FIRST LOOK : Topaz Impression

Yes, yes I know, there are ten zillion tools for post processing and really who needs another one? Maybe I do.  I'm not an artist with a pencil or brush but my buddy from Everyday HDR and the Digital Zone System #Blake Rudis is.  Blake sent an email out today and he is pretty enthused with a new plugin / standalone app from the folks at Topaz Labs called Impression.   I am a Topaz Labs customer and I do like their tools very much.  Will I spend $$ on Impression?   Let's find out...Topaz Impression is a plugin and standalone application that allows you to apply painterly effects to your images.  It also does charcoal, pencil and pastel as well.  I used to draw, some even said quite well.  I could paint in water-colour but oils, acrylics, pastels all were beyond my ability.  But I like the look of artist materials and this plugin lets you apply these finishes to your photographs.

Impression has options for Ancient, Impressionistic, Modern, Painting, Pencil, Charcoal and Pastel.  Each option area has multiple finishes, some inspired by great masters, some by the medium itself.  Not every option fits every photograph but I thought I'd share some test images from the evaluation copy I got today.

Original Edit from Lightroom


Topaz Impression - Van Gogh II


Topaz Impression - Pastel II


Topaz Impression - Charcoal III

These are some very quick samples using the standalone app.  Each process gives you a starting point and a huge amount of flexibility in adjusting the application of the look.  There are not hundreds of options but there is a significant gamut of manipulation available within each option so less really is more.

Topaz Impression is available as an item in the entire Topaz Suite or as a standalone purchase.  I already own the full suite, and I'm not sure that I would want to spend $99 on this plugin alone.  I don't see myself getting sufficient return from the investment.    I may change my mind in the future because I really do like what I see, but for the moment, I cannot make the jump.