*Topaz Impression 2, a major upgrade to a radical digital painting conversion program. w/ @topazlabs


Summer is upon us, and so too are the deals and updates showering us with their bounty.  If you’ve been around for a little while, you may have seen my article written after getting to beta the original Topaz Impression.  (spoiler: I loved it).  Now, Topaz has released Impression 2 with new tools and filters, and get this, it’s free for those of us who bought the original Impression.  If you’ve not yet updated, or you’d like to give it a free trial, you can go directly to Topaz Labs Website HERE.  If you’d like to buy it, use this link, and input “2IMPRESS” at checkout to get the normally priced $99 program for 40% off ($59.99!).

If you’d like to see more from me, and read more about why I love Impression, c’mon in…

Topaz Impression in Amsterdam

I love Impression.  There’s really not much else I can say to endorse it other than that.  I’ve spoken before about my trials and tribulations with Corel Painter, which is a very cool program, but I never found the time to learn it, and it is far from intuitive.  I also don’t physically paint, so much of its depth is lost on me.  Considering the cost difference between Painter (which is basically in the same zip code as where Photoshop CS6 used to live) and Impression isn’t even close.  Impression balances function with a very reasonable price.


The simplicity of Impression is even more a selling point.  Pick a preset filter, choose or change your brush to see different effects within a chosen filter, adjust said filter by adding a texture (canvas, paper, etc) a vignette and adjusting standard settings, play with blending mode, adjust opacity, save.  Simple as that.  Impression works as a standalone, and as a plugin for compatible programs, all for the price of admission.

Be warned that Impression is doing a lot of work behind the scenes and can bog down your processor, so the more RAM and better processor you have, the easier it will be on your machine.  4GB of RAM  is about minimum, but if you’ve ever used Painter, this program will be lightning fast by comparison.  All in the expectations I guess.


I reviewed Impression when it first came out, and it was a bit of a revelation for users.  I’ve had many emails over the last couple years mentioning how much people have enjoyed turning their photos into digital paintings via Impression.  It’s up there with DeNoise, Clarity and ReMask as my most used, and favorite Topaz plugins.  

Find Impression on Sale, and all other Topaz Plugins via the Topaz website HERE!  (use code “2IMPRESS” at checkout for 40% off Impression 2 through July 7th).


If you’ve not tried it, and you think you might enjoy seeing your images immediately transformed into paintings or drawings, I highly suggest downloading the free trial.  The sale for Impression runs for a few more days (Sale ends July 7th!) so if you like it, you can save $40 (normally $99, on sale for $59.99) if purchased before this next Thursday.

Visit Topaz Labs HERE to see, try or buy Impression 2.

Thank you for the read.  I know the blog has been software sale heavy of late, but I’m still working on a few user gear reviews.  If only we could have a few more hours in a day.

Happy shooting,


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5 thoughts on “*Topaz Impression 2, a major upgrade to a radical digital painting conversion program. w/ @topazlabs

  1. Wow Tyson…that first image with the 2 people bikes and canal is really nice…that one looks like it should be hanging in a museum…I tried impressions in the past and it always froze up my computer…and when it did work…it was oohhhhhhh so slow…in my experience Corel Painter runs faster…but I think Painter is more for the true artist…photography is an art…but I cant paint…well maybe just the kitchen…take care


    • Thanks Kenn! Amsterdam is where that was taken, and it is a city that is hard to take a bad picture of. Impression can certainly dog down a system and on my home machine with 16GB of ram, it does well, but on the 8gb laptop, it can certainly take a little bit to process changes and such. I’ve yet to try a side by side test to see if v2 has improved on processing speed.


    • I guess I should also clarify that the comparative speed to Painter is based on paint generation via a preset. In Impression, the conversion to a “painting” can take 15-20 seconds (or more, surely in cases) where in Painter (I think I bought v10 or 11?) it would show the individual strokes being made, one after another rapidly, but would take multiple minutes to finish, and if you wanted to adjust the stroke size, or brush, you’d have to start over. At least that was my experience from memory. Where I think a program like Painter excels though is in actual digital painting, manually. A much more in depth program for which many books have been written.

      I think Corel Painter is a program for digital painters more than it is for photographers who like to use a paint filter or effect on a digital image, personally speaking. Because I’m a very poor painter, but do enjoy converting images to a paint-like version on occasion, Impression gives me a similar result, just with a different way of getting there.


  2. Some great images here Mr R. You know I love this plug in. And the free upgrade has been welcome. I’m surprised at your comments about it slowing down your 8gb laptop. That’s what I have (windows 10, for no obvious reason at disk 100% usage a lot of the time too). I have not noticed too much lag. Unlike say when I trialed DXO opticspro. Now, that is slow indeed (when exporting back to LR). Happy 4th of July!


    • Thanks BB.

      Yeah, I wouldn’t say that I’ve hit molasses status, but it certainly is a resource intensive program. It’s working, it just takes a few seconds between adjustments to apply them. Nothing out of the ordinary for something doing this much converting though.

      Happy summer!


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