What is Topaz Studio?
Topaz Studio is a fast, flexible, powerful creative toolbox and it’s the next level image editor for photographers.
Topaz Studio is a simple to use editing platform with Topaz Labs’ acclaimed photo enhancement technology. It works as both a standalone editor, a plugin within Lightroom and Photoshop, and a host application for other Topaz plugins which means it works exactly how you want it to. Now there’s no more cumbersome workflows that require you to open multiple plugins to achieve your look!
If you’d like to learn more about Topaz Studio, please check out this Announcement and Overview.
Topaz Studio is an easy to use editing solution built with the photographer in mind and we’re giving it away! Yep, you read that right. You’ll get complete freedom to use Topaz Studio as a plugin, a host editor for all Topaz Labs existing products, 10 free adjustments, comprehensive masking, opacity slider, and blending modes functionality all for free.
And today I’ll be going over everything that comes free with Topaz Studio. Be sure to download it now to follow along and to give it a try to see what it can do!
Before We Get Started…
1. If you’d like to follow along, please download and open up Topaz Studio! You can use the buttons above to download the program for Windows or Mac. You can also head over to the Topaz Studio Website to download or to learn more about the program.
Open an Image
When opening Topaz Studio, you’ll notice that a lot of the sections are empty and a lot of options are unavailable. This is because you’ll need to open an image to get started! There are a few various ways to open up an image.
- Drag and drop an image from your computer into the program.
- Click Open (located in the Canvas) and navigate through your files. Select an image and click Open.
- Click Open in the menu bar. Select an image and click Open.
- Go to Menu > File > Open Image… and then select an image and click Open.
- Use your shortcut keys (such as Command O or Control O).
Now that you have an opened image, you’ll immediately see some changes to the sections.
The Effect Panel populates with Featured Effects (left column), the Image Browser now shows opened images (bottom row), and the Scopes Panel (upper right) contains information, which by default will be set to RGB.
Additional Information: Product Tour
If you need a better understanding of the program and the different sections, go to Menu > Help > Product Tour in Topaz Studio. The Product Tour will also appear automatically the first time you launch Topaz Studio.
The Product Tour gives an overview of Sections, Adjustments, Effects, Image Browser, and Masking. If you ever need in this information you can quickly access it within the Topaz Studio.
One Click Effects
Effects are always free with Topaz Studio. There are a variety of effects available from Featured and Trending to Darkroom and Portrait. Effects are created by Topaz Studio, photography professionals, and users just like you! There are a variety of ways to search through effects.
1. Effect Buttons
The Effect Buttons give you access to a list of Categories and Tags to search for effects quickly and easily. Featured showcases a curated and popular list of Topaz created effects. You can also see everything available by selecting All. This will show you every effect available within Topaz Studio. Browse the effects you’ve made by selecting Mine or your Favorite Effects and Liked Effects by selecting Fav or Like. Trending Effects showcase what’s hot while New Effects shows what’s new. Recent Effects show effects you’ve recently used.
The Program that Grows with You
A few of the tags change and grow as you use the application. The more effects you create and save, the more that show up under the tag Mine. When you like and favorite effects, they are added to those tag category. All your recently used effects can be found under Recent. These sections change and update with your useage.
All the effects you create will be stored under Mine. The more you create, the more that will be shown here! (Shown in Grid View.)
To add effects to Favorite Effects, simply click the heart icon on the preview. When an effect is a favorite of yours, the heart is blue. To unfavorite an effect, simply click the heart icon again.
To add effects to Liked Effects, simply click the thumbs up icon on the preview. When an effect is liked by you, the thumbs up icon is opaque. To unlike an effect, simply click the icon again.
Recently selected or used effects are stored under the Recent tag. If you ever forget which effect you last used you can locate it here.
2. More Button
The More Button, located at the bottom of the Effect Button List, shows a complete list of all available tags. Simply click the More Button to see a full list of all available categories and tags. You can select a style to see all the effects available.
The search bar allows you to search by effect name, tags, and creator name. Type in a keyword and hit the Enter Key to show results.
All of the Adjustments are displayed in List View by default. To see more effects at a time, click the Grid View Button. To go back to List View, click the button again.
Apply the Effect
Once you find an effect that you like, simply click the effect to apply it to your image. The selected effect will have a blue border to indicate that it is active.
Once an effect has been applied to an image, the Adjustment Panel will update to show the Adjustments used to create the effect.
A free Adjustment will display all the options available for use. You can use a new Adjustment Level Preset, change the sliders to create customized looks, change the Blending Mode, Change the Opacity of the effect, and add adjustment level Masking.
A Pro Adjustment also has a variety of free tools. You can use the included Adjustment Level Presets, change the Blending Mode, change the Opacity of the effect, and add adjustment level Masking.
You can also try any Pro Adjustment by clicking the Try Pro button. You will be able to use the Adjustment for 30 days, completely free of charge.
“Can I Use All the Effects… Even the Ones with Pro Adjustments?”
Of course you can! The Effect is available for you to use. You can update and change any of the Free Adjustments used in the Effect. If there is a Pro Adjustment you can update the Opacity, Blend Mode, Masking, and order of the Adjustments.
The Adjustments Buttons gives you easy access to a list of commonly used Tools and Adjustments.
Tools: Crop, Lens Correction, and Global Masking are all free to use!
Free Adjustments: Basic Adjustment, Brightness Contrast, Blurs, Color Overlay, Dual Tone, Film Grain, Image Layer, Posterize, Tone Curves, and Vignette are all free to use as well!
Pro Adjustments: Abstraction, Black & White, Bloom, Color Theme, DeHaze, Edge Exposure, Focal Blur, HSL Color Tuning, Precision Contrast, Reduce Noise, Radiance, Sharpen, Smudge, and Texture.
The More Button shows a list of all possible Adjustments, including the 10 free Adjustments and Pro Adjustments.
Adjustment Level Presets
The fastest place to get inspiration from is the Adjustment Level Preset list. Use the drop down menu and roll over preset names to see them on your image. To commit, click on the Preset. You can always use the Undo Button to undo the change or use the Reset Option in the Adjustment Menu (pictured to the left).
Making Your Own Effects
It’s fast and fun to make your own custom effects. Simply start out with an effect from the Effect Panel or start adding Adjustments with the Adjustment Buttons or More Button. You can add as many or as few Adjustments as you like, reorder them by dragging and dropping them, make as many changes as you like, and more. It’s easy to save the effect and the image once you find the perfect combo.
Saving Your Custom Effect
Save and Share Your Effects. Save your new effect by clicking the Save button and share your creation with others by selecting ‘Yes’ in the Public field. Your effect will be shared to the entire Topaz Community instantly!
The Topaz Studio Integrated Masking tool is unlike anything you have seen before. There are 5 masking types: Brush, Spot, Gradient, Color, and Luminosity, which can be combined and used at the Adjustment or Overall level. After making an adjustment with one type of mask, you can click apply or switch to another mask type and build upon that mask. There are also 4 different tools to use. Adjust, Reset, Invert, and Hide. Masking and all of these tools are available for free within Topaz Studio.
Mask out the full effect and reveal the original image. Masking out the full effect is easy! Use the Masking Button, located in the Tools Section of the Adjustments Buttons. The Masking Panel will open and you can add Brush Masking, Spot Masking, a Gradient Mask, a Color Mask, a Luminosity Lask, or a variety of combined masks. The 4 Masking Tools make editing fast. Use Adjust to customize the mask, Reset to reset changes, Invert to invert the mask, and Hide to turn the mask on and off.
Mask out an Adjustment. Masking out an Adjustment is easy! It’s very similar to the Overall Masking but only affects one Adjustment at a time. Use the Masking Button, located in the Tools Section of the Adjustments Buttons. The Masking Panel will open and you can add Brush Masking, Spot Masking, a Gradient Mask, a Color Mask, a Luminosity Lask, or a variety of combined masks. The 4 Masking Tools make editing fast. Use Adjust to customize the mask, Reset to reset changes, Invert to invert the mask, and Hide to turn the mask on and off.
Learn more about Topaz Studio Masking in this indepth tutorial.
Saving Your Image
Save and Save As Your Image. Save your new image and overwrite the original file by using the Save button. To save a new copy with a new name, use Save As.
Until Next Time…
There you have it, folks! That’s everything you can accomplish in Topaz Studio. From using pre-made effects to creating your own to editing with tools, it’s all free!
We’ll be adding more tutorials and videos so be sure to give us a follow to learn more!
About Jodi L. Robbins
Jodi is currently the Art Director of Topaz Labs. She has been an artist and photographer for over 15 years, starting with black and white film photography and alternative processing. After completing her BFA in Studio Art from Southern Methodist University and her Masters in Photography from Savannah College of Art and Design, she worked in product photography for companies such as Heritage Auctions, Neiman Marcus, and the Dallas Cowboys.