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04-09-2019, 08:32 PM   #1
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Topaz Labs Sharpen AI test

A few months ago I heard about this new program from Topaz Labs called Sharpen AI, which is supposed to use machine based learning to sharpen photos better than anything else.

It handles Sharpening, Motion blur, and focus blur. I decided to try the 30 day trial and I have to admit I'm impressed with the results.

Below is a comparison the original Light room version and the Sharpen AI version done with Stabilize (motion) and Focus blurs removed.

I noticed the color difference between the two versions. I'm still figuring out the best workflow for this, as it has to be exported from LR/PS to work, so I might do this step first and save to TIFF then continue processing.

I'm only sorry I missed the introductory price. but for $80.00 it does a hell of a job.

Is anyone else here using it? WHat have you found as the best workflow?


Lightroom Output


LR then Sharpen AI Stabilize and Focus


LIghtroom Crop


Sharpen AI crop

04-09-2019, 09:18 PM   #2
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It's curious how the AI versions are desaturated. Can you get the colours back by increasing saturation?
04-09-2019, 09:24 PM   #3
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My current desktop is still running XP ( which I like ! ) so not compatible, but am presently setting up a new computer, so will give this a try.
04-09-2019, 10:16 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
It's curious how the AI versions are desaturated. Can you get the colours back by increasing saturation?
I wondered the same thing so I brought the TIFF back into LR and did a quick exposure, contrast, vibrance, and saturation adjustments on them and got it back to what it should be.


LR Adjusted Sharpen AI


LR Adjusted Sharpen AI Crop

04-09-2019, 10:33 PM   #5
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The sharpening of the stamen is particularly impressive. Is denoise part of the same process? It is hard to separate sharpening and noise reduction.
04-10-2019, 12:39 AM   #6
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I've played with it a little bit. Have had some positive results but have noticed some distracting artifacts. On my 2013 vintage Win7 machine it's extraordinarily slow, like 30 minutes to process and save a photo...
04-10-2019, 07:04 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
The sharpening of the stamen is particularly impressive. Is denoise part of the same process? It is hard to separate sharpening and noise reduction.
Yes there's a Denoise slider as well as an add grain slider. Adding grain is a lot more subtle then I'm used to.
04-10-2019, 01:56 PM   #8
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We just did a trial of this also and will be definitely buying it soon. Should be a big help to many of my "almost" pictures that I think are just a smidgen soft to do anything with. I would think that workflow-wise it should be the first step so it is working with the raw data before you start mucking with it.

On a side note, we also tried the Topaz Gigapixel AI for enlarging which is also pretty good. Probably pick that one up also.

04-10-2019, 02:07 PM   #9
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Was wondering whether the ads were of the to good to be true variety, but those results are impressive. Thanks for postings and nice pic!
04-10-2019, 03:08 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
I would think that workflow-wise it should be the first step so it is working with the raw data before you start mucking with it.
That would be my preference too.

I wonder how many years it will take for this sort of functionality to appear in LR and the like. Obviously Topaz will have a patent on their version, but others will surely reinvent the wheel and come up with something similar.

All this reminds me of the chorus in the song "Rockin' the Suburbs" by Ben Folds

Just like Jon Bon Jovi did
I'm rockin' the suburbs
Except that he was talented
I'm rockin' the suburbs
I take the cheques and face the facts
That some producer with computers fixes all my shitty tracks


Just change "tracks" to "shots" and you have it. Photographic talent and technique no longer required; fix it all in post.
04-10-2019, 06:57 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
I wonder how many years it will take for this sort of functionality to appear in LR and the like. Obviously Topaz will have a patent on their version, but others will surely reinvent the wheel and come up with something similar.
Lightroom CC now has an "enhance details" function that can clean up things a bit, but it is very subtle. On my pictures I tried it on I struggled to tell the difference. (It works very fast, so it can't be doing too much computationally.) Seems geared towards architecture and things where there are lots of tiny lines.

How Good is the New Adobe Enhance Details Tool?
04-10-2019, 07:12 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Lightroom CC now has an "enhance details" function that can clean up things a bit, but it is very subtle. On my pictures I tried it on I struggled to tell the difference. (It works very fast, so it can't be doing too much computationally.) Seems geared towards architecture and things where there are lots of tiny lines.

How Good is the New Adobe Enhance Details Tool?
I think it also greatly increases file size.
04-11-2019, 08:11 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by nosliwmit Quote
I've played with it a little bit. Have had some positive results but have noticed some distracting artifacts. On my 2013 vintage Win7 machine it's extraordinarily slow, like 30 minutes to process and save a photo...
Mine is not exactly underpowered either but it is a relatively long process, and results with people have not been satisfactory in my opinion. They still have work to do on it before it's going to be part of my flow.
04-11-2019, 08:30 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by nosliwmit Quote
I've played with it a little bit. Have had some positive results but have noticed some distracting artifacts. On my 2013 vintage Win7 machine it's extraordinarily slow, like 30 minutes to process and save a photo...
Make sure you're using the high performance GPU if you have one, also under preferences try setting it to use the CPU instead of the GPU and see if that makes a difference.
04-11-2019, 08:38 AM   #15
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I think some artifacts some of the time are probably inevitable with this type of thing. After all, it is trying to algorithmically determine what it *should* look like but doesn't. And remember the whole point of it is to save images that are borderline and you might not be able to use otherwise without some such process. So if there is some cleanup to be done with edges here and there I'm ok with that. If you're getting massive weird artifacts, then the original is probably not salvageable anyway. Of course, the thing might just be buggy. Dealing with different GPUs can be tricky business, so if you get a wonky result then yes try the CPU-only option and see if results are the same. Comparing CPU vs my AMD GPU so far we haven't seen any differences.
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