Planet Photoshop

Topaz Impression

Superior Replacement for Retired Oil Paint Photoshop Filter

Topaz Labs says it's excited about Impression, because it's the first product to help you create real, authentic art. Photographers may balk at this statement, but let's acknowledge that Topaz Impression is a photo-manipulation product, and presume they define "authentic art" as painterly art with a capital A.

Impression works as a standalone editor or Adobe Photoshop plug-in. If you want to add stylized looks to evoke a mood, fit a particular design, or sell extra prints to art-loving customers, this is a good tool: One that more than fills the void left by the removal of the Oil Paint filter in Photoshop CC 2014.

When you open an image in Impression, it prepares previews of its more than 100 presets. Choose one as a starting point, and tweak the sliders to your heart's content. Or start from scratch with 17 realistic brushes and thousands of ways to apply them. It takes a sensitive eye to select increments of each adjustment as it relates to your subject and resolution, but patience and experimentation will yield lovely results.

According to Topaz Labs, they "designed Topaz Impression to use the same method that great painters use: paint brushstrokes one at a time. (It just does this very fast!) Impression can paint over 10,000 brushstrokes in less than a second, all while completely following your artistic direction." Whatever mathematical wizardry drives their algorithm under the hood, it does seem to do that, with strokes that move with the nuances of your images.

I'd love to load Impression's brushes into Photoshop so any masking or edits could match. History states and section toggles would be welcome, but overall, it's great fun and works well. If you can sell a few "authentic art" prints for the price of this application, it will pay for itself before you can say, "artiste!" [For a tutorial on using Topaz Impression, see "Maximum Workflow" on p. 92â”Ed.] [ENDMARK]

Company: Topaz Labs
Price: $99.99
Web: www.topazlabs.com
Rating: 4
Hot: Easy to use; many great presets make nice starting points
Not: Waiting while every preset loads is tedious

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