R.I.P. Topaz

To paraphrase a famous quote about The Lord of the Rings, I think you can divide all of the Topaz Labs apps into two groups:

  1. Those that have been abandoned, and

  2. Those that are going to be abandoned.

Ignoring the long gone original plug-ins on which Topaz made its name, in the last five or six years we’ve had and lost Studio, Studio 2, Adjust AI, Mask AI and JPEG to Raw AI - furthermore it looks likely that Denoise AI, Gigapixel AI and Sharpen AI will soon go the same way.

Video AI, under its various different names, recently celebrated its fourth birthday (from when we started testing it) and it’s still in an alpha state and showing no signs of being fit for release.

Photo AI is the younger sibling at only eighteen months old and is in the same dire situation.

I no longer have the time, money or inclination to play these games - there are other apps out there that actually do most of what they’re supposed to do and don’t charge you money to beta test them. So, for me it’s time to move on.

I fervently hope I’m wrong - but I’m not hanging around to find out.


Hi Paul,

It is a sad situation we are in and even though I am still here I would NOT use the two current products for production. This “chasing the ultimate AI” is simply not suitable for use, they should take an example from other image processing applications and use AI to boost their original applications.

The abandonment of applications just shows that there is no direction and respect for their user base.

Also the reversal of authorisation to trial status whilst a application is running and the internet goes down is intolerable especially because Video AI may actually run for more than 24 hours …


I agree Topaz is going in the wrong direction. I think TPAI is ok for some users but some prefer the plugin options. I tried PAI on auto settings and most of my images came out worse than before processing. Never had these issues when using the stand alone products.

Topaz are rushing out so much new stuff it is getting out of control. Yes being used as beta testers I think is fair comment.

I will continue to use Sharpen, DeNoise and Gigapixel. If PAI can do them better then I will use that but I think it is some way off. Who knows which way they will go, looks like they aiming at the smartphone market.

I’m probably going down the DxO route, they seem more aligned with my requirements.


I’m with you.
I don’t like Photo AI and I haven’t been getting great results with it. On top of that it constantly logs me out and says it needs to be activated which is just annoying.
I’m very sorry to see that the other apps seem to have been discontinued but at least that means I don’t need to invest in an update plan this year.

EDIT: I wrote to support to ask what’s going on and where I should or shouldn’t spend my money.
I got an e-mail back from Kyle Bucher saying:

We are not developing any new updates for DeNoise AI v3.7.2 or Sharpen AI v4.1.0 beyond those current versions as we have shifted our development efforts towards Topaz Photo AI.

There was also an additional note:

We are developing updates for Gigapixel AI and Topaz Photo AI though and are working to improve them based on user feedback.

In short, if you prefer Photo AI you’re ok. Otherise, time is up. I use Gigapixel, but my work horses are DeNoise and Sharpen. It looks like I either have to find new software or get used to Photo AI.

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Yup. The loss of Mask AI is an absolute tragedy for my workflow. It was simply the best tool out there that I’d found. The control over the areas to target by painting them in is simply fantastic. The automatic subject detection in PS almost never gives perfect or controllable results.

Same. My workflow was developed from the ground up using Topaz plugins that no longer work. For years now I have limped along finding work arounds but even that is no longer possible. They advertise ‘lifetime ownership’ … what a joke. Congratulations, I own almost every Topaz plugin they made since 2012, paid good money for them and now every single one is worthless and that’s before we even discuss what happens with my workflow. I will not spend another dime on Topaz. Anyone have anything to recommend that replaces Adjust, DeNoise, etc?

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Just curious why your plugins no longer work. I too have all the plugins and they all work.

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Same for me Kathy.