Feedback on Sharpen AI

I am usually a stand alone product user, so I didn’t try this product with Photoshop.
The product really delivers good results, but it’s a pitty it won’t open a raw photo.

My personal idea is the following:

Let’s get to a simple example, I photographed my husband with my handheld camera, (canon 5dsr and as I was doing simplistic photography, the lens was just a 50mm. The photo is a bit blurred. I opened in Sharpen Ai and try the three different options you get.

On one hand the results, are different but deliver what’s promised.
The program is really slow and quite heavy, as the memory it used was around 7.60 gb in my Imac 64 ram and latest Mohave version. The process with a quick Imac wasn’t more than half a minute, but saving the image took more than a minute. (For me that’s kind of slow) .

BUT, as a photographer, my usual photos are in raw, (why would I keep them in JPG???) or even in TIFF? unless they’re from my fuji cameras.
Another point to take into account is that with Topaz Studio, I use my raw images, so if I would like to save a blurred photo, that would be my FIRST step, not my last one!

Guys, this is a very good idea, but it needs to be polished.

I don’t think I am buying it for the moment.

Best regards



The 8GB graphics card on my iMac 2017 desktop is apparently not enough to handle Sharpen AI as a plug-in in Topaz Studio, causing Studio to crash.

Sharpen AI does work well as a standalone, delivering some very nice results.

However, it appears Sharpen AI strips the EXIF data from the saved image.


Hi, how are you?
If , and as I tested in my Imac, it took around 7.5 GB or ram from my 64GB, it’s probable that upon opening both, studio and sharpen ai , the demand would be more RAM…
I guess TopazLabs needs to specify the latests needs of the product?
I didn’t try the EXIF data yet… My exifs are usually on my newer photos and for my family photos to be honest, I don’t save the exif with the edited jpg.

Let’s see what Topaz says about the things that happend till now?

I see from some other posts folks with similar systems are having the same problem. Perhaps, it may not be my graphics card but a bug in the app.

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The memory usage would depend on the original image size. My 16 Mpx images (4979px on long side) took 3 seconds to process the preview and 25 seconds to save. Consider that saving had to process the whole image first and save.

My RX580 video card has 4GB of GDDR5 ram and the total usage was 1.6GB of that during processing while I had my browser also running with 25 tabs open along with task manager. AI sharpen was running as a stand alone. The GPU ram dropped to 1.4GB after processing and 0.8GB after closing Sharpen.

Oldradioguy, it sounds like you are using your CPU to do the processing.

I had no trouble opening a Nikon NEF raw file. However, the open dialog in the program only lists jpg, tif and png. So, if you pull down the extension list and select the wildcard (*), it will list all files and allow you to select and open a raw. At least that is the way it works with Windows 10.

No, it’s the GPU.

Hi Old RadioGuy,

Your iMac 2017 should work absolutely great. I participated in the beta testing with a pre-historic 27" iMac mid 2010 with an ATI Radeon HD 5750 card with only 1GB! OK, Sharpen AI is slow on my machine but I haven’t experienced a single crash! And I have tested a lot of images!

I have AI Clear and wonder why I would need this or what it will do better than the AI Clear?


You have a highly unusual GPU with 64GB of RAM then. Given that a 16 megapixel file took only 0.8GB additional memory on my 4GB GPU, what size image were you processing to use 7.5GB?

Inputting a .jpg with sRGB profile, the sharpened image has compressed blacks… not just in small areas around lines, but in larger areas. This is evident before I save it, by just switching between the sharpened and original views. It is the Suppress Noise function which is causing the problem.

Just tried it out here, but yes, if launched as a plugin from Studio, it just causes a crash. Although the crash report says Studio crashed, Studio remains running, and Sharpen AI fails to launch.

It also won’t open a NEF file here.

iMac Late 2013, 16GB RAM, 500GB SSD (images on external FW800).

Hi all!

Just installed Sharpen AI today on a MacBook Pro with 8 Go of RAM and… well first of all, it crashes if I try to use the app from Photoshop CC, it doesn’t recognize RAW files and, when used in standalone mode, any action (changing mode, moving the window to check parts of the picture, saving the fil) takes about forever. Too bad, as the results look great for the three pictures I tried.

Anything I could do to speed up the process and truly enjoy Sharpen AI?

My system has 32GB RAM and 8GB GPU. The image was a 69MB TIF produced by Olympus Workspace. (I don’t use Topaz Studio for the Olympus ORF raw files because Studio continues to render those files with an extremely flat default.)

I hear you on this. I made a preset that will develop my Sony RAW file if I need to do that but I normally develop it in Affinity Photo then go to Topaz. File sizes are tricky and don’t mean much. A decompressed jpg is much larger than the stored compressed version while Tif and PSD files may contain layers and become much larger. The true measure is the megapixel size (no layers).

A couple of points here:

  • Currently RAW files are not supported in the stand-alone version so in the interim you will need to use a product like PS, AP, Lightroom etc.
  • It has specific technical requirements which can be found here:

Topaz Sharpen AI processing mode is set to sharpen and it cannot be changed until after a file is opened and then it is sharpened. So if I want to focus a file I have to sharpen it first. Why is that?

SHARPEN is simply the default, on the bottom right of the screen set Automatically Update Preview to No and then switch to FOCUS. Note you then have the option to manually Update Preview using the button under the parameters.

I am unable to set Automatic Update Preview to NO - clicking on NO does nothing.

The program has now installed correctly and works fine as a stand alone but has not integrated into Studio, doesn’t matter if I run Studio as a Photoshop Plug-in or as a Stand Alone; AI Sharpen does not appear in the “Adjustments” menu. I upgraded to the latest version of Studio but AI Sharpen still doesn’t appear in the menu, not even greyed out, it just isn’t there?