TA4sm

Earlier this week I got my hands on the latest version of one of my favorite plug-ins, Topaz Adjust, which now sports a clean, new very, very, very Lightroom-like interface. In fact, if you use Lightroom plug-in version of Topaz Adjust 4, you might not even realize you’ve left Lightroom, as the layout is so similar. That’s not a criticism—you open it and you immediately know how to get around, and how things will work, and that’s not a bad thing. [Photo above by Stephen Gober].

I use the Topaz Adjust 3 plug-in quite a bit, and this upgrade (which is free to existing customers, which is awesome) is a big step in the right direction. Here’s what the gang at Topaz says is new 4:

…includes many new presets, the ability to handle larger images, a new user interface, faster noise reduction, and greater stability.

So far, I agree with everything, except on my machine the stability part isn’t 100% there yet, as it does occasionally crash, but I imagine a bug fix will be on the way soon.

But there are these two little things….
I do love the new interface—-a huge improvement over the old one, but there are two little things that are driving me a little crazy (but, of course, these may just bother me—you may not bat an eye), but to me it seems like they stuck the “OK” button in the wrong place. Instead of putting it in the bottom right hand corner of the window (where everything from phone numbers in print ads to OK buttons usually wind up, simply because that’s where we’ve all be trained to look for them since just after birth), instead it appears below the center preview window.

So, when I’m done editing I keep going over to click where OK should be, but instead it says “I feel lucky.” At that moment, I don’t feel lucky. ;-) But that’s not the weirdest thing. When you launch the plug-in from Photoshop’s filter menu, the dialog you see below appears:

TA4a

OK, so, ‘Why?” I just chose Topaz Adjust 4 from the Filter menu in Photoshop, so I was pretty sure the next thing that would appear was the Topaz plug-in. I’m not sure it’s necessary to reinforce that. Secondly, it goes on to tell the user that when you’re done with filter click OK or Cancel. If my teenage son read that, he’d say “Duh!”

Those two minor things aside, this is a big step ahead for Topaz in refining and expanding their plug-ins. While I can nit pick some of this little stuff (both of which really just make me kind of chuckle), you can’t argue with the quality it produces; the ease of how it does it’s thing, and the incredible value for the price if you’re buying the plug-in for the first time (and of course, if you’re already a registered user, the upgrade is free).

Here’s a link for more details on the new Topaz Adjust 4.

UPDATE: I just got word from Larry Becker (NAPP’s Executive Director) that NAPP members get 25% off Topaz plug-ins (check the member web site for details).