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The Beginner’s Guide to Topaz Studio 2

Want a fresh look for your photos? Topaz Labs, the leader in AI technology for your photography post-processing workflow, has launched Topaz Studio 2Whether you’re looking to edit photos or make stunning digital art, Topaz Studio 2 will help you achieve infinite photo effects that are as unique as your photography.

Topaz Studio 2

Effect Filters Will Make Your Photos Pop

From basic adjustments to intelligent AI-powered effects, filters help make your photos pop by adjusting color, adding styles, and implementing a variety of fixes.

Topaz Studio 2 Filter Effects Panel

Getting started with photo filters is as easy as clicking the “Add Filter” button and browsing the different options. 

Looks Can Help You Achieve Anything

Within the Looks panel, you can choose from a variety of creative looks. You’ll find effects for artistic, grungy, abstract, vintage, dramatic looks and more. 

Topaz Studio 2 Looks Panel

Simply click any Look to preview and apply to your image.

Layers Let You Control Everything

Looks and effects appear in layers which you can stack and rearrange with blending modes and opacities to achieve the aesthetic that works for your image. 

Working with layers in Topaz Studio 2

You can stack and blend multiple looks and effect filters. The results are infinite and limited only by your imagination.

Topaz Studio 2 Looks

 

Download Topaz Studio 2 today and try it free for 30 days.

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Tutorial: How to Use the Masking Tools in Topaz Studio 2

The new Topaz Studio 2 features intuitive and easy-to-use masking tools! Choose from five types of masking or combine masking options for perfectly masked adjustments.  Here is a quick run-through of the five masking tools in Topaz Studio 2.

Brush Masking

To get started, I’ve imported an image and applied AI Remix to this achieve an artistic background on a creatively staged photo. 

I want to keep the cloud and ice cream cone but keep the swirl background intact, so this is where masking will come in handy. To access the masking options, click the square and circle icon beside the Effect Layer name. See the illustration below!

Below you’ll see the different masking options within Topaz Studio 2.

Brush masking allows you to apply or remove the applied effect in a more fluid way. You can selectively paint out where you’d like to remove the effect. Here are a few pointers on the Brush Mask panel: The Transparency slider controls the opacity of your brush mask from 0.00 to 1.00. The Radius slider controls the overall size, while the Softness slider controls edge softness.

Depending on how long you’ve been around the Topaz community, Edge Aware may not be new to you or may be completely unfamiliar. This unique technology allows you to have more freedom in masking: you don’t have to be excruciatingly perfect with your drawing technique, because our technology will intelligently identify edges and perfect your mask accordingly! All you have to do is keep the edge that you want to be detected between the red inner circle and the green outer circle. Our technology will automatically detect the edge. You’ll also see the Edge Aware tool featured throughout the other masking options in Topaz Studio 2.

Spot Masking

Depending on the content of your image and the effect applied, the spot masking tool may be the quickest one for you.

In this example image, I applied the Black & White effect from the Effect Layer panel. I want to keep the subject and her colorful sweater my focal point, so let’s try a spot mask.

With a combination of the Roundness and Transition sliders, you can change the shape of your spot mask like below to better accommodate your mask subject.

Gradient Masking

Ideal for landscapes or anywhere you want to create a natural transition, gradient masking is a powerful tool to have in your masking toolbox. In this example image, I’d like to selectively apply the Radiance effect layer to just the stars in the sky and not the house on the horizon.

The effect above the red line will be removed and the effect below the green line will remain. You can also grab the handles and rotate them to manipulate the order of the gradient. The white handle will collectively move the gradient while moving the green or red handle can create longer and shorter transitions. You can also easily change the direction of the gradient mask to be applied vertically. 

Color Masking

The color masking tool allows you to create masks based upon colors found in your image. 

In this example image, I’ve applied AI ReMix to create an artistic product image. Let’s say I want to retain the photorealistic red caps on the milk bottles. With the color masking tool, I can place the dropper over the red to select it.

The Range slider allows you to adjust for a larger or smaller range of colors. Since I wanted a precise selection here, I opted for a smaller range of colors.

Luminosity Masking

The luminosity masking tool allows you to create mask selections derived from the brightness in your image. In this example, I’ve applied an abstract swirl effect from AI ReMix.

I only want the swirls to be applied to the luminous, bright highlights in the image. Luminosity masking is an ideal tool for this situation.

By placing the dropper over the bright part of your image, you’ll mask the brightness and apply the swirl effect to the dark part of the image. So, since we want to achieve the opposite, we’ll place the dropper in the darkest part of the image (the right-hand corner of the water). You can adjust the Range slider accordingly to capture various lengths of color. With just a few clicks, the luminosity mask achieves exactly the artistic effect I wanted and in just right the places. Other masking tools would be infinitely harder to mask such a difficult area to distinguish.

These five types of masking tools were created to power up your workflow, so you can find an ideal tool for your unique masking situation. But don’t forget, you can also combine multiple types of masks to achieve your desired look! All you’ll have to do hit “Apply” after you finish with one type of masking to move right on to the next. 

We hope you’ll find Topaz Studio 2 an easy-to-use and intuitive tool for your creative and artistic digital images! 

We have several other tutorials on Topaz Studio 2! Here are just a few you might be interested in:

You can find other answers by visiting our Help Center here. Still not finding the answer you’re looking for? Submit a support request for one of our Topaz experts to come to your rescue!

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Creating Imagery Driven by Imagination with Topaz Studio

Today we are going over a few adjustments in Topaz Studio, to show you the creativity and control you can have over your images.

Today we start with this image of a girl sitting on a stump overlooking a river. What we are going to do is make the background seem more painterly, while keeping her realistic. This way it looks as if she was dropped into a painting.

We will be using one helping of Impression, one spoonful of Ai Remix, and one healthy scoop of HSL Color Tuning. We will also be using masks, blending modes, and opacity setting to help control the effects of each adjustment and how it is applied to our photo.

(before)
(after)

 


Wanna See how it’s done? Watch the video below!


 

With that being said, lets jump feet first into these edits.

1. Impression

First we’re going to start with Impression. Go to  the adjustments drop down menu and select impression. The VERY FIRST thing I want to do is mask out my girl, this way any effects we put on the photo does not affect her in any way.

So, go to the mask icon, which is the white box in-between the adjustments name and the eye icon, and click it. This will open the mask menu. We’re going to select a slightly smaller brush, keep the masking area white, and the mask its self black. Select the black square, to be sure we have the black MASK OUT brush selected, and color in the girl and her hair. When this is completed select done at the bottom.

Now we’ll get into the adjustment settings.
Select the first brush to apply to this image. I want this to look a bit like an acrylic painting and a little messy.

  1. Number of strokes: Medium
  2. Brush Size: .53
  3. Paint Volume: .18
  4. Paint Opacity: .50
  5. Stroke length: .29
  6. Spill: .29
  7. Smudge: .09
  8. Coverage: .74

Next we will go into the lighting drop down at the bottom of this adjustment menu just to give the image a more vibrant feeling, like you often get with acrylic paint.

Lighting drop down:

  1. Brightness: .-07
  2. Contrast: .19
  3. Highlight: .14
  4. Shadow: -.24
  5. Vignette: .14

We are also going to add a little bit of texture to give this image a canvas feeling to play more of the idea of making this more and more like an acrylic painting in the background.

  1. The Texture we are going to select is in the 3rd row 2nd column.
  2. Texture Strength: .40
  3. Texture Size: .39

Woo!

Now that we are through all of that bring the opacity to .71, and lets move on to the next adjustment.

As you can see this brings an impressionistic feel to the background.

The colors still seem a little muted to me so we’re going to add an Ai ReMix adjustment to add a little bit a texture and bring some life to this color!

2. Ai ReMix

Go to adjustments menu, select AI Remix.
First thing we are going to do with this adjustment is copy the mask from the previous adjustment.

Click the mask icon on the previous adjustment, and select the hamburger menu (in-between the invert icon and the reset icon). Click this menu and select copy mask.

Close that adjustment but using the arrow at the top, and select the mask on the AI Remix. Go to the same hamburger menu on this adjustment and select past mask. This time we are going to add a little bit to this mask. Select a grey brush and brush in the tree stump, that way the Adjustment doesn’t fully affect this area.

After completing this close the masking menu, by clicking done, now we can go into the actual setting of this adjustment.

  1. The style we are going to choose is in the 5th row 2nd column, it looks like a pasture, click and apply. We aren’t going to do too much to the setting, so close the drop down menu and go into the opacity.
  2. We are going to set our opacity to .37 and the blending mode to color.

This allows Ai ReMix to adapt better to the colors of the image and the previous adjustments.

With the addition of the Ai ReMix the look of a textured background is a lot more evident in addition, the color of the water is more vibrant, the yellow of the trees pops (but isn’t distracting), and we even added a bit more green to the mountains across from her. I would still like to play with a few of the colors in the background, to make the seem more painterly, so we’re going to apply an HSL Color Tuning adjustment.

3. HSL Color Tuning

The Final Adjustment is an HSL Color tuning.

We are going to apply the mask from the first adjustment one more time, but since we already have it copied all we have to do is going into the mask menu on this layer, go to the hamburger menu and select past mask.
Now we get to play with the settings of the adjustment.

The colors we’re going to edit the overall color, yellow, aqua, and blue.

  1. Yellow Settings:
    Yellow Saturation: .21
  2. Aqua Settings:
    Aqua Saturation: .35
    Aqua Lightness: .24
  3. Blue Settings:
    Blue Saturation: .39
  4. Overall Settings:
    Overall Hue: .15
    Overall Saturation: .17
    Overall Lightness: -.07

No we are going to go into  the detail settings

  1. Details: .26
  2. Suppress artifacts: .08
  3. Color Sensitivity: .28
  4. Finally go to the opacity and bring it down to .72.

As you can see all these setting make the background mimic an almost impressionistic acrylic painting.

Additional tip:

Since we haven’t had a tutorial on digital frame either I thought I would take the time to add an extra tidbit to this top tip.

Now I’m going to do a pretty simplistic frame with the default setting because I like the way it fits the photo, but what I am going to go in an edit is the texture around the frame.
We are going to select 2nd texture out of the 1st row, this is actually one of my favorite textures in studio as a whole so I tend to lean toward it often.

After selecting this texture we are going to go down to the color setting, because I want the colors of the frame to play more off the blue of the water; and instead of picking a frame that mimics the color we’re going to edit the color of this frame to our liking.

So go to the frame color setting menu at the bottom and set them to the following:

  1. Frame brightness: -.22
  2. Frame contrast: .27
  3. Frame Detail: -.26
  4. Frame Saturation: .25
  5. Extra color strength: .88
  6. Extra Color Hue: .57

As you can see this just adds an extra touch to our image to give it more of a professional presentation

Well thats it for this Topaz Studio tutorial! Join us next time to see what you can learn.