Questions of Functionality of Topaz Products

I am a decades-long Adobe PS power user (extensive use of layers), drawn to Topaz out of disgust for changes to Adobe Camera Raw that have totally upset my workflow, my history of using Topaz plugins with PS (Clarity, Adjust & Denoise) and the ability to use layers with Topaz. I plan to spend numerous quality hours with video tutorials to make the transition but have a few basic starter questions:

  1. my old Topaz account, with my former plugin purchases, provides a nice discount to get the Image Quality Bundle (Sharpen & Gigapixel, in addition to the Denoise I purchased years ago), which I will buy, but also offers a nice discount to complete my Creator Bundle by adding Mask AI. Here’s where I’m confused: From what I’m reading it has a “Mask” feature, so is my “upgrade” offer to “Mask AI” needed (or is it already included)?
  2. I’ve been using Adobe Bridge for eons as my image organizer (sort, triage, keyword assignment, metadata editor, etc.)… What are Topaz users using for this function? I’ve read that I may be able to keep Bridge for free from Adobe (which would be perfect!) but am not sure this is a correct assumption.
    Any and all input/tips, or links to such will be greatly appreciated!! Thank you in advance!

Individual products have basic masking, Mask AI is a standalone product. Whether it is included in your upgrade can only be seen on your personal account. You will need to raise a support request at the main website as this is a user to user forum.

Topaz do not have an image organizer, continue to use your existing one.

I recommend keeping all the old, pre-AI versions of Topaz software you own.

What do you plan to use for RAW conversion?

Do you want to continue to have a workflow that makes use of layers?

Be aware that Studio2 can’t call any of the non-AI plugins. So if you want to use those, you’ll need Studio1, PhotoFX Lab, or some other third party program.

Best regards

Since the former two are discontinued, I would recommend Affinity Photo for that task - which gives you access to layers, if desired.

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So, I take it adding Mask AI is an improvement then, over the “basic masking?” My account shows that, due to years-ago purchases of Legacy items, I already own Studio 2 and Adjust AI, and am offered Mask AI at $54 to complete the Topaz “Creator Bundle.” I saw masking included in the Studio 2 description, so it wasn’t clear that “Mask AI” is a separate product worthy of the added cost. Appreciate the info!

Yes, I want to continue to use layers. My current workflow with Adobe is first with Bridge for sorting/organizing the RAW files, keywords, metadata, etc., then opening from Bridge in Adobe Camera Raw for initial adjustments, then on to PS for further development, usually using layers. Your question “What do you plan to use for RAW conversion?” confuses me… I was under the impression I can open the RAW files directly in Studio 2, do all work within it, using layers and export the finished image from there… no? My thought is to keep Adobe Bridge as my organizer & starting point (as Bridge is a free stand-alone allowing me to drop the monthly CC subscription for PS & LR but keep it), then open the RAW files from there in Studio 2. But my assumption that I can simply drag & drop from Bridge (or otherwise configure it to open RAW files in Studio 2) may give me unforeseen issues.

Good to know about not being able to use non-AI plugins. Those that I own are Clarity & Adjust… I’m reading that Adjust AI replaced Clarity so was hoping to find the tools I use in Clarity inside Adjust AI. I guess time will tell.

Just for clarity, Studio 2 doesn’t support layers, at least not in the traditional sense like in Photoshop. Studio 1 had image layers, but they haven’t been incorporated in Studio 2.

You can drag and drop from Bridge to Studio 2, but make sure you drag onto the open app and not the app’s icon otherwise the app will open in plug-in mode.

No layers in 2? I watched some introductory tutorials about a year ago and became quite intrigued with Topaz Studio at that time, as the demonstration showed making adjustments to individual layers, with the ability to then apply opacity to individual combined layers, or erase locally, etc., as I’m accustomed to in PS. Have been contemplating moving to Topaz since then, have finally decided to give it a try (and hopefully eliminate that monthly Adobe CC bill)… Am I mistaken that I was watching a Studio 2 totorial, and that is actually strictly a Studio 1 feature?

It depends what sort of layers you mean. You can stack filters in a layer type way then change their opacity and mask parts of them out etc. - i.e. like Photoshop adjustment layers. But you can’t add images to the stack e.g. for blending or sky replacement. If the tutorial you saw showed images being added then yes, you were watching one on Studio 1.

Okay thanks, yes the method you describe as stacking filters in a layer type is what I saw (am pretty certain it was a demonstration of Studio 2). That is the workflow I use a lot with PS. Interesting to know you cannot add layers of multiple images, but that is something I rarely do. I mostly utilize layers with landscape photography (fine tuning different areas in the same image, with different affects (bringing out details in shadows & highlights, even different white balance at times e.g. night sky & terrestrial areas, or night sky WB vs human subject with studio flash), then using opacity, the eraser tool and other methods to blend the layers), but have been incorporating it more with portraiture as well (applying filters to the background in a layer while maintaining a more natural look to the subject, and even increasing exposure to a layer of the subject alone to accentuate the use of outdoor flash). Use of layers in this manner has become a major portion of my workflow. Moving to Topaz will definitely be a huge learning curve for me. It was last year during initial confinement with the pandemic that I found the time to watch those tutorials. Have been thinking about jumping in to Topaz ever since, and now am at a point in my life where more free time is opening up to do so. Am sure I’ll come up with more questions, but appreciate all this great input!