Topaz Sharpen AI processing colour.

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Does anyone else have this issue with Sharpen AI? When I run an image through Sharpen AI it alters the levels to make the image much lighter. Maybe it is doing what it thinks is correct for the image, but I would rather process it myself after sharpening as I think it adjust the levels too much, for my liking anyway.

I have changed the NEF file to a jpg to make it load easier here.
1494 Original NEF file.jpg
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1494 After Sharpen AI.jpg
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The few times I've used the program, all of which were important and successful, I've never seen that happen. As for workflow, I always run the image file through Sharpen AI first before doing anything else. I never need noise reduction but if I did, I would use that before Sharpen AI. That's consistent with Topaz's recommendation. Consider trying that workflow if you're not already doing so.
 
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The few times I've used the program, all of which were important and successful, I've never seen that happen. As for workflow, I always run the image file through Sharpen AI first before doing anything else. I never need noise reduction but if I did, I would use that before Sharpen AI. That's consistent with Topaz's recommendation. Consider trying that workflow if you're not already doing so.

I always use sharpen AI before putting through On1 which is my main image processor, but I did not know you should use Noise prior to Sharpen. I always think that Sharpen Ai adds some notes and that is why I do it after.
 
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The only time I've seen something similar is when importing back into LR from AI Sharpen and forgot that I had a preset active.

Funny thing is that when I have used a preset on an image, when I drop the image into Sharpen AI after running Sharpen AI the preset is no longer present in the image.
 
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I've used Topaz Denoise AI and Sharpen AI quite a bit and have never had that happen to me, the lightening of the image after processing. Interesting development, though. Hope you figure out the cause.
 

Growltiger

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It sounds like you gave Sharpen AI a NEF file? That means you are expecting it to develop that file without any control by you over the raw development process. What it did seems quite sensible, since it was underexposed. If you want more control, process the file using your favourite program (ACR etc), make a TIFF and give that to Sharpen AI.
 
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EDIT: Pipped at the post by Richard :) ^^

I do not use the Topaz products but if it is consistently lightening your raw files as much as you show in the first shot (which looks rather dark/underexposed) then it suggests it is doing its own interpretation of what constitutes a 'correctly exposed' image prior to the sharpening algorithm.

One way that may help you find out is to convert your raw files to 16 bit TIFF and then put them through Sharpen A1. If they look the same without lightening then you may wish to consider that your raw files are actually at less than optimal exposure (or what A1 considers less than optimal)
 
When I edit images I start by using DXO PhotoLab 4's excellent denoise function, and then move on through the rest of the adjustments I want to make to my RAW image. When I am all finished, if I decide the the image could benefit from additional sharpening, then I move the now-edited .jpeg file into Topaz Sharpen AI and see what it does with the image. Sometimes I'll go with their auto recommendation, other times I'll dial back a bit if it looks over-sharpened. A long time ago I learned or got the impression that sharpening is one of the last steps one should apply to an image, not one of the first.
 
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When I am all finished, if I decide the the image could benefit from additional sharpening

I don't think of Sharpening AI as additional sharpening as much as a different type of sharpening. Very big difference. That's because additional sharpening assumes the sharpening at the time of capture is adequate for routine post-processing sharpening to be effective. Sharpen AI assumes the sharpening at the time of capture is inadequate for routine post-processing sharpening to be effective.

A long time ago I learned or got the impression that sharpening is one of the last steps one should apply to an image, not one of the first.

There are essentially three types of sharpening: capture sharpening, creative sharpening and output sharpening. The output sharpening is applied last in the typical workflow. However, when using artificial intelligence to sharpen an image that was not adequately sharpened at the time of capture, everything changes. Indeed, upon using Sharpen AI the first time, it became immediately apparent to me that it had to be used as the very first part of the creative sharpening process. Otherwise, artifacts can be created. You've complained about the artifacts created by Sharpen AI, so I wonder if that might be the result of an ineffective workflow.
 
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It sounds like you gave Sharpen AI a NEF file? That means you are expecting it to develop that file without any control by you over the raw development process. What it did seems quite sensible, since it was underexposed. If you want more control, process the file using your favourite program (ACR etc), make a TIFF and give that to Sharpen AI.


Yes I always put the RAW NEF file into Sharpen AI. I will see what happens by using a TIFF file?
 
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It might be helpful for everyone following this thread to realize that the OP is probably using the standalone version of Sharpen AI. Workflow becomes especially important whether using Sharpen AI as a plug-in or as a standalone product and the two workflows should be quite different. Whatever version you are using, be very certain that you understand the relevant ramifications.
 
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If you are sharpening a noisy image- I would recommend trying topaz all clear- which is in the denoise filter.
Really works pretty well. I usually use dxo noise reduction- but if the image still has noise elements all clear works better than topaz sharpen in my hands.
I use the topaz filters through photoshop on 16bitt tiff files. I have never seen exposure variations like you described.
By the way- be careful of all the topaz AI filters on black and white images that are still in the rgb color space. The sharpening and noise reduction algorithms often add little sprinkles of color.
gary
 
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When I edit images I start by using DXO PhotoLab 4's excellent denoise function, and then move on through the rest of the adjustments I want to make to my RAW image. When I am all finished, if I decide the the image could benefit from additional sharpening, then I move the now-edited .jpeg file into Topaz Sharpen AI and see what it does with the image. Sometimes I'll go with their auto recommendation, other times I'll dial back a bit if it looks over-sharpened. A long time ago I learned or got the impression that sharpening is one of the last steps one should apply to an image, not one of the first.

Yes you are right and sharpening is one of the last steps to do, but what I have been finding is if I make adjustments to the NEF file and then put the image into Sharpen AI it looses all my editing, so that's why I put it through Sharpen AI first. Also as you know every time you save a jpg you loose some quality, maybe as suggested I need to try it as a TIFF file. On the previous version of Topaz Sharpen if I put my NEF file into Sharpen more than once it would have a colour cast over the image, but it did not happen with Tiff. Topaz told me it was a compatible issue with NEFF files, which has now been sorted with the upgrade.
 
I don't think of Sharpening AI as additional sharpening as much as a different type of sharpening. Very big difference. That's because additional sharpening assumes the sharpening at the time of capture is adequate for routine post-processing sharpening to be effective. Sharpen AI assumes the sharpening at the time of capture is inadequate for routine post-processing sharpening to be effective.



There are essentially three types of sharpening: capture sharpening, creative sharpening and output sharpening. The output sharpening is applied last in the typical workflow. However, when using artificial intelligence to sharpen an image that was not adequately sharpened at the time of capture, everything changes. Indeed, upon using Sharpen AI the first time, it became immediately apparent to me that it had to be used as the very first part of the creative sharpening process. Otherwise, artifacts can be created. You've complained about the artifacts created by Sharpen AI, so I wonder if that might be the result of an ineffective workflow.

Yes, that's correct, it really is "additional sharpening," as of course the image is presumably sharp at the time it is being shot (unless it is something with intentional, controlled blur). I have found Sharpen AI useful when I shoot birds which are moving in the water -- the "Stabilize" function is quite good for that, adds just that extra little touch of sharpening.

My response to the quoted sentence I bolded is "Huh?" I don't recall ever complaining about that, you may be thinking of someone else's post. That said, a couple of times I have oversharpened unintentionally and didn't realize it at the time -- and that was user error, not the fault of the software.
 
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Yes you are right and sharpening is one of the last steps to do, but what I have been finding is if I make adjustments to the NEF file and then put the image into Sharpen AI it looses all my editing, so that's why I put it through Sharpen AI first. Also as you know every time you save a jpg you loose some quality, maybe as suggested I need to try it as a TIFF file. On the previous version of Topaz Sharpen if I put my NEF file into Sharpen more than once it would have a colour cast over the image, but it did not happen with Tiff. Topaz told me it was a compatible issue with NEFF files, which has now been sorted with the upgrade.

I use the standalone version of Topaz Sharpen AI. I do my editing first in DXO PhotoLab 4 and then from there either I'm done and I rename the image or I take the edited image (now a .jpeg) into Sharpen AI to see if it can make a difference or not. This has the advantage of giving me the option to either stick with my original version or to go with the newly sharper version, as Sharpen AI sends the image it has worked on back to the desktop or to the folder in which the original image was stored, and then I compare the two and decide which I'll keep, and then also give the image a meaningful title, as something like "DSC04449_DXO-Sharpen-Stabilize.jpg isn't very indicative of what the image actually is.
 
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of course the image is presumably sharp at the time it is being shot

Much of the use of Topaz Sharpen AI is based on the premise that the image is not sharp at the time of capture. The following statements are from Topaz's web page dedicated to advertising Sharpen AI's capabilities: "Fix blurry images...There’s nothing worse than the feeling of taking the perfect photo, rushing home, opening it up on your computer… and realizing that it’s blurry at 100%. When this happens, it’s usually caused by one of three problems: camera shake, focus issues, or general softness." (The bold font is at the website; not added by me.)
https://topazlabs.com/sharpen-ai/

My response to the quoted sentence I bolded is "Huh?"

I was referring to the following stuff you wrote in November: "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....."
Post #26 at https://www.nikoncafe.com/threads/not-at-all-happy-with-getting-started-with-topaz-plug-in-solved.325132/
 
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