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Introducing Topaz Photo AI: Your autopilot for maximizing image quality

Brian Matiash
September 15, 2022
Time to read:
14 Minutes

Article outline

What is Topaz Photo AI?

© Hillary Fox

Topaz Photo AI will help photographers maximize image quality faster and more accurately than ever. It will automatically detect and fix some of the most common—and important—issues that could negatively impact the overall image quality of your photos right from within your existing post-processing workflow. Topaz Photo AI accomplishes this by pairing our extensively trained AI models and deep learning capabilities with a brand new Autopilot inspector.

In many cases, Topaz Photo AI can detect and address issues that your camera, or even your own eyes, could easily miss, such as soft-focus subjects and distracting luminance noise. Topaz Photo AI's Autopilot will not only show you the issues it has detected, but it will also automatically apply the most appropriate types and strength of repairs to maximize detail, and clarity.

The problem with improving image quality so far.

Every photographer strives to improve the objective and creative image quality with their photos. And while we know that the creative side of post-processing is where you want to spend your time, it's equally important to ensure that your photos don't suffer from common issues that can take your viewer's attention away from enjoying your work.

Until now, identifying and addressing those issues—such as excessive noise or soft focus—has been manual, slow, and error-prone. If you didn't zoom in to 1000%, you might not have noticed that your subject is slightly out of focus or that there is noise throughout the image. And fixing those issues has been a manual effort that requires you to constantly compare the effects of sliders and models on an image-by-image basis, which takes time and energy away from the creative side of post-processing. It also often requires you to hop between several applications, create (and compare) multiple versioned files of the same photo, and hope that your slider and tool selections will deliver optimal results.

That's where Topaz Photo AI comes in.

Now, it's as simple as loading your images into Topaz Photo AI, and that's it! You can be confident that the files you get back will be intelligently edited to the best starting place possible, allowing you to get to the creative editing process quicker, which is what all photographers look forward to in the first place!

Why we built Topaz Photo AI.

We believe there is a quicker and more reliable way to do this heavy lifting for you while clearly illustrating what is affecting image quality and intelligently applying the most suitable methods to resolve those issues. We built Topaz Photo AI to seamlessly fit into your existing post-processing workflow regardless of the type of image you are working with, whether it's a RAW or JPEG, or which app you use to manage your photos, be it Adobe Lightroom Classic or Capture One.

To that end, Topaz Photo AI is significantly more well-integrated than our previous image quality apps. From detecting a broader array of host programs to improved RAW workflow capabilities, it will plug into your existing workflow in ways not previously possible. And new integrations will continue to be added over time.

We also understand that the Topaz Photo AI Autopilot may sometimes need a bit of extra intervention to get the exact results suited to your taste. That's why we've built manual controls, allowing you to dial in specific settings precisely the way you prefer. However, our ultimate vision is for you to be able to drop in any image—good or bad—into Topaz Photo AI and automatically receive the best possible version back. This way, you can spend more time on the creative side of post-processing rather than worrying about noise reduction sliders or applying the right amount of sharpening to recover missed focus.

What is the Topaz Photo AI Autopilot?

© Hillary Fox

Until now, we've offered three individual applications to address different image quality issues: DeNoise AI for removing noise, Sharpen AI for de-blurring soft-focus images, and Gigapixel AI for upscaling low-resolution images. While each of these apps provides remarkable results within their unique purviews, the reality is that any single image could suffer from multiple image quality issues. You may also not be completely sure which of our applications would serve you best as you try to remedy those image quality issues. After all, Sharpen AI does have some noise reduction capabilities, and DeNoise AI has some sharpening capabilities. And supporting multiple AI models in our applications makes things even more complicated, requiring you to run through different models in different applications to come up with the best results.

Wouldn't it be outstanding if you had an intelligent system that can detect specific problems within your image and use the right tools to solve them? In Photo AI, we want to make the entire process of identifying those core image quality issues and applying the most appropriate remedies automatic and transparent. That is what we set out to build for Topaz Photo AI, and we call it "Autopilot."

© Matt Kloskowski

Unlike our previous image quality apps, Topaz Photo AI is uniquely capable of detecting objective image quality problems and automatically fixing various issues without your intervention. Rather than going through every image to decide what needs to be done to improve it manually and then having to use the appropriate tools in the optimal order, Topaz Photo AI can do all of that for you, including in a batch workflow with multiple images and file types.

We've spent years training and refining our AI models to address some of the most common issues affecting image quality. With the Topaz Photo AI Autopilot, we're taking it a step further by automatically analyzing your photos and applying the right models and settings, freeing you up to focus on the creative edits that make your photos uniquely yours, and that's something that no AI model can ever replace.

How Autopilot works.

Autopilot analyzes each image intelligently and combines the power of DeNoise AI, Sharpen AI, and Gigapixel AI to improve the image quality within seconds after launch. Autopilot will report all of the vital characteristics of the image, including automatically detected subjects and faces, and will automate the AI model and settings selection process in various ways.

First, Autopilot detects noise—including differentiating between types of noise—and soft focus issues throughout the entire image. Images may suffer from luminance noise, color noise, or mixed noise, as well as motion blur or lens blur during capture. Furthermore, both noise and blur amounts can vary to different degrees. This noise and blur information drives Autopilot to automatically select and apply the specific denoise and sharpen models with automatic strength settings.

Second, Autopilot automatically detects all faces in the image and distinguishes low-quality faces from high-quality ones. Based on this face detection, Autopilot will automatically apply face enhancement to all detected low-quality faces.

Third, Autopilot will detect the salient subjects in the image. Based on the sharpness of the subject, Autopilot may apply sharpening to it, allowing it to be more pronounced against the rest of the image. This new detection approach allows Autopilot to use the most appropriate remedies to specific portions of the image. For example, Autopilot may apply both denoise and sharpen models to the automatically detected subject and only apply denoise to the background, all completely automated without any user intervention required.

We trained Autopilot on a vast library of in-house data and are constantly working to make it more intelligent and intuitive. If you tweak any of Autopilot's recommended settings to suit your unique style, you have the option to send us that information during the Export/Save process. This extra information will help us make Autopilot serve you even better in the future, and we thank you for your participation.

Getting the most out of Topaz Photo AI.

We've put together a series of helpful videos to show you how flexible Topaz Photo AI is and how easily it can fit within your existing editing workflows. Also, be sure to visit our Topaz Photo AI playlist on YouTube to see all of the videos we've produced. We'll also regularly be adding new videos there, too! Here are just a few to get you started!

Topaz Short: Using Topaz Photo AI with your RAW images in a standalone workflow

Topaz Short: Using Topaz Photo AI with Adobe Photoshop

Topaz Photo AI User Interface Tour

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Topaz Photo AI cost?

Topaz Photo AI is available to purchase on our website on Thursday, September 15, 2022. The price is $199.00 for new customers and includes Windows and macOS versions of the application with two license seats allowing simultaneous usage on two computers. Additional license seats can be purchased for $99.00 each.

Each new purchase includes one year of complimentary updates. Customers can purchase a Product Upgrade Plan for $99.00, which includes an additional year of updates for two license seats. The Product Upgrade Plan for each additional seat is $49.00

Can I still buy the Image Quality Bundle or any of the individual apps?

Yes, DeNoise AI, Sharpen AI, and Gigapixel AI will still be available to purchase as individual apps and as a bundle.

Does this mean that you're no longer going to update the Image Quality apps?

We will still be updating the Image Quality apps, but not as frequently as Topaz Photo AI.

Is there a reason to still have the Image Quality apps installed on my computer?

The Image Quality apps can be installed alongside Topaz Photo AI. These individual apps may be a good alternative if you need more manual control or access to the broader set of AI models available. In the short term, these apps may be a good alternative if Topaz Photo AI doesn't produce the desired results. However, the long term goal is to have Topaz Photo AI replace all of the functionality of the individual apps.

What are the system requirements for Topaz Photo AI?

The system requirements for Topaz Photo AI can be found here.

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Brian Matiash

Brian Matiash is a South Florida photo educator who serves enthusiast photographers looking to grow their landscape, travel, and wildlife skills. Learn more on his website and YouTube.