As much as I love Topaz…
Photo editing tools traditionally are judged by their end result, how easy they are to use, what amazing differences they make to the image, that sort of thing. Who really cares about the coding process if it works? Topaz have always been good at this, making things work - until recently. Puzzlingly, the focus has been turned on its head and has shifted away from wooing customers with amazing end-result features to worshiping the actual process of how it is put together, putting it under the epithet of the much overrated AI moniker. Which is misdescribed, as artificial intelligence does not exist. Not yet, anyway. What Topaz and a dozen other photo software developers are actually using is Machine Learning and calling it AI.
AI apps are huge, they take longer to download and install, they gobble up resources and are slow to use. But are they they really any better? I’m not seeing any hard evidence that they are. Studio 2 is a constipated stripped-down version of the original and, despite all the updates, those amazing end-result developments have practically stalled. Mask AI is not faring much better, and AI Sharpen produces reasonably good results if you have all day to wait for it to process, very slowly, one image at a time.
But, looking on the bright side, I bet the coding is a joy to behold!