Even after a few years, I still don’t completely understand the Topaz company strategy around Topaz Studio vs. Topaz plugins. Originally I thought that a transition was being made from the plugins to Studio, but it seems that at least in some cases, the Topaz Studio adjustment version is only a watered-down version of the “old” plugin.
Creative Topaz plugins like Impression have a very nice user interface that contains large previews of dozens of categorized presets. By “creative” I mean the plugin can make major changes in the style of the image, e.g. watercolor painting, pencil sketch, etc. The presets are great creative starting points for further editing with the settings of the preset, and for the layperson who doesn’t like to fiddle with sliders there are such a large number of presets to choose from that there is sure to be one that is appropriate.
The corresponding Topaz Studio adjustment (Impression adjustment) has only 5 major presets and the user has to create variations using the sliders.
I assume that the Impression adjustment’s sliders would allow the user to create the same results that the plugin does, but the fact that the plugin contains a more user-friendly UI (large visual previews to choose from) and a huge selection of out-of-the-box presets would make it my go-to tool if I ever wanted to apply some painterly look to my image.
Has Topaz announced their strategy around plugins? Do they intend to phase them out or will they remain a better alternative to some of the TS adjustments?
EDIT: I just took another look at TS and was reminded that in the left-hand column there are entire sections of preset previews, including Impression, that offer a wide variety for users to choose from. This is cool but I find it confusing that different kinds of effects are applied from different places in TS and that presets that are listed under Impression in the left-hand column don’t necessarily contain any Topaz adjustments listed as Impression adjustments. However, it is nice for the interested user to be able to see how the individual Impression effects are composed of a myriad of separate adjustments.
My original question about the future of the plugins remains.