Topaz ReStyle Review

Posted: 29th August 2013 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography, Review
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When Topaz Labs releases a new software plug-in, we can’t wait to try it out.  Their tools are consistently comprehensive and powerful with intuitive interfaces that allow you to get right to the business of post-processing.  The latest addition to the collection of plug-ins is called Topaz ReStyle and it keeps up with this great tradition by proving to be one of the most powerful stylization tools for photography available.  In our Topaz ReStyle Review, we’ll share a few screenshots of the plug-in in action as well as a few pictures created with the built-in collection of 1,000 presets.

Topaz ReStyle Review - Collection and Presets

Topaz ReStyle Review – Collection and Presets

Topaz ReStyle Review

When the plug-in first loads up and greets you, the left side of the workspace displays a logical set of collections in the top part and the presets in the bottom.  With 1,000 presets included with the tool, the depth of it becomes immediately evident.  This collection is so massive, at first glance it can seem a bit daunting.  But when you realize how intelligent the collections are sorted and categorized, the tool begins to really work for you.

Topaz ReStyle Review - Main User Interface

Topaz ReStyle Review – Main User Interface

Selecting one of the presets in the left panel changes the five sliders in the right panel to reflect the colors you see in the left panel bar, outlined in red above.  Each preset appears to focus on working within the five color channels, allowing you fine control over how those channels interact with your image.  The results are really dramatic.

Topaz ReStyle Review - Popup Preview Window

Topaz ReStyle Review – Popup Preview Window

Hovering over one of the presets results in a smaller popup window appearing with a preview of how the effect will work on the picture.  The operation of moving from preset to preset is extremely fast and smooth, allowing you to test a wide variety of presets quickly.  This is critical, especially considering the sheer number of options available.

The Power Of The Snapshot

Topaz ReStyle Review - Snapshot Popup Preview Window

Topaz ReStyle Review – Snapshot Popup Preview Window

One of my favorite features with the plug-in is another powerful time-saver.  As you go along trying out various presets, pressing the snapshot button will create a shortcut to that preset in a place easily accessible on the presets toolbar for later reference.  In the screenshot above, we can see that I have three presets saved in my snapshot set, and once again we find the power of the hover preview window as it allows you to quickly try out all three saved presets almost instantly.  Suddenly 1,000 presets seems completely manageable and intuitive, allowing you to focus solely on creating great images.

Sample Images

Now let’s take a look at a handful of sample pictures created with this great new tool from Topaz Labs!

Topaz ReStyle Review - Deep Fir Green And Light Blue Preset

Topaz ReStyle Review – Deep Fir Green And Light Blue Preset

Topaz ReStyle Review - Pine Glade Shades Preset

Topaz ReStyle Review – Pine Glade Shades Preset

Topaz ReStyle Review - Vanilla Sunrise Preset

Topaz ReStyle Review – Vanilla Sunrise Preset

All these examples present images processed with presets in the Landscape collection.  Contrast is handled quite nicely, giving depth to the pictures.  The effect and results are quite profound in all three renditions.  From here, further filters and effects like vignettes and texture overlays could be applied to really deliver a highly personalized image expressing a specific impression.

Topaz ReStyle Review - Original Image - No Post-Processing

Topaz ReStyle Review – Original Image – No Post-Processing

When you compare the pictures we created with Topaz ReStyle against the original untouched photograph, the ability of the plug-in to transpose a picture from ordinary to extraordinary with just a few button clicks becomes quite evident.

Topaz ReStyle Review - Tone Mapped In Photomatix

Topaz ReStyle Review – Tone Mapped In Photomatix

This is the actual tone mapped image we used for creating our sample images above.  We see a little deeper into the shadows in this frame due to the bracketing and tone mapping, and even though it contains terrific dynamic range it still appears flat.  This is by design as the whole concept behind post-processing HDR photographs lies within having fine control over shadows and contrast, which is where some of the secrets to a great image hide.  The tone mapping process is never the finished result with some form of post-processing to balance contrast and depth required, at a minimum.

Some of the best images we’ve seen have been stylized to be sympathetic to an expression the artist is striving to produce.  Having access to a deep toolkit that allows you to find just the right expression, like we find in Topaz ReStyle, is fundamental to the work we all create.  For the regular retail price of $59.99 we find great value in 1,000 built-in presets and a series of other complimentary tools that allow navigating the collections to be a simple and ergonomic practice.

Topaz Labs ReStyle Key Features

Breakthrough Mapping Technology– Topaz ReStyle features cutting-edge technology that maps the color and tone statistics from a selected style to your image, in order to create high-quality transformations. Users can even create custom styles from their own images.

Over 1000 Styles/Presets– Topaz ReStyle allows you search these styles by overall style, individual colors, and keywords. For added convenience, styles are categorized by types of photography.

Topaz Labs provides industry leading support for all their products, making it an easy choice for demanding photographers.  And we’ve saved the best for last, until August 31st, 2013 Topaz Labs is offering 50% off Topaz ReStyle with the coupon code “restyleit” at checkout!  While you’re there, we’d like to highly recommend adding Topaz Detail to your shopping basket, it’s our very favorite post-processing tool that we use on each and every picture we produce here at Toad Hollow Photography!  We promise you won’t be disappointed.

  1. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Excellent review Toad. I’m really enjoying Restyle as well.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks Edith, we really appreciate you taking the time to visit and comment like this! We just love the Topaz lineup of products and ReStyle is definitely a great addition!

  2. avatar ehpem says:

    Thanks for the review Toad. I have been trying this software out as well, and finding it has a lot to offer.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      We love the Topaz lineup of plugins, they are all terrific tools! Thanks for taking the time to comment here today, my friend, we really appreciate it!

  3. avatar LensScaper says:

    Excellent review, Toad