*Topaz – Simplify 4, quick and easy digital painting filters with a click!


Topaz continues to improve they’re line of valuable plugins with the new release of Simplify 4.  Currently on sale through the end of this month for $19.99 (50% off!) when using the code “febsimplify” during checkout, Simplify 4 provides a quick, easy and very controllable plugin for a variety of painting and line drawing effects.  You can see it on Topazlabs.com HERE, or come on in to see a screen shot and read my ramblings on why I think this is a pretty amazing plugin for $20.

topaz simplify 4 screen shot

By allowing user controlled edge definition and manipulation through contrast and detail, what may be seen as a fun, one click digital painting plugin can quickly offer a much deeper level of control.  You can adjust globally, or you can locally add or remove effects by way of the included brush features.  Curves?  Yep.  Detail, edge and contrast control?  Uh huh.  Quite a bit of control for the money in my opinion.

It’s should come as no surprise that I am a fan of pretty much anything Topaz pumps out.  While in certain cases, this one included, there are other plugins that are a bit deeper in their offering while providing a similar skill set, rarely will you find a comparable plugin that is anywhere near as affordable while providing the amount of control that Topaz plugins do.  They’re a pretty amazing value, but I’m sure you’ve heard me say that before.

So, I mentioned other, competing plugins.  Topaz Simplify 4, for me, offers a similar tool to that of something like Alien Skin’s Snap Art 4 which I also use and enjoy quite a bit, ($99 and you can read my review on that plugin HERE), but at 20% of the cost with the current sale going on, I’d have to say Topaz Simplify offers a much better value for $20 than AS-Snap Art does for $100.  In my opinion, Snap Art offers a better range of specific painting style presets, which like Simplify are then completely adjustable.  While Simplify’s presets aren’t necessarily medium specific in the same way, there are quite a few, some more useful for any particular image than others.  While I very much like the Alien Skin plugins, and feel they do offer a higher level of control at the pixel level, they are obviously quite a bit more expensive, and for me, when I can get say 80% of the quality at 20% of the price…?  That is certainly a conversation worth having.  We’ll even leave a program like Corel’s Painter out of it because that is like comparing Photoshop Elements to the full Photoshop Extended version.  Of course Painter is priced in an entirely different stratosphere, but not everyone needs a Bentley when a Toyota will get you there as well, more efficiently if not quite as stylishly one might say.

Here’s a quick example of one click effects, first the original:



Color Sketch:

color sketch





Of course, one could continue to refine each of the filters as they saw fit, but for a single button click, it can create a wonderful spectrum of variety for each individual image.

Right now, as mentioned above Topaz Simplify 4 is on sale through the end of February for 50% off when you use the code “febsimplify“!  You can download a trial version of Simplify (or any of the Topaz plugins) before you buy it, which I’m a huge fan of, HERE.  Give it a test drive to determine if your money is well spent.  Not every plugin is for every shooter, and I appreciate the ability to give anything a run through before plunking down the cash.

If digital painting or quick line drawing conversions, posterizations or other quick, one might say simplifying digital filters are something you’re curious about, I’d suggest trying this one out.  For $20 it’s pretty cool and offers quite a bit of bang in the control department through the various enhancement slider categories allowing for a very customized result.

You can find, try and buy Simplify 4, or any other Topaz plugin on the Topaz Labs website HERE, and don’t forget to use “febsimplify” if you do buy it which will knock 50% off Simplify, or will knock $20 off of the purchase of any combo of plugins as long as Simplify is one of them through the end of this month.

Thanks all, if you’re interested in seeing any of the other Topaz plugins I’ve reviewed, feel free to click the links below:

Topaz DeNoise 5, my go to noise reduction plugin

Topaz ReMask 3, seriously if you ever select and mask in Photoshop, check this out

Topaz Clarity, detailed awesomeness

Topaz B&W Effects 2.1

Topaz Clean 3, edge manipulation akin to Fractalius and skin softening in one plugin

Topaz ReStyle, quick cross processing and tonal mapping

Topaz Star Effects


Thanks as always everyone, happy shooting!




12 thoughts on “*Topaz – Simplify 4, quick and easy digital painting filters with a click!

  1. I’m with you Tyson…a lot less money for some of the same effects that cost a lot more . I do own the Topaz bundle and it is a good investment . For any new users of topaz…be careful with it…it can ruin your images with noisy grain…but the Simpify that is on sale will give smoother looks…so my message is make sure your images are as clean as possible before using topaz…and then use lightly…or just in small parts of your image…I do have a few other plug-ins but Topaz is my favorite…especially Clarity


    • But isn’t that what DeNoise is for 🙂

      I know what you’re saying, and for some of the plugins, or at least some of the filters for some of the plugins can be a bit aggressive resulting in some graininess, but I’ve also seen this to be an issue with other software too, to be fair.

      One thing I do is to always copy my image layer in PS before applying any Topaz effect so that I can both adjust the opacity or mask out areas I may need to. This is kinda my standard way for any plugin though, so I guess I’ve just gotten used to doing that, and rarely do I apply any adjustment through a plugin at 100% opacity myself.

      thanks SLF! I hope all’s well!



  2. Cheers for the heads up, for 20 dollarydoos i think ill have a bash at this. Looks nice and I’m liking building up my topaz collection. Its another string to the bow that even if i only use now and then, its worth it for this price.

    Thanks again man, take it easy!


  3. I now own this little piece of software. Ill have a play later and if i create anything if worth ill let you know. Thanks for the heads up again. I rarely create faux paintings/sketches but I’m really intrigued by this one.


  4. That’s my particular favourite too. I just wanted to see the sort of Variationyou could get from a single shot. The Curves feature is a lovely touch! I must admit I am really enjoying this Software. Used well it could produce some nice vintage style signs and advertising stuff. I will definitely be seeing what more I can do with it. Now to see what the next Topaz Gem they release is! Thanks for introducing me to this company, fantastic plugins! Gives LR another dimension (its good as is but these features add more).


  5. Pingback: *Topaz Detail 3, my first run | Tyson Robichaud Photo-blography

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