The Topaz Labs Plugins: Details

Another exciting plugin from the folks over at Topaz is the Details plugin.  This smart little plugin is, well…not so little.  A simple click from the Filters Menu chugs at your processing speed for a good while as it scans, reads, and takes your image through several unique variations of detail adjustments.  With 12 variations in this single plugin, you can take your image from bland to beautiful in just five minutes or so (depending on computer specs)!

Check this out.  I took a sunset picture from here in Colorado a few months ago, and ran it through the entire collection.  Here’s the original image:


Original Sunset Straight out of Camera

Sure, it’s an okay shot, but could it be better? I sure don’t remember it being that plain looking when I pressed the shutter, so let’s take a look at some of the options available in Topaz Labs Details Plugin:

Topaz Details

Topaz Details

Tobaz Labs Details panel - Set 2

Tobaz Labs Details panel - Set 2

With twelve total options, I was stunned.  A slight difference between this plugin and the Adjustment plugin is that this one does appear to chug a little slower – each time it had to re-scan the entire image and the scratch disk filled up further, so by the end of the 3rd edit, I had given up on an action for PS.  Just find your favorite initially based off previews (they are pretty close) and run with that for your output.

What I did like is that the sliders at the bottom were still adjustable for further image customization from the default “out of the box” adjustments that Topaz Labs gives you.  I also liked the number of options too.  In the Adjustment plugin the options were just a little too overwhelming for me – but 12 is just about enough.

My last note though, would be that once you have the plugin loaded, it shouldn’t have to reload again with the same photo still open.  A quick scan of the exif data should be able to say “same image” and scan no further.  That would allow for actions, and quick galleries of the various options for viewing full size images of the various options rather than the smaller previews.

What about the CB Crew?  What are your thoughts on this short review?  Have you used the Details plugin yet?  If so, thoughts on the usefulness?   Got a favorite details adjustment?  From here (I know it’s small), which ones hold the most appeal for you?  Oh yeah, the last thing – do you want this plugin free?  Then get your photo in the LDP contest today!

Anyway, happy shooting and we’ll see you back here tomorrow!  Don’t forget to enter the contest… here’s the link to the Flickr thread!

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10 comments for “The Topaz Labs Plugins: Details

  1. September 2, 2009 at 8:20 am


    I’ve been using the whole Topaz suite for months now, and Detail for weeks. My only complaint, it is slow on loading. But I can understand why with all of the adjustments available.

    So far I’ve used the presets as a launching and learning point. But I make a lot of adjustments beyond a preset. If you bounce between presets check the sliders. That’ll give you a great idea of how each slider works!
    .-= Rich C´s last blog ..My Giclee’ Reproduction Process, Start to Finish =-.

  2. September 2, 2009 at 11:43 am

    I think Detail has the potential to surpass Adjust, but not in its first incarnation. I have been using Adjust for quite a few months, and a few weeks ago I tried Detail. Like you said, all the chugging really takes its toll even on a computer with a lot of RAM. Once, my laptop couldn’t take it and just powered off! That was pretty scary…I think Topaz Labs needs to fine tune this a little bit before I will be using it in my workflow…the results aren’t a whole lot different from Adjust either, and although Details doesn’t give you the halos, I generally just mask those out anyways.
    .-= Samantha Decker´s last blog ..A World Outside Your Car Window =-.

  3. September 2, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    I have the Topaz bundle and love the filters. My two favorites are the Adjust and the Denoise. I haven’t used the Detail much but will start trying it more. One thing about Topaz Labs is that you get a lot of impressive filters for the price.

    .-= Dave Head´s last blog ..Talk about confusing… =-.

  4. Inabech
    September 3, 2009 at 6:18 am

    If you tried the earliest version of Topaz Detail, download a trial again. Although it takes time on iniitial load, browsing various presets and saving the filter is very quick.

    I am very impressed with Topaz Detail. It brings local contrast to a new level without adding halos or other bad artifacts. Some noise can be added, so start with a noise-cleaned impage. For my type of work, the subtle detail image enhancements of Detail are more to my liking than Topaz Adjust, which I now use when I want dramatic changes to my image.

    I have also seen interesting examples of combining Topaz Simplify and Topaz Detail.

  5. September 3, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Thanks Jason for the post!

    The presets are nice, but I’d recommend that you try using them as more of a starting point. Some really cool stuff can be accomplished with just the sliders (especially in the Detail tab). Cool.

    • September 3, 2009 at 11:54 am

      Hey Eric,

      Thanks for stopping in and commenting. I totally agree – the presets are just that – starting points, and I would encourage others to also experiment with the sliders to get super creative. The contest looks to be a big hit already as some photos are starting to come into the Flickr thread! 🙂

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