Studio 2 is destructive

I just installed Studio 2, and even though it advertises as being non-destructive, the opposite seems to be true. Previously, I’d apply a Topaz filter and it would be added to my layer as an effect. I could turn the effect off, drag it to another layer or delete it. Now, when I make changes to a layer in Studio 2, and then apply and return to PS, my layer has the change applied, but it’s destructive. I can’t revert to the original image. It’s lost. What am I missing?

Do you mean you cannot turn off the Eye on your Ps layer that was created by your Studio 2 processing (or delete that layer) and see your image as it looked in the layer below the Studio 2 work?

All Topaz products have always required us Ps users (I don’t use Lr so can’t speak for them…) to make a duplicate layer before working on images in one of their programs b/c their programs over-write the Ps layer their program is launched from. So I’ve always made a duplicate Ps layer as a 1st step; with Studio 1 & 2. Just force of habit I do with any 3rd party Ps plugins…

Did you make a duplicate layer in Ps to work on in Studio 2 (or in any of the Topaz products)?

Do you always make a duplicate of your Ps Background layer before doing any work at all in Ps? To protect your original image.


Yes, I could click the eye and turn off the effects. Or delete the effects entirely. I’ve never had to create a duplicate layer.

Do you mean while still in the Studio-called session?

I personally do it like Fotomaker. ie everything done in a particular Studio session round-trip is contained in it’s own host-parent layer which can be deleted, adjusted for opacity, etc. I presumed Studio-2 was non-destructive up until such time as you leave that session and return to the host program, but perhaps there is something I’m missing with the new layer work-flow. However, I just host-parent ctrl-J out of habit (duplicate layer) before I venture off into Studio-land so I can always get back to the original if necessary.


Non destructive means you can undo all the changes while in Topaz Studio. You may be thinking of using a Smart object layer in PS that will allow you to re-open the plugin and remember the settings. I no longer use PS so I can’t test that.

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I posted a note in another thread regarding Studio 2 non destructive workflow just after release:

Studio 2 (and Studio 1) are not compatible with Photoshop Smart Objects. So anything you do in Studio 2 that is returned to Photoshop will be destructive. However, whether you call Studio 2 from a Smart Layer or a normal duplicate layer (as mentioned by others above), at least you can turn off or delete the changes made by Studio and preserve any other edits and layers in the Photoshop file.
Interestingly, some older Topaz plug-ins are compatible with Smart Objects and non-destructive editing through Photoshop. I remain hopeful that Topaz will allow Smart Object functionality. I want to do all my work non destructively.

Addendum: after passing a Photoshop layer to Studio 2, the ability to save a Project File in Topaz Studio 2 has recently been added. So one work around to remain non-destructive is: after sending layer (normal layer or Smart Object Layer) from Photoshop to Topaz Studio 2, save the edited Topaz Studio 2 work as a Project file before returning the layer to Photoshop. If you later need to edit the Studio 2 layer in Photoshop that contains the burned-in Topaz Studio 2 edits, you have to open the saved Project File in standalone Topaz Studio 2, make new edits, re-save as a Project File, then export the file as a Tiff (or whatever you prefer). Then you have to add that new Topaz file back into the Photoshop as a new layer. Painful but it works and is the only way I know of to work totally non-destructively from Photoshop to Topaz Studio 2.

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Yes. So it clearly not only doesn’t give you a “typical” Smart Object type of functionality. But there is also no benefit to saving your TS 2 layer work as a project then returning to Ps and saving the files as a .PSD with the expectation that when you re-open that layered .PSD you can launch back into the prior Studio session and easily re-open the project file you’d saved for the particular image. Gawd, I think I even got my own brain confused with that sentence…

True. The only thing preserved and potentially re-editable is other layers in the Photoshop PSD file. The Topaz Studio layer, whether a regular or Smart Object layer, is not re-editable. If you have many and significant layers above the Topaz Studio layer that contribute to the final PSD look, this method might be worthwhile. Then again, if you alter the Topaz Studio Layer it may totally wreck the layers above. Bottom line for me—I need to have Smart Object functionality for my workflow. On1, Luminar, and NIk have figured it out.

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