What Is this new "Clarity" Offering?

I would pose this question directly to Topaz Support, but the last few times I’ve tried to initiate a support ticket with them I’ve gotten NO REPLY (really frustrating) so I’ll try here instead.

I got an email from Topaz offering some kind of special offer re: Clarity:

“Get the power of Topaz Clarity’s local contrast control, now available from within the free Topaz Studio application! That means Clarity can now be accessed with, or without Photoshop or Lightroom, and runs alongside Topaz Studio’s powerful suite of free adjustments and tools!”

… and I don’t know what the hell they are offering. I’m a long time user of “Clarity” (the whole suite, really) and haven’t gotten up to speed with “Topaz Studio” yet. Perfectly content with LR and PS plugins.

It LOOKS like what they are offering is a set of presets for Clarity. In the shopping cart for “Topaz Clarity Pack” I see “Precision Contrast” and “HSL Color Tuning.” That sounds like preset packs.

But I can’t tell if they are bundling those presets with a purchase of Clarity, which I already own and don’t need to buy again. Also can’t tell if everything needs to run now through this new “Studio” application.

So what am I actually getting for my $34.98 that I don’t already have, and what do I need to run it.

Topaz has made everything really confusing, and the disappearance of what was once a fairly reliable (if slow) source of tech support is starting to irritate me. But, then, I am easily irritated, so don’t listen to me.

But if anybody could please clarify (hah! see what I did there?) what Topaz is offering that would be much appreciated. Thanks,

–PS

My technical aspect is lacking but I think I can answer you. The basic premise is that the separate plug-ins were all done at different times, keeping them up-to-date is difficult since their coding may be different. Topaz is moving into a new direction and new and updated plug-ins will all be accessible through Studio…which can be run as a Standalone or as a Plug-in. Currently, all previously purchased plug-ins can be accessed through Studio. As updates or new things become available they will be accessed through Studio. At some future point, Studio’s goal I believe is for the Standalone to function without the need for another external editor. As new capabilities are added, the adjustments/modules will be able to be purchased.

Currently, Studio is FREE. It includes some basic capabilities. If more control is desired on any adjustment, the additional capabilities can be purchased (Pro). If you currently own Clarity or Impression, the Studio updated versions are free. It’s a continuing work in process. Some people are only interested in improving what comes out of their camera, Others tend to test the envelope into “art”. I own the full suite of Topaz plug-ins and fall into the latter category. I also own the Pro adjustments in Studio. Since Studio has come out, I’ve tried to do all my postwork in it. There are still things that I have to fall back to my Editor for but the majority of what I want or need to do can be accomplished in one-stop Studio. As users request additional functions that may not have been covered, they are compiled for consideration in future updates. Some amazing things are being churned out by those using it. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain with this new enterprise.

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Thank you, Eleanore, for that detailed and thoughtful reply.

I have noticed over the years that there are a lot of inconsistencies in the interface with different Topaz modules. If Studio is their way of trying to make the experience from one-to-another more seamless, then I’m all for it. But I don’t think I’m anywhere near ready to give up Lightroom as the centerpiece of my personal workflow.

Nevertheless, thanks to you detailed explanation, I’m willing to give Studio a try, since Topaz has been the center or my post-Lightroom editing process for several years now.

You write: “If you currently own Clarity or Impression, the Studio updated versions are free.” I think that indirectly answers my original question. The “Clarity Pack” IS a bundle of two packages of Clarity presets (since you say Clarity itself is free, right?).

So unless somebody tells me otherwise, I guess I’ll take them up on their “limited time” offer before it expires. It will be a few days before I get around to setting it all up, because I am about to embark on setting up a new computer from scratch (long story).

At the very least, given my dependence on Topaz, it’s probably time I try Studio. As soon as I get this new MacBook Pro going.

Thanks,

–PS

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Once you have downloaded Studio and log into their website (which is not the same as the Topaz Labs account although it should take your current log-in), the plug-ins you already own will appear under the plug-in heading. If you need to view your existing plugins or license keys there is a link to do so. When you download the Clarity update it will show on the interface (you’ll be seeing Clarity in 2 places) I do not use Lightroom nor Mac products and there may be differences that I don’t experience. There are posts regarding these within the forum that you may want to view.

If you already own Clarity it is a free upgrade for you …

http://www.topazlabs.com/

No, it’s not presets; it’s the latest version of Clarity. You don’t need to buy it because you already own Clarity and therefore get free updates.

Studio is kind of like a replacement for PhotoFX - except Studio is free and PhotoFX is not. Studio comes with several free adjustment sliders and tools. In addition, it has several adjustments you can buy. The ones you can buy can be grouped together to be equivalent to some of the Topaz plugins. For example, the HSL Color Tuning and Precision Contrast tools together are equivalent to the Clarity plugin. These two are what’s for sale in that email. And again, you don’t need to buy them because you already own Clarity.

Going forward, Topaz will not update the Clarity plugin; instead, they’ll update the adjustment tools in Studio that equal Clarity. So in this case, the HSL Color Tuning and Precision Contrast tools have been updated. Those of us who own Clarity, have to install Studio and use those two tools if we want the latest updates and features of Clarity.

Like you, I use Lightroom as the core of my photo processing workflow. My usual method is to make initial adjustments in LR and from there, edit in Topaz PhotoFX. Once in PhotoFX, I call on the other Topaz plugins. You can do the same thing with Studio, and this is what I’ll work towards.

When I installed Studio, it automatically showed up in Lightroom as an editing choice.


Note, after you install Studio, there is a process you do to let Studio know you own the Clarity plugin. Once you do that, you’ll be able to use those two tools.

And again, since you own Clarity you don’t need to buy anything.

Best regards

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Still not clear. What is the free upgrade.? Are the presets a free upgrade? Or do I have to buy those alongside my free Clarity upgrade. Really. Clear as mud.

I would suggest that you download and use Studio to understand the architecture, Clarity (as in the plugin) is made up of precision contrast adjustments and HSL adjustments. For existing Clarity users this upgrade to Clarity is accessed through presets, as you already have in the plugin, but using the Studio interface where you get a free upgrade to use these 2 ‘pro’ adjustments.

The old Clarity PS plugin is NOT upgraded but the upgrade is now part of studio.

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And still the original question goes unanswered. What is topaz offering me for $34.98?

In your case … nothing as I mentioned before as for you it is a free upgrade as you can see from the previous link I posted.

As for Clarity the Precision Contrast function is greatly improved … it is all here for you to investigate:

http://web.topazlabs.com/clarity/

Go through the plugin validation process, first. If you own Clarity with the same email address you signed up with Studio with, then a free order will be created that adds the Clarity Pack to your account. That’s it. Please see the following article to answer every single question posed in this thread:

The last time we had a communication from you was in February:

If you have been trying to reach us since then, but have not been successful, then perhaps you aren’t sending your request to the right place. Are you using one of these email address, if emailing in?

Either one of those sends a message directly to support. Replying to other email addresses won’t get you to us, especially if that email address is unmonitored. It’s always best to head straight to the ticket submission page, to ensure that you’re sending us a message.

Thank you Joe for pulling that last exchange up. That I remember (well, especially now that you’ve rubbed my nose in it…:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:). I honestly don’t recall now if that was the last time I tried to contact Topaz about an issue. In any even it’s good to hear from you and I appreciate you being on top of things here.

I am still trying to sort out what I need to do re: “Studio” -v- my prior purchases/plug-ins. I need to review the posts here and see what I can figure out.

I have downloaded and installed Studio, and it would be nice if that one plugin from Lightroom would get me to all of my familiar Topaz applications.

But… am I right in assuming that while Studio does things similar to the prior programs (like Clarity) that it does them in a different way, without actually specifying “Clarity” as one of the options?

Also, I can’t find it now, but after I got Studio started, Topaz offered me like $122 worth of… something. I might not be familiar enough with how Studio works to even understand what the offer was. But it sure wasn’t “free.”

Can you maybe send me a link to some tutorials on Studio that will bring me up to speed. What I really need to understand is how Studio works different from what I’m used to.

Thanks,

–PS

Now I’m backing up through the most recent messages… this might … umm… clarify… what I’m trying to sort out. I will start her when I get back to this in a couple of hours.

Thanks,

–PS

Check this article out:

Studio is definitely free to use. We do have Pro options, that you must pay for, but they’re not compulsory.

I am viewing the introductory “Topaz Studio Walkthrough” video that I found after following the links you supplied earlier today. It’s answering some questions, raising some others.

Once I have logged in to Studio (I’m always gonna hafta be online to use it?), is Studio recognizing me and seeing what previous Topaz apps I have in my account? Is that why “Clarity” shows as one of the options in the panel on the left? Then where are the other programs I purchased? Are they all under the “Tools” menu? If so, I don’t see them all… like, where’s Simplify? Or Detail? Or… what’s the star filter plugin-in called? I got that one, don’t see it.

And perhaps most importantly - Remask? That has been my go-to masking program for several years now.

Also: I created quite a number of pre-sets in Clarity, Detail, Impression, and Simplify (among others). Is there any way to import those pre-sets into Studio?

Finally (for now) I find the whole “Go Pro” package really confusing. First I saw a package for $112.00, now I see a package for $349 reduced to $197… I have no idea what all that is about.

So, yeah, let’s just say this migration path is not all that easy. I do look forward to getting it all sorted out, because I can see the advantage of having all of my Topaz tools in one place and easily interchanging between them.

In the meantime, I have a lot of homework to do…

Thanks

–PS

Clarity was recently updated and now shows specialty presets in Topaz Studio.

They will appear under the Plug-ins menu.

At the moment there is no way too import them apart from recreating them.

  1. Where is the Plug-ins menu? 2. Was my assumption correct, that they will be added to Studio because they are previously in my account? Do I need to download/install anything else if I want to use those apps/plugins?

That’s a bit of a bummer, seeing as how I already re-created them when I set up everything on the computer that I am replacing now (long story, I’ll spare you the sordid details)

Thanks,

–PS

And, lest you all think I’m just whining about all this new stuff I have to learn…

I have discovered the “double click to center” the sliders, and that is a GREAT improvement. I’m glad to see it so universally applied.

–PS

Here’s another question re: plugins and apps.

I own Topaz Texture Effects. But the Pro Pack (the $112 bundle) wants to sell me “Texture” for $20.

Is that the same thing?

Maybe I could answer that question if I could figure out where “Plugins” is in Studio.

–PS