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Tutorial: How to Create a Custom Look in Topaz Studio 2

With roughly 300 Looks and counting, Topaz Studio 2 is loaded with creative and artistic styles you can apply in just one click to turn your photo into a head-turning, unique work of art. 

But even with all the included Looks, Topaz Studio 2 was created to let you take the reins and develop your very own style. 

Here are a few quick steps on how to create a custom Look in the new Topaz Studio 2.

Getting Started

Topaz Studio 2 has arrived! If you haven’t already downloaded it, you can find it here!

After opening the app, you’ll get started by choosing an image to transform! Either quickly drag and drop from a folder, or click on the “Open” icon in the top menu bar.

Topaz Studio 2 Effects Layers

After inputting your image, click “Add Filter” to open up the Effects Layers panel. Loaded with the best of Topaz technology, you’ll find a wide range of effects to start creating your digital artwork! You can use over 25 effect settings to play with color, texture, lines, and light in your image – and that’s just the beginning.

These powerful Effects Layers will all appear in one nice long panel to the right of your screen, but they are broken up here so you can see the limitless amount of options to start creating your image!

For this project, I’m going to apply various strengths of Bloom, Radiance, and Glow to create a type of electric effect throughout the highlights within in the image to bring out the feathers and color.

Saving Your Custom Topaz Studio 2 Look

Once you’ve got your unique look nailed down, navigate to the “Save Look” icon in the right-hand corner of the Effects Layer panel. See the illustration below!

Next, you’ll want to give it a name. You can be as creative as you want here, but all the custom Looks you create will go in their own category under “My Looks,” so you can easily find them.

Accessing Your Custom Looks in Topaz Studio 2

Once you’ve saved your cool new Look, you can access all your saved Looks by clicking on “Look Category” to display the dropdown menu of options. Click on “My Looks.”

Topaz Studio allows you to move beyond the boundaries of traditional photography into the world of digital creation. The possibilities are endless!

To learn more about Topaz Studio 2, you can browse the Help Center, or submit a support ticket for other inquiries.

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Tutorial: How to Selectively Saturate and Desaturate in Topaz Studio 2

In a matter of just a few seconds you can easily make one (or a few) of the colors in a photo pop. Perhaps you have photographed a fire engine and only want to see it’s vibrant red in your image. Or perhaps your loved one has stunning green eyes that you want to see standing out in your image. Today we’ll show you two simple ways to selectively adjust the saturation of a specific color in your image in Topaz Studio 2 using HSL Color Tuning.

HSL Color Tuning

We’ll start off by opening our image in Topaz Studio. Our goal is to make the teal powder on this man’s skin stand out from the rest of the photo. To do this, we’ll want to desaturate the rest of the photo so that the color stands out.

The first thing you’ll want to do is click the blue Add Filter button in the right-hand menu. This is where you’ll find over 30 unique and customizable filters to use on your image. You’ll find HSL Color Tuning under the first Category – Essential. HSL Color tuning deals directly with the colors in your image, so it’s the perfect filter to use when wanting to change, adjust, or desaturate specific colors in your image.

Method 1: Overall Desaturation

Once you apply HSL Color Tuning, the first thing you’ll want to do is click Saturation Tab near the top of the Filter (between Hue and Lightness). This will help us deal with the saturation of colors in the photo directly. 

The first method we’re going to apply is overall desaturation. This is where you remove all the colors from your image before adding back in the color you’d like to see. To do this, we first adjust the “All” slider at the top of the image. You’ll notice that we didn’t move the “All” slider all the way down to -1.00. This is because doing so would make it much more difficult to bring back the teal that exists in the photo. Then, since teal is made up of a combination of Green, Aqua, and Blue, we moved those sliders up as high as they would go so that you could once again see the powder in the image.

You’ll notice that the colors in this image are a bit muted but still stand out in the photo. We also haven’t completely desaturated the entire image since we kept the “All” slider at .91. This creates a slightly more subtle look in the colors of your overall image.

Method 2: Selective Color Desaturation

The second method you can use is to selectively desaturate the colors in your photo you are not interested in. This will completely remove all saturation from the image, except for the colors you’d like to keep. This method could be helpful if you want both a green and a red to stand out in a Christmas photo or if you wanted to see multiple colors in a multi-colored flower while desaturating the rest of the image. To do this, we are just going to lower the saturation for all the colors except for the ones we want to keep in the image. Then, to make our teal stand out even more, we’re going to adjust the Green, Aqua, and Blue sliders about halfway. When moving the sliders all the way up, the blues became a lot more vibrant in the image than we liked, which is why we only moved them halfway. You can play with these sliders to see just how vibrantly you want to see these colors in the image. 

The Final Result!

HSL Color tuning is a powerful way to adjust the saturation in your images, whether it’s blue powder, a yellow sundress, or green eyes. Let us know in the comments how you like to use selective desaturation in Topaz Studio 2!

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Tutorial: How to Create a Soft Pastel Effect in Topaz Studio 2

It’s common to take a photo where your colors are a bit too harsh or your shadows are a bit too dramatic. Certain images lend themselves to a softer look, especially morning or golden hour shots. This is why images in pastel are so popular and we’re excited today to show you how to create this effect for your image. In this tutorial, we’ll walk through the process of creating a nice, soft pastel effect in Topaz Studio 2 using Basic Adjustment, Bloom, and Precision Contrast.

Step 1: Basic Adjustment

We’ll start off by opening our image in Topaz Studio. Right from the start, you’ll notice that while the colors in our image lend themselves to that soft pastel look (pinks and soft greens) the contrast in this photo is sharp (pun intended) and dramatic. There are a lot of hard edges in the image that we’re going to show you how to eliminate to take the edge off of this prickly image. (Yes, we really like cactus puns.)

The first thing you’ll want to do is click the blue Add Filter button in the right-hand menu. This is where you’ll find over 30 unique and customizable filters to use on your image. Today we’re going to focus on three filters that will help you soften your image. The first filter you will select is Basic Adjustment, which you’ll find in the Essential category.

Once you apply Basic Adjustment, the first thing you’ll want to do is enhance your exposure. Since our image started off with some darker spots and an overall gloomy look to our image, it’s important to brighten it up. We are also able to do this by moving our Shadow and Highlight sliders to reduce our shadowy spots and highlight the golden edges created by the sun. To tone down the dramatic look of the dark spots on the cactus caused by the spokes, we’ve also increased our black level slider (moving the slider up softens black areas and moving the slider down darkens them). The last thing we’re going to do is adjust the Clarity slider by moving it down just a little. This will soften the sharp edges around our photo.

Step 2: Bloom

The second filter we’re applying today is the Bloom filter which can be found in the Creative category. (Pro tip: to add a new filter, simply click the Add Filter button at the top of your screen again!) Bloom can soften or intensify the lighting in your images to change the atmosphere or create a sun-kissed look. For our image, we want to use Bloom to soften the cactus’s overall appearance and highlight the light spots in the image. 

To do so, we’re going to move the Strength slider up about halfway, increase the Threshold slider just slightly, and increase the bloom size to magnify the light in our image. This gives our image the dreamy quality that we’re going for in a soft pastel image.

Step 3: Precision Contrast

The last Filter we’re going to use is Precision Contrast. To lower the overall contrast in the image, we moved each of our four sliders, Micro, Low, Medium, and High, a little bit to the left in order to create a softer look. To enhance our lighting one last time, we adjusted the Midtone slider in the Lighting section to the left just a hair so that it wouldn’t over-expose our image.

Lastly, it’s important to us to still see the pinks and greens in the image, so we moved the Saturation slider in the color section so that these colors would stand out. However, to create a pastel look rather than a bright, saturated look, we also moved our Vibrance and Color Contrast sliders down to give it that soft effect we wanted to see!

Step 4: The Final Result!

Using a combination of Basic Adjustment, Bloom, and Precision Contrast, we were able to soften our image and brighten it up to give it a soft pastel look that has a dreamy, ethereal quality. While this technique works best on daytime or exposed images, we encourage you to play with this process to see what results you yield! Enjoy creating!