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

Growltiger

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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.
I have AMD GPUs, after problems in the past with Nvidia. AMD seems to have got much better with their drivers in recent years, I have had no problems at all for about three years now. I don't install their "optional" releases.
It sounds like you need to start thinking about a new motherboard and CPU. I replaced mine about 18 months ago and am enjoying the speed of a really fast modern i7 with plenty of memory. Liquid cooling was another huge improvement for me, bringing complete silence except when the case fans cut in under heavy load.
 
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SUCCESS!

My contact at Topaz reset my account information on his end and the password he created for me was accepted when I logged in, unlike all the passwords the system automatically created for me.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll try using Topaz to determine if it meets my needs in the areas of my drop art photos that are beyond the depth of field.
 
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Growltiger

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Tips.
You will see three options on the right, these are different AI models. Ignore the names, they don't seem to mean much.
Stabilize is the default and by far the most powerful. You can use it for everything. You can adjust the strength with the slider. It can do the impossible.
Sometimes you may want to use the Sharpen model. it is good too.
I have never found the weaker Focus model useful.
Turn both Auto switches off and experiment. The preview works well.

I look forward to seeing some Drop Art.
 
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Would agree about Stabilize, but I have found one instance where "Focus" was amazing and the other two options, not so much. It was of a bird dog pointing, and the focus caught a weed just behind the dog's head. The Focus option made the image more than usable. I only post this to say if stabilize or sharpen aren't working, don't be afraid to try focus.
 
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They just issued a new version that has some problems.
Go to the website and download version 2.1.8 not version 2.2.0.
Thanks for that info. Is this something you found on your own or did they issue an advisory?

These guys are making me wonder about them. First, the passwords automatically generated by their website didn't work for me and a "conflict" was acknowledged to me by their Operations Manager. Now this.

I only downloaded version 2.2.0 and it doesn't seem that there is any way for me to find 2.1.8.
 

Growltiger

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I got it the info from their community website, where there are beta testers etc.
If you have 2.2 and it works that's fine. It may be just some Mac users that have problems.

Here is the link for 5.1.8 in case you need it, you need to click on Windows, Full installer. (Uninstall whatever you have already).
https://community.topazlabs.com/t/sharpen-ai-v2-1-8/15647

They seem fairly hopeless at testing so each new upgrade has problems, but these get resolved in time. So 5.1.8 is the final fixed version of 5.1 if you see what I mean.
This is common to many software businesses nowadays, Adobe have got worse and worse, it isn't just Topaz. I recommend you get a good version and stick with it, don't keep upgrading to every little update version they offer or it will drive you crazy.

Here is the link with downloads to all the main versions of all the products:
https://community.topazlabs.com/c/releases/l/latest
 
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I did some limited beta testing on 2.2.0, Windows, only because I had unexplained crashes with previous versions and support sent me betas to try. The crashes were rectified with the most recent release and I uncovered no other issues. As always, YMMV.
 
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It didn't take long to decide this software isn't a good fit for my drop art photography. I think that's because that style usually displays some relatively highly defined lines against a very plain background. When sharpening the areas that are a little out of focus because they're beyond the ideal depth of field, they take on a very unnatural look that's actually worse because it becomes more evident that those areas are out of focus. I tried all three modes with the same unsuccessful results. EDIT: In a later post, I corrected this inaccurate impression caused by using an incorrect workflow.

I can't believe how crazily slow the software is on my system. All my other photo software flies on it. Using only a 4 MB image file, it took 40 seconds to update. I can't imagine spending so much time to see the results of an edit, finding out that I sharpened it too much, changing the sharpening parameter, and then taking another 40 seconds to see if the second edit is better. Then when applying the change to the image file, it took nearly five minutes.

I can see that the slow speed wouldn't be a problem when occasionally coming across a landscape scene, as an example, that isn't quite sharp enough but otherwise is a wonderful keeper. Coming across an image like that once a month and stopping to take the time to fix it would be worth it. But I was hoping I could regularly use the software on perhaps my top five images from every drop art session. Using it that often would simply take way too much time even if it did produce the results I had hoped for.

I suspect the software isn't designed to be used as part of an everyday workflow, which is how I was hoping to use it. Instead, I've come to the conclusion that it's designed to be used only occasionally to improve an image that otherwise might not be worth keeping.
 
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Topaz Sharpen AI isn't slow on my system..... Do you have plenty of RAM and plenty of processing power? I don't know if Topaz Sharpen AI depends more on the CPU or the GPU..... My machine has a discrete GPU in addition to the regular one; maybe that makes a difference. ??

Right, Topaz Sharpen AI isn't necessary for absolutely every image; I use it in those situations where I need just a touch more sharpening or when I want to try and salvage an image that would be just great if only the eyes were sharper or some such....
 
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Do you have plenty of RAM and plenty of processing power?
The important information is that my system runs Adobe Camera Raw, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom and my cataloging software really fast. Also all other software on my system. But not Topaz. If I had to upgrade my system to run Topaz reasonably fast, that would be another reason not to use it.

The processor is Intel Core i7-6700 CPU @ 3.40 GHz. RAM is 24GB. I don't know the specs of the graphics card and wasn't able to look up that information.
 

Growltiger

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I can't believe how crazily slow the software is on my system. All my other photo software flies on it. Using only a 4 MB image file, it took 40 seconds to update. I can't imagine spending so much time to see the results of an edit, finding out that I sharpened it too much, changing the sharpening parameter, and then taking another 40 seconds to see if the second edit is better. Then when applying the change to the image file, it took nearly five minutes.
Those times are indeed ridiculous.
All their AI products require a modern computer. They can use either a powerful CPU or a powerful GPU.
I just timed it and a preview takes 7 seconds and the full processing takes 1 minute 2 seconds, This was a 7MB file with 17MP. Thbis was just using the CPU, not the GPU. My computer had a new motherboard/CPU/memory in July 2018 so already 2.5 years old. And your computer is over 5 times slower!
You computer must be very old or slow. Remind me what the processor it is and what the GPU is and how much memory the computer has.
Perhaps start thinking about a new computer (or motherboard/CPU/memory) for the new year?
 
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I wonder if under Preferences you had GPU selected instead of Open VINO, which is what you should probably use.
Any time anyone tells me to Open VINO, I do as I'm told. 🍷 🍷

Seriously, making that change dramatically improved the speed to be close to the numbers you reported. The software's automatic calibration also recommended using that setting.
 
<snipped>. ..... . But not Topaz. If I had to upgrade my system to run Topaz reasonably fast, that would be another reason not to use it.
This triggered a memory for me. Somewhere around 2017 - 2018 I wanted to download and install Topaz Gigapixel, and didn't pay much attention to the system requirements. Well, it turned out that the program was not going to work at any sort of reasonable speed in my (2015) 15" MacBook Pro, so I contacted tech support at Topaz and we discussed the issue, then they refunded me. That brought home to me that if I were thinking about updating my camera gear, which I was mulling over at that point, that probably I was going to need a more powerful computer than I had at that time, so I shifted my priorities around so that before buying anything photography-related I first bought a 2018 MBP in late 2018 and made sure that it had the specs to handle whatever I might throw at it in terms of files from a camera and GPU and CPU demands from various image editing programs. There had been quite a few changes between that 2015 machine and the 2018 one, enough to make a difference, especially given how I was intending to use the new machine.

So Topaz did me a favor, actually! When the time came later on to update my camera gear, I felt comfortable knowing that my computer would be able to handle it, and it indeed has been doing so quite nicely. I've purchased two Topaz programs and no issues; interestingly enough, haven't gotten around to Gigapixel again, though, as the perceived need I had for it a while back seems to have disappeared and I haven't had a reason to considering purchasing and using it since.
 
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