Reconsidering Topaz Studio 2

Spending more time with TS2 and after making my way through the workflow of several raw images terminating in the latest version of Topaz Studio (2.0.5), I now believe this app offers potential as an editor for enthusiast amateur photographers shooting raw, not just those who specialize in using JPGs for texturizing, digital painting, abstractions, etc.

It’s a given raw shooters will use an external application to perform any necessary lens corrections and convert to a TIF. From there, the post processing could be completed in Topaz Studio 2 and a non-destructive file saved for later revision.

The good:

  1. The interface in Studio 2was reorganized into a more logical layout that’s simple and easy to navigate;
  2. The various tools are now called Filters, each one assigned to a true layer, and presets using various tools are called Looks (perhaps influenced by a competitor?);
  3. On my iMac system at least with one exception, Studio 2 is faster overall and in execution of the various filters;
  4. Masking in TS2 is second to no one. Every filter layer has a mask option. Topaz has always been a leader in the evolution of the idea of a “smart” mask;
  5. The HSL Color Tuning filter concept is brilliant, using line-shading on the image to identify the parts being altered by the slider controls;
  6. Machine learning has resulted in excellent AI filters for TS2: AI Clear and AI ReMix;
  7. A recent revision adds a histogram available for pop-out by clicking an icon in the lower left side of the image interface. Excellent idea for histogram access.

The improvements still needed (some already in the works):

  1. The handoff process between an external digital asset manager/browser (in my situation Photo Mechanic) and the TS2 standalone is slow and for TIF files crashes TS2 on save. From Photo Mechanic, PM opens the TS2 standalone, but the standalone is configured like a plugin with no File dropdown and no options for Save, Save As or Export. Thus clicking on the Save button in TS2 will overwrite the original file;
  2. A smart Heal Brush is needed;
  3. A smart Selection Brush is needed for composite work;
  4. Add image to a layer filter needed, including PNG for transparency;
  5. B&W filter needs upgrade to incorporate more of the features, including the borders, from the old B&W Effects filter. Presents should include the looks of traditional black and white film;
  6. An Infrared filter is needed to produce faux color or black and white images;
  7. Ability to save personal presets needed;
  8. Ability to import textures and backgrounds needed;
  9. Improve the Digital Frame filter;
  10. Currently resize interaction between frame and matte will produce top/bottom-left side/right side digital thicknesses that are unequal;
  11. Add the frame options available in the older versions of the Adjust and B&W Effects filters.
  12. Make certain Save, Save As and Export are options in both the plugin and the standalone;
  13. Add more presets in Quad Tone filter, incorporating more of the looks from ReStyle;
  14. Add Tilt Shift as option in the Focal Blur filter;
  15. Remove the extra spacing that the Text filter adds to the beginning and end of a line;
  16. Add Drop Shadow as option in the Text filter;
  17. Fix bug in Text filter which distorts the text (Save file with text as TS2 file, reopening this file text aspect ratio is distorted).

My system:
macOS Mojave Version 10.14l.5
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017)
Processor 4.2 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory 32 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
Graphics Radeon Pro 580 8 GB

(Reposted here on recommendation, sorry for going to an old thread originally)

Well I don’t think that I should use some other program to convert to TIFF. Must well use the other program to process the picture… I personally don’t need two pictures that one is Raw and other in TIFF. They just need to fix RAW process when loading picture.

Plus what ever you ask I asked in Version 1 and only couple things were added.
But most of them wasn’t. I was with Studio from the pre-leased Version 1 and I know how it was at that time…

I would certainly add Plugin support as a very critical need. Its absence created a workflow disaster.