Ongoing product value and paid upgrades

Well I, for one, have to say that I just had the most fantastic help from Ashley in Tech Support. If this is a measure of future support from Topaz, though hopefully unnecessary you can never tell with macOS (and others, I guess), then I can only be pleased with the direction of travel!

Thanks Ashley for stepping, for being so prompt to turn this around, and for the technical proficiency. Luv it!

Why post this here? Because I believe that such support is critical - there are competitors out there who may seem to offer much (and there is often use to be had from various tools) but all too frequently are a let down on tech support; I therefore consider it an important factor.


I agree Ashley rocks!


The OS & drivers abstract the HW details for the vast majority of application programmers. I’m not saying that HW issues can never intrude, but it’s not like we’re programming in machine language anymore and mostly haven’t for a very long time. Most app programmers never deal with HW at the level you imply…certainly not at the resister level! They have more than enough on their plates with the various levels of the software stack! In most cases, maybe not all, performance issues with the Topaz AI apps are due to lack of GPU horsepower. Been there, done that and it was painful.

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Your observation is Totally on point.

In most cases, maybe not all, performance issues with the Topaz AI apps are due to lack of GPU horsepower.

A few posts back I replied to complaints about slow AI processing, posting a reminder to check graphic settings for each app - esp after updates, TL or W10.

I’m running a lowly 2GB Radeon w a fast i7 and 32 GB of RAM and the difference between Intel and AMD is amazing: 5 to 15 min for Gigapixel AI - down to 2-3 with the card.

As for AI, there have been a couple times when I ran the trial and decided to wait - saw improvement and then purchased without regrets.

Many ( Most of us) have thousands in our gear and a small investment to maximize performance is like oil changes. ( 2 a year of which in a year is $100 or more for synthetic most places. )


And that’s half the problem. If we use high level languages and rely on its communication with the OS and drivers then if the hardware and drivers are below par, the software suffers.

And trying to accommodate every possible combination of hardware is impossible.

My Topaz experience changed dramatically when I got a supported graphics card. Some of the AI products still take longer than I would like but the results are worth it. And I batch up enlargements in Gigapixel and process them while I do other things.

Those who say that the AI products aren’t as good as Photoshop or the legacy Topaz products are in total denial. I’ve tested Topaz AI against the best of the rest. Topaz is better. By a mile.


That’s your experience! I have a different experience and have the whole AI collection, very fast computers with supported graphic cards! And is 64 gig memory not enough?

When I compare Adjust with Adjust AI the legacy version gives amazing results in seconds compare to very mixed and mostly over saturated effects that take a long time to appear in the AI app. The old Adjust makes you work in the finest details the AI not.

I prefer to make my images nicer in Capture One, that works real fast and gives very good results!

It has nothing to do with denial but with common sense!
We work in web design and use a lot of images, if DeNoise AI > Sharpen AI > Adjust AI takes minutes to process for only one image we have no time for that. I can get similar results with the Nik collection in seconds. Think the AI apps are a interesting development, but need some more time to be workable in a real life situation.

And the way you talk about it is as if AI apps are some magical tools that can do things that no other app can accomplish, don’t think that’s true.

The only one I use a lot and think is unique is Gigapixel AI.


True. It’s the only experience I can experience.

One minute??? I remember the ‘old days’ of film when hours, days or weeks were needed to get a result.

In the end, we go with what works best for us. I won’t argue with that. But I can’t deny my own experience - the AI tools do better than the others I’ve tested.


Not in denial at all and that’s kind of a silly thing to say. :grin: The “classic” programs, and I’m including both Impression 2 and Glow 2 in the group, offer FAR more control of the final output without question. The AI products on the other hand offer very little user input. That doesn’t imply that the AI products are bad, just that you have significantly less input. For what I do I appreciate the control so I prefer the “Classic” group and use them over the AI set. That said, there are some uses that I find for the AI programs. I use AI Clear regularly; and infrequently AI Gigapixel to enlarge small original B & W graphics for my church bulletin, which is a very limited use. But my original post, which got all this started, remains true. As you so appropriately said in another post we all need to use what works for us and each of us will likely have differing needs.

For my $$$$ the AI stable still has a long way to go, and I work testing them daily, but for right now I believe they need more attention AND they are getting such. That doesn’t mean I think they aren’t as good or better than the competition, they are in my estimation, but still have a ways to go.

My system is pretty powerful and I don’t experience the long processing times that some have reported so that is not a factor in my use of the programs. It is the limited input that drives my opinion. As always, individual mileage, and opinion, is going to vary.

It is my sincere hope that ALL of us responding would do so in a way meaningful to the developers and not use these forums as a platform to blow off steam as was the case when this thread began. That’s meant as a general comment and NOT directed at anyone in particular so please don’t misconstrue my intent! :grinning:


I dunno what I should do. Gigapixel is an interesting product, but it is not worth the price without the lifetime pass. On the other hand, calling for a refund might be even worse to Topaz then just let them grandfather me with the promise of free lifetime updates. Gigapixel needs updates/upgrades to become worth the price it had already cost. And I really can’t pay another 50 bucks to expand the upgrade period for another year only for the weak hope that certain issues with Gigapixel will be solved in the future. But I want keep Gigapixel nethertheless. Calling for a refund might screw up Topaz even more which will affect further support of Gigapixel AI too (which I will be locked off anyway soon as it looks like).

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3 posts were split to a new topic: GigaPixel AI processing

Eric Lowery’s title is the Operations Manager according to the mail I received. I had two credits appearing for some time unused. Some time back when a change was made on the account webpages, they disappeared. One of them was never recovered on inquiry. The other was posted to my account webpage. With this new pay for upgrades policy I checked again and it had disappeared once more. Eric was able to provide me with the coupon ID but said that it would not appear because the account pages were being worked on.

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A post was merged into an existing topic: GigaPixel AI processing results

While no one likes to pay for an upgrade, no one like to work for free either. Without a continual flow of income, Topaz Labs would have to go out of business and no longer be able to support any of their products.

As the Windows and Mac OS continues to evolve, many old programs no longer work as I’ve found out for myself. At least Topaz will still be around to make sure that their programs stay up-to-date and functioning for years to come.

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Customers have paid well already for Topaz promise of life time upgrades. Many users took the lifetime free upgrades into account when they bought the otherwhise overpriced pieces of software Topaz offered. So we can’t say future upgrades are not being paid. They have been pre-paid.


You can’t expect a Ford Fiesta to have fast acceleration and you can’t expect a cheaper computer to run high performance software fast. You can choose to buy other resizing , denoising and sharpening software that will run on your machine or upgrade your computer. Topaz has sped up the processing time on their AI programs but it still take a reasonable performance machine to enjoy it. Its really your (meaning those with lower performance computers) choice.

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I very much agree with this policy change. Subscriptions instead of ownership bother me and I’ve dropped Adobe software as a result. You need to get money for your work and I get the peace of mind knowing that I won’t get cut off from the use of software that I have paid for already. Usually, I update every year anyway but I appreciate it being my choice.


I’m not surprised by this announcement. However the free upgrade policy was a sweetener for the high initial cost of the products. For new Customers, if Topaz is going to still charge a high price for entry into the Topaz AI ecosystem, then charge $99.99 a year to keep them up to date this will likely put a lot of people off. I for one, will likely now keep what I have (i.e. every AI product) but not update them until they are no longer supported. Then I’ll consider whether or not I continue to stay with Topaz.

I sincerely hope we see a big improvement from Topaz now they have made this significant business model change. The past 12 months have been really, really poor. Products rushed out to market with inadequate QA/QC, buggy installers, poor performance etc. They now need to deliver results to justify the decision they’ve just made. I hope they haven’t just priced themselves out of the market.


I bought Topaz in 2013 and have lived the ups and downs noted in posts -

I bought Topaz for what it was doing and clearly was on the road to become

I never considered ‘free lifetime’ in any purchase - I’d download the trial - if it didn’t work for me I didn’t buy it - but then I’d wind up buying a later (improved) release.

Topaz didn’t cost a fortune - probably $600 - $700 over seven years.

And for that $60 - $80 a year +/- I got some terrific software and a few frustrations …

but I got to deal with a small company developing interesting and productive apps…

Today I had time to dig back through old files and was delighted to rediscover fine memories shaped by Topaz apps

I will not be archiving this thread.

Hello everyone,

I wrote something once that I would support Topaz, but now I will add something from a different angle.

Topaz Labs is a small company, which is why we all, developers, customers and amateurs, should support it instead of complaining about the new pricing policy.

I don’t like many things, either. For example, the fact that Topaz no longer supports older products. For example, I can download Studio 1, but I can no longer buy modules for it, including AI Remix, so Studio 1 is worthless to me.

But, I will support them.

Do you know why?

Because you always have to support small businesses. There was once communism and dictatorship in my country, Poland. It was difficult to live here. Currently there is pseudo-capitalism. Sucks too. But in the US and Western Europe there is no real capitalism or free market that my favorite visionary Milton Friedman wrote so nicely about.

There is only an oligopoly of a dozen or so big corporations that, thanks to patents, lawyers and the appropriation of other people’s ideas, earn more and more, because they have a monopoly on everything that they can enforce. When you go to the store, you don’t realize that many of the things you buy are made by the same corporation that has several thousand different brands and daughter companies registered. I once talked about this with a policeman who specializes in analyzing the topology of such companies to detect tax evasion and other frauds.

And thanks to them you earn less and less (because they earn more and more). And the gap between the richest and the poorest is still growing, as even Pope Francis spoke. Just as human egoism is increasing. This situation and social inequality are strange if we think we have the 21st century and so many wise people, scholars, and young people are also increasingly aware of how the world works.

After all, women only gained voting rights recently. Equality between women and men also arose. Before, women meant nothing. Slavery ended, then racial segregation. I still can’t imagine that in the 1960s there were separate entrances for white and colored people in buses!

People are smarter and smarter, although it happens extremely slowly. They hardly get rid of their privileges and superstitions, and unjust laws. Perhaps soon something will also change in terms of ownership and money. For example, instead of capitalism or communism, a different social system will be created, based more on the cooperative model, Holons and other goods distribution model than appropriating other people’s ideas in a zero-sum game.

If you want to read something interesting about it, I recommend two items:

  1. Novel, two volumes, author: Daniel Suarez, titles: “Daemon”, “Freedom”. The model based on holons is described in the second volume, but both books form one whole, so read both items.

  2. Popular science book, author: Harari Y.N., title: “Homo Deus”. Cross-section through human history and reflection on the future.

Maybe this Coronavirus, after killing 1/100 of the Earth’s population, will change something, improve something, because people will come to their senses and be better for each other? I do not know. I am not a futurologist. 100 years ago, Europe fell by 50 million people (some sources estimate 200 million) because it killed people with another virus, it was a Spanish flu. Every tenth person died. But people have not become significantly better after this epidemic. Then we had two world wars, including Hitler’s utopia, right?

In general, however, the speculations of futurologists are unsuccessful due to the butterfly effect and the phenomenon of deterministic chaos, which is affected by entropy - a next phenomenon as mysterious as time. Also, as I wrote earlier, people are getting better educated, so maybe the world will be better.

But I know that one way or another you always need to support small family businesses and startups, and other small businesses of all types, to help balance the market and give people, now and in the future, a chance for positive change and a hope.



Hi Eric. Your statement of “We haven’t listed free upgrades on our website or communications for the past year” is wrong. It was listed on your Facebook company profile when MASK AI was released. How do I know this? Because I pointed it out in my discussions with your company when you made Remask owners purchase MASK AI. Please stop lying to your customers.

It’s true you never had it in your product license agreements … so you are free to hide behind that rather than honor your word. It’s your choice as to how you treat loyal customers.