Here are a couple thoughts I’ve had after flipping back and forth from Impression via Topaz Studio and Topaz Labs. First, load time, as I think we all know is an issue. I have a 16 bit Window 7 machine (16 GB, Intel i7 3.40 GHz) and it take 30 seconds to launch Impression from Topaz Studio (1.43) from Photoshop. It takes 4 seconds to launch Impression from Topaz Labs Plugin.
Then, again as has been pointed out, currently, you cannot launch Topaz Studio from Photoshop twice without closing everything down. I expect this will eventually be resolved. However, one thing I’d love to see from within Topaz Labs Impression plugin, which upgrades sadly no longer seems to be an option, and Studio’s Impression, is the ability to “Apply” an effect without closing Impression and returning to the calling application. This function is available in “Detail” and serves the purpose of applying sequential layers from within the topaz product without going back and forth in and out of the calling application.
Let say, for example I want to apply two different Impressions layers using masks on an image. Within Topaz Studio, it would take 30 seconds for each layer because when you click on OK, you see the wonderful message, “Apply changes, return, back to the host application”, and I think, NO, please NO, I want to apply another layer.
If the objective of Studio is to be a stand alone editor, with a consistent interface there’s work to be done.
I could go on, but I think I’ve said enough.