1.) What does it do?
Through Machine Learning, Sharpen AI will analyze your images and correct the three most common side effect when shooting handheld → incorrect focus, camera shake and general softness.
2.) What should I use it for?
When photographing moving subjects, there is always a risk of capturing images that are out of focus. With Sharpen AI you have the ability to correct the focus resulting in a sharper image. When shooting your camera handheld, you may think you are able to hold a camera pretty still, but even the slightest movement can ruin a shot as soon as you press the shutter button, especially if your shutter speed is too slow. However, Sharpen AI is able the recognize the degree of the shake and is able to correct the blur caused by the shake resulting in stable and sharper image.
3.) What File Types are supported by Sharpen AI?
Supported files types:
***Note: Sharpen AI does not support RAW files at the moment, you will have to convert to one of the formats above in order to process your image through Sharpen AI
4.) What do the three processing modes do?
There are three processing modes in Sharpen AI to tackle the three most common causes for unsharpened images → Sharpen, Stabilize, and Focus.
Sharpen Mode:: Sharpens objects in your image and brings out their detail and definition rather than sharpening all aspects of your image, even unwanted detail (such as noise).
Stabilize Mode:: Detects the degree of shake in your image and stabilizes the motion blur for a crisp clear result.
Focus Mode:: When your image is slightly out of focus, this mode will learn patterns in your image and can rescue a blur within ten pixels to recover a slight lens blur.
5.) How to use the sliders in Sharpen AI?
Model strength sliders should be set according to the type and amount of blur/noise in the input image.
Remove Blur and Suppress Noise Sliders allows you to determine how much blur and noise you would like to remove from your image. Some images will require a stronger effect, while others only need a small adjustment to correct the image to your desired output.
Add Grain:: allows you to return grain/noise to the image to achieve a more realistic look. Although this doesn’t occur often, you should only be adding grain/noise if the processing mode (Sharpen, Stabilize, Focus) that you have originally selected over corrects your image resulting in unnatural smoothness of surfaces or too much detail loss.
6.) Is Sharpen AI a plugin or standalone only.
Sharpen AI's function is to sharpen your images, and since the task of sharpening occurs within the normal post-processing editing workflow, you can use Sharpen AI as a plugin with Photoshop, Lightroom and Topaz Studio.
7.) How do I access Sharpen AI through Lightroom?
Sharpen A.I. can be used through Lightroom, you just need to set up Sharpen A.I. as an external editor. Follow the directions below::
-Preferences → External Editing
-In the Additional External Editor section, under preset please select choose and search for Sharpen AI. Once you have the Sharpen AI application selected (make sure it is the actual icon and not the entire Sharpen AI folder).
-Next click on the preset drop down menu and select “save current settings as a new preset” and enter the name Sharpen AI.
Now that you have Sharpen AI set up as a external editor, to access simply right click “edit in” →"Sharpen AI” → “Edit a Copy”
NOTE:: To save back to Lightroom you will have to "File → Save" in order to save. Do not use the "Save as" option.
8). Why does it take so long for Sharpen AI to process?
Sharpen AI uses resource intensive AI technology that inherently takes a long time to analyze and correct each image you process through the application.
9.). How do I avoid so many recalculations of the preview image?
Sharpen AI will process your image each time you make a change between the processing modes (sharpen, stabilize, focus) or the sliders (remove blur, suppress blur, add grain), to avoid too many recalculations make sure you are diligent with your selection and make sure you do not sporadically adjust the sliders too often.
Note:: Each release of the mouse on the slider will initiate Sharpen AI to reprocess the image
10.) Can I use two processing modes on the same image?
If you come across a situation that you would like to use two processing modes (Sharpen, Stabilize, Focus) on one image, then you need will simply need to run your image twice through Sharpen AI. Choose your first processing mode, save and then open the saved image in Sharpen AI again to apply another processing mode.
11.) Why and when should I use the add grain slider?
At times the results from the processing modes (Sharpen, Stabilize, Focus) can result in unnaturally smooth surfaces, to make the outcome little more natural, you can adjust the add grain slider slightly to give your image detail a more natural look.
12.) Why is Sharpen AI not a batch processing product like the rest of the A.I. products?
Since sharpening is a step most take during regular editing workflow we wanted the ability to use Sharpen AI within your existing workflow to provide, Our other batch processing tools we have are outside normal editing workflow, like enlargement or jpeg quality improvements so it makes sense to have those operational tools that usually do not have to be adjusted individually per image.
13.) What is the difference between Sharpen AI and AI Clear?
A couple immediate differences off the bat is that the Stabilize (shake reduction) and Focus (focus correction) modes in Sharpen AI have no AI Clear alternatives. These modes serve the purpose of InFocus classic plugin (with better results) rather than pure output sharpening.
The Sharpen module in Sharpen AI does have similarities with AI Clear. The difference here is a bit more subtle and come from the training process between these two products. AI Clear was trained on images with generally more noise, where as Sharpen AI was trained on images with generally less noise but more blur. Resulting in AI Clear’s main detection is noise where as Sharpen AI’s main detection is to recognize blur. This makes Clear optimal for noisy images and Sharpen more effective for a bit more blurry images.
14.) How do I start a trial?
First, if you are new to Topaz Labs, create an account on the Topaz Labs My Account Page. Next simply download Sharpen AI from the Topaz Labs Downloads Page, login using your account information, and select "Start Trial" to begin your free 30-day trial.
15.) How do I purchase download and activate Sharpen AI?
To officially own Sharpen AI without any trial restrictions, you simply need to purchase A.I. Sharpen from the Topaz Labs Web Store and the next time you launch Sharpen AI you will have ownership. You can also select "update product ownership" from the help drop down menu as well.
16.) I am getting some astounding images out of some photos while others seem to have varied little. Same camera, same time, same lens, similar images.
Since this is an AI product, there is no way for us to predict which images will have the best results. The results will depend on the contents of the image, ie. what is in the actual pixels, and is not related to your camera make, model, etc.