Topaz Lens Effects offers variety of ways to tweak photos
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Topaz Lens Effects offers variety of ways to tweak photos


By Sean Duggan

Topaz Labs (http://www.topazlabs.com) recently released Lens Effects (US$79.99), a plug-in that offers the ability to add a wide variety of lens-type effects to your photos. This includes bokeh effects (shallow depth of field, blurry backgrounds); tilt-shift or creative blur (think Lensbaby); toy camera-like color and focus deficiencies; graduated neutral-density filters; or modifications like fixing geometric distortion, adding grain, or simple vignettes.

Lens Effects is available as a plug-in for Photoshop, as well as Lightroom and Aperture. The interface is very Lightroom-esque with effects and presets on the left, a center preview area, and specific controls for each effect on the right. There are several presets for many of the effects, or you can create you own presets.

For the Bokeh – SLR Lens and Bokeh – Selective effects, you can make a depth map to define what areas should be in focus. Overall, it does a good job at defining these areas and creating a mask of gray values from foreground (black) to background (white), though there are occasional inaccurate edges.

The interface and procedure for creating and editing these masks is very promising, but on some images I found myself wishing that I could make fully manual edits to the depth map to address errors in the automated process (the edits you do make are user-directed, but the program computes the change, so the tools aren’t totally manual).

Lens Effects is a useful plug-in for those who want a wide variety of lens effects easily accessible in one place. It provides very good results for many of its offerings (the weakest in my opinion are the pinhole and toy camera effects). The focus and blur effects that don’t require a complex depth map all produce very good results. Creating selective blurring on images with more complex foreground to background relationships that do require precise depth maps is likely to still be a challenge.

Rating: 7 out of 10

(This review is brought to you courtesy of "Layers Magazine": http://layersmagazine.com/ .)

 
AAPL
$127.60
Apple Inc.
+0.00
GOOG
$535.38
Google Inc.
+0.00
MSFT
$42.91
Microsoft Corporation
+0.00
MacNews Search:
Community Search:
view counter

view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter
view counter

Lifeline... (Games)
Lifeline... 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Lifeline is a playable, branching story of survival against all odds. Using your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch, you will help Taylor make life or death decisions, and face the consequences together. | Read more »
Pandemic: The Board Game Has Gone Univer...
Don't let the virus win! Now you can download Pandemic: The Board Game, by F2Z Digital Media, for all of your iOS devices. The app is based on the fantastic board game by Z-man games. As employees of the CDC, you and your friends will have to work together to control and eventually cure 4 major disease outbreaks. Can you beat them all in time? | Read more »
Get Ready to Read Bloomberg Business on...
Fans of Bloomberg Business will soon be able to get all their news on the Apple Watch. The app lets you get the top headlines on your main screen and bookmark stories to read later. Using the motion detection in the Apple Watch, the headlines are updated everytime you move your wrist to glance at it. You can also have a personal watchlist that... | Read more »
Watch This Homerun is Batting for the Ap...
Eyes Wide Games' Watch This Homerun is purportedly the first sports game coming to the Apple Watch, where you'll be up to bat as the pitcher tries to out-manuever you with fastballs, curveballs, and changeups. Using one-touch controls you can try to hit as many homeruns as possible. The game has a progression-based League system meant to make you... | Read more »
Field Trip Can Take You on a Guided Tour...
Field Trip, by Google’s Niantic Labs, is an exploration app that gives you details about the awesome places you can discover wherever you find yourself. The app can show you local history, delicious restraunts, the best places to shop, and places to just have fun. Field Trip curates information from over 200 publishers such as Thrillist, Zagat,... | Read more »
Watch Your Six - SPY_WATCH is Infiltrati...
SPY_WATCH, by Bossa Studios, is a new game designed for the Apple Watch. Runmor has it your spy agency has fallen out of favor. To save it, you'll need to train-up a spy and send them on missions to earn you a stunningly suspicious reputation and some cash to improve your spy's abilities. The app will send you real-time notifications from you... | Read more »
Both Halo: Spartan Assault and Halo: Spa...
Halo: Spartan Assault and Halo: Spartan Strike, by Microsoft, have officially landed on the App Store. Spartan Assault pits you against the Covenant with missions geared to tell the story of the origin of Spartan Ops. In Spartan Strike you'll delve into the events surrounding Halo 2 as you lead UNSC troops against the Promethean forces. | Read more »
The Apple Watch Could Revolutionize the...
It’s not here yet but there’s that developing sneaky feeling that the Apple Watch, despite its price tag and low battery life, might yet change quite a lot about how we conduct our lives. While I don’t think it’s going to be an overnight transformation, I can see it being a slow but steady process. One such area where the Apple Watch could make... | Read more »
Mad Skills Motocross 2 Version 2.0 is He...
Mad Skills Motocross 2 fans got some good news this week as Turborilla has given the game its biggest update yet. Now you'll have access to Versus mode where you can compete against your friends in timed challenges. Turborilla has implemented a leveling system and added a new, faster motorcycle called the #8. You can also try out 12 new tracks in... | Read more »
Kids Can Practice Healthy Living With Gr...
Bobaka is releasing a new interactive book called Green Riding Hood  in May. The app teaches kids about yoga and organic style of life through mini-games and a fun take on the classic Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale. | Read more »
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.