Topaz Clarity Plug-in Released

Topaz Clarity

Topaz Clarity is the latest addition to the Topaz plug-in suite. If you are a fan of Lightroom and Camera Raw’s ‘Clarity’ slider, then Topaz Clarity just might be your favorite new plug-in.

I’ve been tinkering with Topaz Clarity for a week or so now and my initial impressions are that it’s like the Lightroom Clarity slider on steroids. While Lightroom lets you push one slider, Topaz Clarity lets you fine tune mico, mid-tone and overall contrast with separate sliders. Additionally, you can use a very smart masking brush with edge awareness to fine tune your clarity and saturation selections.

Topaz Clarity Screenshot

Topaz Clarity Screenshot (Note the edge aware mask view in the top-right corner.)

Topaz Clarity is fast and effective at adding an additional pop to images. It comes with over 100 built-in presets to yet you started and allows you to create and save your own as well.

Topaz makes a lot of great plug-ins in its suite, but I think Topaz Clarity may be one of my personal favorites. It is fast and easy to get images out of Lightroom into Clarity, make adjustments, and then back into Lightroom.

Topaz Clarity retails for $49.99; however, it will be available for an introductory price of $29.99 through May 31, 2013 when you use the promo code: claritynew. Check it out here on Topaz Lab’s website.

Topaz Clarity is compatible with Adobe Photoshop CS4-6, Photoshop Elements 9-11, Lightroom, Apple Aperture, iPhoto or photoFXlab.

Before Topaz Clarity and Selective Saturation Adjustments

Before Topaz Clarity and Selective Saturation Adjustments

Topaz Clarity Comparison-1

After Topaz Clarity and Selective Saturation Adjustments

Here is a breakdown from Topaz Labs of the different modules inside Clarity and what they do:

Clarity Module- The Dynamics section of this module allows you to selectively adjust contrast in your image, without adding halos or artifacts, resulting in a very natural looking, yet compelling image.  The contrast sliders range from micro to high, and refer to the original image contrast variations allowing you to increase or decrease the contrast in that specific variation.  The highlight of this module is the ability to adjust mid-tone contrast quickly and easily, something that would normally take many steps to achieve.

The Tone section gives you the ability to adjust the tone levels to retain a high range of tones in your image.  It includes black, white, and mid-tone sliders that can bring back details in the shadows and highlights that would normally be lost with high contrast adjustments.

HSL Module– Topaz Clarity is the first to use a quality enhancement method in the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance adjustment module, which can produce strong adjustments with much less artifacts and noise.  The HSL module allows you to selectively enhance specific colors in your image.  It works by breaking your image into 8 different colors, giving maximum control over the colors in your image.

Advanced Masking Technology– We have incorporated several new features in the masking module to allow for more precise masking.  Clarity offers three different types of brushes; normal, edge aware, and the new color aware.  You now have the ability to feather the mask and control the color range.  You also have the option of choosing a gradient mask that includes linear, radial, and reflected types of gradients.  In addition, there is a separate mask for the Clarity module and the HSL module, which allows for much greater control of adjustment areas in your image.

New User Interface– We are premiering a brand new user interface that is more intuitive, polished, and user friendly.  As requested, both the navigator window and the buttons are larger and easier to view.  The modules themselves are streamlined for quicker and easier adjustments.  The masking section is condensed, even with the addition of new masking features.

Over 100 Presets– For the first time, we have categorized the presets by types of photography.  This will enable photographers to quickly identify which presets would be most useful for their particular image.

Some more before and after samples below.