Test Topaz AI Sharpen

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I've continued to poke around a bit with AI Sharpen on some images that have been historically unsatisfactory from a standpoint of sharpness. Below is one from a couple of years ago. The image was shot from a moving boat at a moving target. As things would have it in the only frame that I captured with direct frontal position and eye contact with the motion etc the focus point slipped off of the animal's eyes. As a result the whiskers were in sharp focus but eyes/eyebrows were slipping out the back side of DOF. I produced a split image to try and show the previous best PP versus application of AI Sharpen.

Left side: processed in ON1, sharpening achieved with "dynamic contrast"+"detail"+USM.

Right side: processed with Topaz AI Sharpen then imported into ON1 and finished as above

And yes the right side is warmer than the left but please let's not get wrapped around that axle. Just trying to demonstrate the sharpening software not my overall PP skills(or lack of).

D810, 500mm f4, handheld from moving boat
1/1600s f5.6 ISO100

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And here's the complete reworked image. Eyes/brows now nice and sharp :)

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Wow that is a marked improvement. We all have such images. The most popular image on my site is BB King images, shot in poor light, 1600 ISO, D70, 70/200, in 2005, 5 years later I PP acceptable images. I would like to have another go at them. What and where is AI Sharpen?
 
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... Topaz AI Denoise, works quite well but dog slow. How is this sharpening program for speed/response?
One of my comments from the thread that Karen linked:

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...
 

Growltiger

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Very impressive Dan, thanks for posting this. I've just been trying the Topaz AI Denoise, works quite well but dog slow. How is this sharpening program for speed/response?
A good computer with a decent GPU will render a sharpening preview in just a few seconds. Then the processing of a complete photo of 20MP is about 40 seconds.
 
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Thanks Karen. I had already located and download a trial. Of course in my haste I grabbed a Raw to PP . Very slow processing there, but the final BB King image was worth the wait. It is awesome, looks a bit over processed, and the slider had no graduations, so I do not know how much I applied, but will work it out. The King image is just great, a 30% improvement. For folks starting out I relate the need to shoot in RAW, and how this bad image waited 5/6 years for software and my education, to become postable quality.
 
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...The King image is just great, a 30% improvement. For folks starting out I relate the need to shoot in RAW, and how this bad image waited 5/6 years for software and my education, to become postable quality.
Years ago I read/heard the argument in favor of RAW for exactly that reason, the potential for future software improvements in NR etc. The argument was logical and I made the switch from jpeg(circa 2006?) more for that reason than for increased DR etc. While my own skills have improved gradually since then the major software improvements were slow to come. Particularly the NR and sharpening products really didn't offer any notable improvements over PS, NX2, etc. But I have to say that in the past couple of years there have been step change improvements. Finally coming to fruition and there is hope for some of those marginal images shot with the old D70, D200, etc.
 
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