Unacceptable color shift

Drastic color shift on all images. The image loads up looking correct (unlike Gigapixel which already shifts the color when loading in the original file…) but the output file is dramatically shifted in color and tone. No matter what settings. All my creative work undone, and impossible to recover in post by taking back into photoshop.

Have attached screenshots showing both autopilot settings, and my own settings to get the image closer to what i wanted… both unusable.

  1. Step 1 - open an image
  2. Step 2 - set scale to anything other than x1
  3. Step 3 - no settings help to correct the color shift.

Topaz Photo AI [v1.x.x] on [Mac]

wow, for some reason that first image looks like a good match in the web preview attached - but it doesnt look like that uncompressed on my desktop. Please check the actual file i uploaded so you can see it properly. The upscale has made the sky light all muddy-yellow, when in the original its actually a turquisey blue. So a total color shift and tonal change.

Seem like you might have a colour management problem somewhere in the workflow. Are colour profiles being preserved throughout the file chain (input to output)?

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you can clearly see the color is shifting when i apply the upscale model, within the software.
while the upscale is applying it looks perfect, then as soon as its finished applying the color shifts. it seems to be issue with the software/model color accuracy?

there doesnt appear to be any settings within the software to set or apply different color management.

of you have any advice of things to try, or ive misunderstood let me know

On the screenshots you’ve posted the output previews look almost identical in colour (the second shot might be very slightly darker).

For colour management, I was referring to the input and output files embedded colour profiles. Are they the same? Or has the colour profile changed? Colour space conversions could result in tonal shifts.

thanks. yes, if the first image looked like that in real life, i would be very happy, but its actually nowhere near that close irl. i dont know if the upload converted the file somehow, but its nowhere near that good as i look at it on my desktop. The sky has a warm golden hue, instead of a cool turquoise hue - which is a dramatic shift. I could email the actual screengrag if you want to see what im talking about.

These are fine art works adn i cant have the whole things tonal quality altered like this - also to lose hours of color correction isnt acceptable for a workflow. And like i said - the color/brightness is not recoverable by trying to recorrect in post after upscaling. the information is gone. Also this is just one example, of a collection of 20 artworks in this series.

re color profiles, my images have srgb embedded, i open them in the app and it shifts the color after applying the model. i dont see how/where color space could be getting lost from my side of things? i also see no controls over color space in Photo AI app at all. I havent even saved them out of the app yet and its already changed the color.

sorry just frustrated. Gigapixel does a near-perfect job of matching colors within the app, BUT it opens some files (particularly with blues/green colors) with a shift already present - which definitely seems like a color space problem with the app not reading/recognizing my embedded profiles - and no place to set this manually in the app?

So even though in Gigapixel the original preview perfectly matches the upscaled preview in the app - the original preview doesnt actually match the artwork file. Its super frustrating!

And now Photo AI opens the file with the correct colors in the original preview BUT has a terrible shift after upscaling.

I don’t have any experience with mac colour management to know whether the app itself is the source of all the problems. I’ve not seen these issues on PC, especially with sRGB profiled images.

Previously seen some issues with wider gamut images, and often the source of the problems is viewing input or output files on non-colour managed viewers. As far as I know colour management is handled at a system level on mac.

For Denoise, the tif file after processing shows all sliders for Tone adjustment are at neutral position. For Photo AI, Tone adjustment sliders position are similar to the Raw file. If the Tone adjustment sliders of the tif file are set back to neutral position, it will match the adjusted Raw file. Why Topaz Photo AI has that problem, whereas Denoise is OK.

Hi @lucei, can you upload a couple copies of both your pre-processed and post-processed images for us to compare?

Dropbox File Request

I just tried with Version 1.3.0. the problem seems to go away. Previously, after processing (launched from Lightroom), the adjusted image in tif file seems to show the same tone and curve adjustment of the raw file, which will cause shift in the tone, the tif file should show both tone and curve adjustment in the unadjusted value.

I have uploaded the files before and after Photo AI. If you view both files with Window Photo Viewer you don’t see the issue. If you import the 2 files into lightroom, you will see the difference. The Tone and Curve adjustments made on the Raw file seems to be copied back into the tif file after processing causing the shift in the tone. The tif file before Photo AI has all Tone and Curve adjustments in the neutral position, but the tif file after Photo AI has all Tone and Curve adjustments of that of the Raw file causing the shift. This issue is not seen with Denoise or Sharpening. Issue seems not present if I don’t process the photos launch from Lightroom.

Thanks for sending the files. Which Lightroom Classic plugin are you using?
File > Plug-in Extras > Process with Topaz Photo AI
Photo > Edit in > Topaz Photo AI

File > Plug-in Extras > Process with Topaz Photo AI will copy the adjustments from the original file to the output file.

Photo > Edit in > Topaz Photo AI will save the adjustments directly to the TIF file and not apply the settings a second time.

This began vexing me today. So I checked this thread. Someone mentioned that the images looked fine in the web preview, but then the difference was apparent in the uncompressed file on the desktop.
This is a signature move for “untagged” files. So, I thought I would check.

Aha. I figured it out.

When I edit, I ordinarily edit in LAB color space. Apparently, my workflow was sending the LAB files to the Topaz PhotoAI without putting a tag on the file that the Topaz software understood. So, I made a macro in Photoshop that converted the color space to sRGB (safest space for almost all editors, even though it is limited) and then sent a file through my workflow using that macro.

After getting the file ready, I fired up PhotoAI (and also tried denoiseAI). After saving the result, I inspected my test file in Bridge (more or less the same thing as Lightroom, but I’m old and slow to change). Other than expected processing effects for noise and sharpness, the colors did not change.

So the solution is to check and make sure that your file is tagged with sRGB before it is sent to the Topaz Software. I don’t know if AdobeRGB or some other RGB will work, but if your file is going to a printer or a web display, your output should be sRGB anyway.

Have a nice day!

Topaz Photo AI should be preserving the color space for most files. There are some uncommon file or monitor color spaces that we may not have support for in the application preview, but the output file should be using the correct color space.

However, it is safest to use the most common color spaces to avoid this behavior:

  • sRGB
  • Adobe RGB
  • ProPhoto
  • Display P3

We also have a feature to convert the preview to sRGB to prevent monitor color space issues. Go to the Preferences > General menu and enable sRGB Fallback to fix preview color space issues.

This has been a known problem for the latest version of Windows Photo Viewer (dark background). The old version of the photo viewer would work “correctly” when the image was not tagged with a color space. The new version does not. There used to be a way to force Windows to use the old version (white background), but I’m not sure if that still exists. The best solution is to examine your workflow and make sure you are tagging your images with a color space. For some reason, photoshop and friends are perfectly content with not tagging the files.

Excellent suggestion with the preview fallback. Of course, it doesn’t actually fix the problem. What it does do is show me that there is a problem before I click on “save”. The attached files are all .jpg that have been properly saved using the sRGB space. The files that were processed by PhotoAI were TIFF files that were output directly from Photoshop. What we see here is a distinct and definite color shift in the output from PhotoAI. For reference, the Windows photo viewer can display the untagged TIFF file correctly (There’s probably an embedded preview).

For this next set of photos, I made sure to convert and tag the TIFF file with sRGB. Note that again, these are .jpg renders of the actual TIFF files to save space and to ensure that all image viewers display the files the same way.

The sRGB fallback is a fix for preview color shifts, it does not fix the output color shift.

Could you send me the files so I can review what is happening and report to my team?

You can securely submit your image(s) to my Dropbox using the link below. Please be sure to send me a note to let me know you sent something.
Dropbox File Request

I uploaded the files you asked for.


I want to be clear. I’m using a non-standard color space. There is really nothing Topaz can do to solve this problem. Your best approach would be to put a triangle with exclamation mark that has explanatory text saying that a non-standard color space will result in unpredictable results and suggest a standard color space. But I’ll list the reasons you can’t really fix this:

  1. The LAB color space is a hodgepodge of ideas that have never been standardized. There are formulas for converting to/from it, but they are not standardized. Each formula uses an assumed Illuminant (like D65), but these are not standardized (or they are, but there is more than one standard).
  2. Even in Photoshop, if the LAB color space is used, PS refuses to make the Topaz tools available. This is a best practice solution.
  3. Photoshop uses their own version of LAB. I don’t know what it is. This is not a problem for me because as long as I’m in the PS ecosystem, there’s no issue. I always convert to sRGB before leaving the PS ecosystem (IMHO this is best practice for general purposes)
  4. The problem here turns up because an individual (me) tries to insert the Topaz software into their workflow without remembering that the color space is sketchy.

For these reasons, the least Topaz can do is keep this in their bag of tricks to tell people when they complain about color shifts, the best Topaz can do is place a warning on the UI when a non-standard color space is detected that tells a user to expect odd color shifts.