Topaz Denoise AI creates artifacts in dark areas

I’m a new user of Topaz Denoise AI, and loving what it can do, with the exception of one problem that I have not yet found a way around. I’m using Denoise AI 3.0 (haven’t upgraded to 3.1 yet). In areas of a photo that are black (maybe underexposed, maybe just properly black), Topaz Denoise AI will throw in a scattering of random red, green, and blue pixels.

I tried to upload images illustrating what’s happening, but apparently I don’t have permission to upload images. In the example photo I can’t show, there’s a bird with a black area on its face. In the original DNG file imported into Topaz Denoise AI, that black area looks normal.

After saving the file in Topaz Denoise as a DNG file and importing it into Darktable, that dark area is speckled with a scattering of random red, green, and blue pixels.

If I import the original DNG file into Darktable, the photo looks fine, so it’s clear that it’s Topaz Denoise doing this, not Darktable.

This only happens with black areas – the rest of the photo is fine. I’ve tried all the different combinations of settings I can think of (Clear, Low Light, sharpening, no sharpening, color noise reduction, etc.), but nothing makes any difference.

I have the same workflow setup on two computers (a desktop and a laptop), and the problem occurs on both of them.

Has anyone else seen this? Is there a way I can prevent this from happening?


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Try using a different mode to process the files Denoise AI Clear is great or maybe just any other mode that you want to try if all else fails try the upgraded version and with not just the files you processed in the first time but also different files the problem might be in the original file you tried so give it a try

Thanks for the response. I’ve tried all three modes (Denoise AI, Clean and Low Light), and they all do the same thing. And it’s not just this file (actually it happened on four files this time). It’s happened in the past on other batches of photos, all with the same pattern of having a small black area – that small black area gets the RGB speckles.

If I skip Topaz Denoise, I can edit the original files with no problem – but I really want to use Topaz Denoise because it’s an amazing program!

I actually tried upgrading to 3.1 earlier but had trouble loading files with it. I’ll give it another try and see if I can can have better luck.

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Can you reproduce the same on an artificially made image filled with black, and with “painting” by a soft black brush on light background? In both CPU and GPU mode? In the completely black areas or on the edges of soft brush? I’m asking because had never seen this type of artifacts (although did see other) to date.

try another file format like Tif or JPG to process the the files and let me know if the problem is still there