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Topaz deNoise in LR workflow

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There's already a thread for this but it seems to be discussing the Topaz noise reduction software used as a plug-in rather than as a stand-alone product.

Am I right, though, in thinking that use of the Topaz products as plug-ins to LR means that any original RAW file must be exported as a TIFF or other non-RAW file format following processing by the Topaz plug-in? The alternative seems to be to use a Topaz product as a stand-alone editor first, which can then have a DNG file as the export following the noise reduction (or whatever else Topaz processing does)....... ?

If I have this right, would it therefore be best to use Topaz first, on my from-camera RAW files, as a stand-alone noise-reduction "editor", followed by procesing in Lightroom on the resultant DNG file to do the usual things I might do to a RAW file in Lightroom to improve the photo? As I understand it, doing noise reduction as a first step will give a better quality (DNG) file for LR edits, which edits will have a greatly reduced tendency to exagerate noise, since noise will have already been eliminated or reduced.......?

Using Topaz products as plug-ins within LR would be more convenient - but at the cost of losing the RAW file, if the Topaz results (along with any LR edits) can only be exported/used as a TIFF or PSD file. On the other hand, I generally do export LR-edited RAW files as PSDs for any final tweaks in Photoshop .... followed by a final export into an 8-bit jpeg for general use, sharing, sending to others and so forth.

*********
What do you Topaz/LR users prefer as a workflow and why?

Any advice and further insights/corrections to improve my understanding will be welcome.

Lataxe

PS Processing power is not too much of an issue, with a fat GPU and CPU eager for work within the Windows PC. :) Moreover, the RAW images are only little 20Mp items from a Lumix FZ1000 or 12Mb from an Olympus TG6.
 
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I briefly used Topaz in LR as a plug-in.
Where is this limitation about export only as PSD or TIFF you speak of?

My guess, you are confusing the limitation of how the file is sent to/from Topaz with how Lr can perform general exports. Note, this is the same limitation going to/from Ps.

Tim

Sent from my HD1907 using Tapatalk
 
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One of the things to consider is which tool has the best RAW converter; Topaz or LrC? Don't forget the DNG needs to be created by converting the original RAW file.

As you indicated, there are a number of schools of thought on how best to use Topaz Denoise; before adjustments or after. Also don't forget that Denoise also sharpens images. In a similar way Topaz Sharpen sharpens and denoises as well but the ability is divided between the two so Topaz can sell you two products.

I think the larger question is understand detailing and noise, and the different types, and where that should be applied in your workflow. One of the guidance's from Victoria's Getting Started Guide is to work adjustments from the top down. That means Detailing (Sharpen & Denoise) are between Color Grading and Transform.

Unfortunately, I've found what you really need to do is some experimentation to find the best way to add each steps into your workflow.
 
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There's already a thread for this but it seems to be discussing the Topaz noise reduction software used as a plug-in rather than as a stand-alone product.

Am I right, though, in thinking that use of the Topaz products as plug-ins to LR means that any original RAW file must be exported as a TIFF or other non-RAW file format following processing by the Topaz plug-in? The alternative seems to be to use a Topaz product as a stand-alone editor first, which can then have a DNG file as the export following the noise reduction (or whatever else Topaz processing does)....... ?

If I have this right, would it therefore be best to use Topaz first, on my from-camera RAW files, as a stand-alone noise-reduction "editor", followed by procesing in Lightroom on the resultant DNG file to do the usual things I might do to a RAW file in Lightroom to improve the photo? As I understand it, doing noise reduction as a first step will give a better quality (DNG) file for LR edits, which edits will have a greatly reduced tendency to exagerate noise, since noise will have already been eliminated or reduced.......?

Using Topaz products as plug-ins within LR would be more convenient - but at the cost of losing the RAW file, if the Topaz results (along with any LR edits) can only be exported/used as a TIFF or PSD file. On the other hand, I generally do export LR-edited RAW files as PSDs for any final tweaks in Photoshop .... followed by a final export into an 8-bit jpeg for general use, sharing, sending to others and so forth.

*********
What do you Topaz/LR users prefer as a workflow and why?

Any advice and further insights/corrections to improve my understanding will be welcome.

Lataxe

PS Processing power is not too much of an issue, with a fat GPU and CPU eager for work within the Windows PC. :) Moreover, the RAW images are only little 20Mp items from a Lumix FZ1000 or 12Mb from an Olympus TG6.
My belief is that if Topaz is working with the Raw data, it will use it’s own process to render the raw data and apply DeNoise and Sharpening then save the processed image in a DNG wrapper. When you import the DNG into LrC you will be working with an already processed image.
When you use the Plug-in from LrC the raw data is rendered by Lightroom and sent to Topaz for application of further processing. The LrC default import profile, sharpening, noise reduction would have already applied.
The decision is up to the user to decide which process they wish to use.
 

Jimmsp

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This can be a complex question, but I'll give you my simple answer. There can be a lot of subtle detail that is very photo dependent and camera sensor sensitive.
I have run many photos through both Topaz Denoise AI and Sharpen AI. According to the Topaz technical support that I have discussed this with, the sharpening in DeNoise AI is different from Sharpen AI, and the denoise routine in Sharpen AI is different from Denoise AI. So, you need to make decisions based on the camera ISO, resultant noise, and lens. For instance, not all my lenses need Sharpen AI.

In LR I'll sort photos into good - better - best. Generally, I'll only do a lot of work on the "best"; including use of Topaz. I am generally happy with the LR results on the others, including noise reduction.
That said, my general workflow is to use Lightroom to do the raw conversion (99% of the time), do some basic tonal adjustments in LR, let LR do some capture sharpening; 50% of the time I let LR do noise reduction at a level I would use for a ISO 100 shot - then I send a Tiff over to Photoshop.

In PS, I will use Denoise AI at an appropriate level in a layer. If I am going to use Sharpen AI, then I minimize the sharpening done in DeNoise AI. I'll then use Sharpen AI in a new layer. Sometimes I'll (creatively) sharpen differently in different areas of a photo, and using PS layers and masks makes this easy.

In other layers, I may do other PS work that I think is better than I can do in LR, such as object removal, cloning, etc.

I'll later send a Tiff back to LR for final work, final crop, and export.
 
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A belated thanks to all who have posted for your experience and advice with Topaz. My take-away from the various posts is that there is no absolutely definitive best-method or position in an editing sequence for Topaz operations but that experimentation with particular kinds of camera images is the right way to discover a means to best-effects from the various LR/PS/Topaz processes.

So far I haven't bought or even downloaded the trial Topaz noise-reduction or sharpening products .... but I have been distracted with the trial version of Topaz jpeg-to-RAW converter. At first sight, such a program seems to claim the impossible (put in lots of 16bit-size accurate photo detail that was either missing from an original camera jpeg or was lost when converting a RAW file to an 8bit jpeg ). Surprisingly, it seems to work quite well! A 16bit DNG from an 8bit jpeg!!

This Topaz program is of more immediate use to me than the sharpen and de-noise programs, as I can already get acceptable sharpening/de-noise results from LR and PS. Perhaps the Topaz sharpening and de-noise programs will be of use, though, with the cameras I use which have less capable sensors (an Olympus TG6 and a Lumix FZ80, which both have teeny-weeny sensors).

But I have thousands of older photos taken with the relatively primitive digital cameras of yesteryear, often as 8bit camera jpegs. There are many that are worth the sort of improvements (particularly to tone and detail) that Topaz jpeg-to-Raw seems able to obtain.

It's early days with this Topaz program as yet, so I'm still finding best-settings to make significant improvements without the artefacts that turning up the Topaz gas seems prone to produce. There's also more LR editing to be done on the 16bit DNG that Topaz jpeg-to-RAW can produce, which edits need to be carefully done as this magically-produced 16bit DNG does contain a few queer guessed-at bits that incautious LR editing can reveal.

However, this particular Topaz program surprised and impressed me with its capability, so I'm still inclined to try their sharpening and de-noise stuff .... eventually.

Lataxe
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
Premium Classic Member
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So far I haven't bought or even downloaded the trial Topaz noise-reduction or sharpening products .... but I have been distracted with the trial version of Topaz jpeg-to-RAW converter. At first sight, such a program seems to claim the impossible (put in lots of 16bit-size accurate photo detail that was either missing from an original camera jpeg or was lost when converting a RAW file to an 8bit jpeg ). Surprisingly, it seems to work quite well! A 16bit DNG from an 8bit jpeg!!

This Topaz program is of more immediate use to me than the sharpen and de-noise programs, as I can already get acceptable sharpening/de-noise results from LR and PS. Perhaps the Topaz sharpening and de-noise programs will be of use, though, with the cameras I use which have less capable sensors (an Olympus TG6 and a Lumix FZ80, which both have teeny-weeny sensors).

But I have thousands of older photos taken with the relatively primitive digital cameras of yesteryear, often as 8bit camera jpegs. There are many that are worth the sort of improvements (particularly to tone and detail) that Topaz jpeg-to-Raw seems able to obtain.
I would be curious as to how well this convertor works with photos taken with late model iPhone or Android cameras, as JPGs.

Do you get the ability to adjust the color temp in the DNG file? That would be awesome.
 
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