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Topaz will soon have a competitor to Nik Silver Effects Pro (SEP2).

Discussion in 'News and Rumors' started by bilzmale, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    Topaz Labs has announced the impending release of a plugin called B&W Effects with around 200 presets. Pricing is not known but based on other Topaz plugins expect it to be about 1/3 the price of SEP2 (which sells for $199).

    You Tube video (10mins).

    Effects Gallery (32 images).

    I own both the Topaz and Nik full suites and will not buy this plugin but it will have a cost advantage for new buyers.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Stephen
    Thanks.

    What's not too clear to me is if it has more than just various effects. Nik offers so much versatility in fine adjustment to an image.
     
  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    If you watch the video, its clear it has quite a lot of individual control and fine adjustment. The interface and the tools look quite a bit different than Silver Efex, but it looks like you can achieve most of the same types of effects. I don't see that it offers MORE than Silver Efex Pro 2, so I seriously doubt I'll contemplate switching and having to re-tool my brain, but if I was just considering a B&W processing plug-in for the first time, I'm sure I'd give this one a pretty long look also. It appears to be very capable.

    -Ray
     
  4. Grant

    Grant SC Veteran

    249
    Nov 12, 2010
    Lunenburg Nova Scotia
    It looks ilk a nice product … depending on the cost. The one difference, from the video, I noticed it that the effects are applied to the layer and in Nik the effects are applied to a new layer. This is not much trouble if you make a duplicate layer before you apply the Topaz effects. Depending on the price I may be in the market for this so a downloadable demo would be welcomed.
     
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    And also, the burning and dodging and application of effects is done with brushes rather than with control points that can each be individually controlled. Not sure one approach is better than the other, but clearly a different approach. Aperture can already do some of the same stuff in the same way, but I'd guess the Topaz plug in is a lot more powerful.

    -Ray
     
  6. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    Competition is great for pricing!
     
  7. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    Topaz B&W Effects is now released at an introductory price of $29.99 - a $30 discount until 18th Sept 2011.
    Details including a free trial here.

    To save your work in the trial you have to request a 30-day trial key.
     
  8. Grant

    Grant SC Veteran

    249
    Nov 12, 2010
    Lunenburg Nova Scotia
    I downloaded Topaz B&W Effects trial and gave it a spin.

    Tri-x effect

    6101802406_30239f3be8_z.


    Albumen effect

    6101252901_92f0e1fd66_z.

    My website has a bit more information.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Grant, it's obvious your vision would help sell the product.
    How do you find the interface? How about burn & dodge?
    Just wondering what an old pro is thinking...
     
  10. stillshunter

    stillshunter Super Moderator Emeritus

    Nov 5, 2010
    Down Under
    Mark
    Bill,

    Mate thank you so much for the recommendation! I'm testing it and am so far very impressed. I'm actually finding it far more intuitive to use and to provide more controlled results - I like that I can mix the channels in Topaz (rather than in LR3 before sending across to SEP) and use brushes to dodge and burn rather than inexact control points. I'll give it another few days and might take advantage of the introductory offer. $30!! BARGAIN.

    P.S., Can SC get a kick-back off this? I ask as another brand-specific forum I used to be a regular on, had bonuses for the site if you bought anything from Adorama, B+H or Topaz Labs using the onsite link. We have access to the same photo shops but not Topaz, so maybe an opportunity here for SC to capitalise? Be keen to know so we can help support our site when buying from Topaz - and I'll do it via our site when I buy.
    Mods/Admin: Please feel free to PM me for any further details.

    Cheers and thanks again Bill,

    Mark
     
  11. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I'm interested to hear from folks who are already heavy users of SEP2 whether the Topaz program lets you do anything you can't already do or somehow do it more quickly or easily. I've got my limited brain wrapped so tightly around SEP2 that I barely have to think about using it anymore. I have no desire to take on a new piece of software unless it offers something that SEP2 doesn't. From looking at the video, I didn't see anything that I can't already do - just that it comes at lots of adjustments from a different angle. Which I wouldn't switch for. But I have to assume the video wasn't the WHOLE story, so I'm definitely interested in reactions from folks who are willing to plumb the depths of both...

    -Ray
     
  12. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    The 50% intro discount has been extended to Oct 3 - LINK.

    For current owners there is a free upgrade to Ver 1.1.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. kyteflyer

    kyteflyer ~@¿@~

    Jan 31, 2011
    Newcastle, Australia
    Sue
    I jumped. At $30 it was too good to pass up.
     
  14. Grant

    Grant SC Veteran

    249
    Nov 12, 2010
    Lunenburg Nova Scotia
    I have been using Topaz B&W and Beyond since late August and it is an exceptionally great program and at $60 a real bargain. At $30 it is a steal and you don’t eve have to wear a mask and carry a gun to get it. A benefit is this plug-in works on four programs on my computer with one install.

    I really like how you can return colour both globally and locally. The smart brushes are stunningly good.

    Versions 1.0 had a few bug in it. Not bad bugs but they were there. Version 1.1, all updates are free, has fewer bugs, more presets, and some new features. A feature I asked for was included … although I suspect I am not the only one to ask for it. Heavens I am not that arrogant. :redface:
     
  15. nursenicole

    nursenicole SC Regular

    53
    Mar 5, 2011
    Boston
    I will purchase this too. I have only briefly used NIK's SEP2 trial version and while i liked the end results, it's a little steep for me right now -- this came at the perfect time! Thank you for posting the link, I'll be sure to post a few :)
     
  16. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Can someone explain how it works? It seems that you need
    What is Topaz Fusion Express? Is it something that comes with it?

    All Topaz products are plugins and need a host program (like those mentioned) being native to Photoshop. Fusion Express 'converts' the plugins for use in Lightroom and Aperture making them available under the "Edit in ..." options. There is a bit of setting up to do but FE is free - unlike Nik plugins which only work in one host program unless you purchase extra.
     
  17. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    I'm very interested because as much as I love SEP2, one can't see clear X100 images unless one zooms in 25%. For those who know SEP2 and have the X100 you will know what I mean.
     
  18. flysurfer

    flysurfer SC Top Veteran

    791
    Aug 31, 2011
    I bought the entire kit just before I went on our road trip with the HS20. BW Effects is definitely easy to use, though all in all less powerful/sophisticated than NIK SE.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I use SEP2 almost daily and often enough on X100 files and I don't know what you mean... They look fine to me at the default size they open on my screen and at other zoom levels. I wonder if its a screen size issue? I'm using a 27" screen which probably covers for a lot of sins in this regard...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    flysurfer, much appreciated and very helpful to know.

    Ray, that is something I've been wondering about. Perhaps you and I can do a screen sharing iChat thing sometime and you can take a look. I find that I must zoom in by 25% to have the image crystal clear...but then I can't experience the overall effect as well as I'd like to.

    I am on a 15 inch MacBook Pro. Sometimes in my dreams I think of getting another screen...but right now I'm not able to have a good place to ensconce it, nor do I want to spend the moola since generally this is a fine size. Color Efex is no problem, by the way.