you use Photoshop you would be far better off gaining the precise control you get using the normal technique for selective sharpening:
1. Type Ctrl+J to duplicate the layer.
2. Sharpen the new layer. (You see everything now sharpened.)
3. Create a new black layer mask. (You now see nothing sharpened)
4. Use the brush to paint white the areas in the mask you want sharpened. (If you do a bit you decide you don't want sharpened paint it black).
With practice you can selectively sharpen just a bird against a unchanged background in about a minute.
 

Growltiger

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Alternatively, I also wonder if uninstalling AI Sharpen and reinstalling it seems like a viable solution. I didn't try that for fear that your software might lock me out and force me to create a new email address, which I'm unwilling to do.
I don't think uninstalling and reinstalling would make the slightest difference. You need to create an account, as I described.
You have fallen down a rabbit hole and I suspect you won't be able to get back out.
If you do decide to try their products you will still have the option of getting another email address (takes 5 minutes) and opening a new account as I described.
 
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You have fallen down a rabbit hole and I suspect you won't be able to get back out.
I think there is about a 50% chance of that. I look forward to Eric's response to my email. I thought it was rather rich of him to suggest that I download and install a trial recording software to be able to help him see what is going wrong with his own trial software.
 
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While I understand they have added a masking feature, if you use Photoshop you would be far better off gaining the precise control you get using the normal technique for selective sharpening:
1. Type Ctrl+J to duplicate the layer.
2. Sharpen the new layer. (You see everything now sharpened.)
3. Create a new black layer mask. (You now see nothing sharpened)
4. Use the brush to paint white the areas in the mask you want sharpened. (If you do a bit you decide you don't want sharpened paint it black).
With practice you can selectively sharpen just a bird against a unchanged background in about a minute.
I already know that using Photoshop or ACR to sharpen an area that is fundamentally unsharp because it is beyond the depth of field doesn't produce the results I want. I also don't know if Topaz AI Sharpen will produce the results I want but based on examples I've seen, I'm cautiously optimistic.
 
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I downloaded the trial of Topaz AI Sharpen and opened the plug-in in Photoshop CC. A window appeared requiring me to log in to my Topaz account. I didn't have one (or so I thought) so I tried to create an account. The window that appeared clearly indicated that I already had an account. Sure enough, upon downloading the trial software, Topaz sent me an email that included the password for my account that was created without me knowing that I ever gave permission. (When I agreed to license the trial software, that agreement, which I didn't read, might have included that permission). I tried using the password in that email to login to my account. No luck. I used Topaz's facility to reset the password. I tried using the newly created password. Still no luck. I tried using three more newly created passwords. Still no luck.

So, I can't log in to my account and I can't open the plug-in without logging in.

Very unimpressed, to say the least. I'm awaiting a response from Topaz.
I have tried to trial use a few of the newer plug-ins too. After all the jazz of getting it done I click to use, then get an error message. When I contact TOPAZ they reply back 'sorry about that, thanks for trying' <---what? nothing else to say? I have several of the plugins, use a couple very often - the newer stuff just does not work
 
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When I contact TOPAZ they reply back 'sorry about that
At least they apologized. Though the guy that responded to me is the Operations Manager and by virtue of his position should know better, he didn't apologize or show any empathy whatsoever about the problems I've been having. I am grateful, though, that he showed a genuine interest in trying to solve my problem.
 
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That eye example is miraculous isn't it! A bit more with the noise reduction slider would improve it even more.

Regarding those vertical lines (I have never seen them), I have read that it can make a difference which technical processing mode you choose (in Preferences). I have read something like "If you get this issue and are using the GPU, don't, instead use CPU with Open VINO. If you still get it, try Not CPU and Not Open VINO although that is slower."
I think it depends which GPU you have too. Which do you have (I'm guessing you have Nvidia as that is always the make with software and driver issues)?

Note that as the product developed, the orginal GPU speeds have been equalled or nearly equalled by the CPU Open VINO technology.
So try Open VINO and turn off the GPU.
Using the CPU alone does result in an image free of those lines but my processor is too old to use OpenVino and so the time to completion (D810 files) is not something I would tolerate unless it was absolutely necessary. Regarding your remark about NV software and driver issues, it was those very issues (driver fails) that drove me away from ATI/AMD in the first place. Maybe these things are more system related (local) than global? I don't know.
 
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