Topaz has just released a brand new plugin which aims to put another major artistic tool in your quiver. On sale through December as an introductory promotion, Click HERE to download a free trial or to purchase, and follow along.
Want to see more? C’mon in and let me introduce you to this cool, new plugin…
If you’ve ever heard of, or seen results from a program called Fractalius, you may be familiar with some of the results that Topaz Glow is capable of. A tweaking of line and form, drawing linear contrast out while adding an almost three dimensional lighting effect, Topaz Glow produces a very surreal, story telling visual.
What Glow gives you is a bunch of new effects, and an amazing depth of control to further tweak your vision, plus it’s available for both Windows and Mac users, which Fractalius has not and apparently will never be. Available as a plugin for Photoshop, Light Room, Aperture and Elements, or as a standalone, Topaz Glow is easy to implement into your workflow.
Topaz Glow takes this style and series of effects and gives the photographer the steering wheel via effect, strength and parameter sliders as well as built in blending modes allows you to fully transport your vision to a place of surreality or at the very least, enhancement and intrigue. When using this program, you’re almost assured of starting a conversation with your viewers. The “what the..” and “how’d you do that” questions will inevitably pop up.
Here’s a screenshot of Glow in action (click to see larger).
As is the consistent and intuitive flow for all Topaz plugins, Glow opens up with a variety of presets available. Click through to see which may suit your image and your vision at first, then simply click on the circular icon inside each preset to open up the sliders.
Here you can really adjust and manipulate the effect. You can adjust your primary and secondary glow separately along with your color and a few finishing effects. I’d like to describe to you exactly what each of these sliders does scientifically, but that is a bit beyond me. Like I do with many other plugin effects, I tend to play around with the sliders and adjust depending on the image. I then save the presets when I get them tweaked to my liking, which you can easily do by clicking on the “+” symbol above the top of the sliders bar.
You can then adjust the overall strength of the effect via the slider at the bottom left, and then even adjust the blend mode a la Photoshop to further modify the effect the filter has on your final image.
I like masking out effects like this to further define the result to a specific element or elements in an image. I think it can add that little pop of intrigue that can make a good image better, or more artistic.
Here is the before and after, using only Topaz Glow:
I used the Soft Bloom 2 preset for the image above as I found it to be most flattering for skin while providing that interest in the hair. Images with streaks of color and contrast seem to play really nicely with this plugin. I then masked out the effect on and around her eyes, and then lightened them up in photoshop. I also lightly painted with a 25% opacity brush on her skin in the mask to bring back just a little bit of the natural texture. The whole process took me maybe two minutes, which by post processing standards as I know them, is nothing for the amount of difference I see in the before and afters.
It’s the type of plugin that can be easily over done, as is the case with many effects in my opinion, but if used intentionally, it creates a unique, surreal and very cool look to your images that is very difficult to do otherwise. Or, if you want to blow reality out the window and go nuts, it easily enables one to do that as well, and to some really interesting levels.
If it seems interesting, it’s probably best to download a free trial and try it out for yourself to see if it is the type of tool you’ll use. You can do that via Topaz Labs website HERE, and if you buy before the end of December, use the code “INTROGLOW” to knock the regular price of $69.99 down to the introductory sale price of $49.99.
As always, I’d love to see your results so please feel free to share them with our ever growing family via our Flickr Group HERE, or find me on Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks for the read all and happy shooting!
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Is this available to those with the complete plugin pack already?
It is, but it needs to be purchased separately. If one purchases the complete package, it now includes Glow, but the total price for the whole thing is higher than it was as it has adjusted to include all 16 plugins and of course the complete package sale is no longer valid.
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Ahh..that makes sense. I bought he complete package on special sometime last year.
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