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Topaz InFocus Review

Topaz InFocus is a new Photoshop plugin from Topaz Labs for restoring sharpness and clarity of blurred or shaken images. Now with Topaz InFocus you can rescue blurred photo which you would delete before without second guess because it was impossible to fix it. Unlike other sharpening tools (including Topaz Detail) InFocus uses specific deconvolution technology that can reverse image blur, i.e. unblur the out focus image.

topaz infocus

topaz infocus

Topaz InFocus also includes micro-contrast detail enhancement which allows users to refine detail sharpness and edges. Topaz InFocus could be indispensable for users of camera phones, camera without stabilization, forensics to save valuable but out of focus photo.

Topaz InFocus before

topaz infocus before

topaz infocus before

Topaz InFocus after

topaz infocus after

topaz infocus after

Main elements of Topaz InFocus interface includes DeBlur Tab which controls generic, out of focus and motion blur, Sharpen Tab to apply sharpening and micro-contrast detail enhancement and Estimate Blur Button for automatic estimation option for unknown or complex blur types. Topaz InFocus also includes nice standard elements of Topaz plugins such as Auto Updates, Snap/Recall button to save snapshot settings for comparison, collapsible side panels.

topaz infocus ui

topaz infocus ui

Here’s basic Topaz InFocus workflow (download a fully functional 30-day trial of Topaz InFocus to follow):

1. Start with a clean image to get the best result, if your image has noise or other artifacts I’d recommend to use Topaz DeNoise to clean it. Duplicate the Layer and open Topaz InFocus (Filters->Topaz Labs->InFocus).

2. Find an area with multiple edges to better control sharpening and unblur process by using zoom tools.

3. Start from selecting Presharpening – Minor preset in the left side panel. If it’s not strong enough choose Presharpening – Common setting. If now image looks good, you can process it and get back to Photoshop by clicking OK.

4. If your image requires deblurring, you can manually adjust any settings in the right side panel to get better result. Start by choosing the blur type in your image. If you have an image which needs just minor sharpening, choose the “Generic” blur type. Use the “Out-of-Focus” blur type for slightly out of focus images. The “Straight Motion” blur type is useful for motion blur, such as shaken photos or photos shot during a movement.

Topaz InFocus before and after

topaz infocus forensics

topaz infocus forensics

If none of the above works well enough, use the “Unknown/Estimate” option. Select the Unknown/Estimate blur type to analyze your preview area and estimate an appropriate setting. Next set the Blur Radius and Edge softness parameters. Use a higher setting for more severe cases of blur but it will require more time as well. Finally, click the Estimate Blur button.

If you increase Radius too much, it will create more artifacts. You can adjust “Suppress Artifacts” slider to decrease them but it will in turn soften your image. Use the “Micro Contrast” slider to increase fine detail, enhancing structure features. The “Sharpness” and “Sharpness radius” parameters work similar to unsharp masking.

Topaz InFocus before

topaz infocus blurred

topaz infocus blurred

Topaz InFocus after

topaz infocus sharpen

topaz infocus sharpen

Some technical specification of Topaz InFocus: It supports smart filters and both 8-bit and 16-bit RGB color modes, MAC and Windows versions are available. Topaz InFocus also supports Windows 64 bit and is optimized for multiple CPUs.

Verdict: Topaz InFocus ($69.99) is an easy to use and powerful deblur/restore focus tool which could rescue your image. It uses unique algorithm previously not available in Photoshop. The number of default presets and flexible manual controls let’s you sharpen a blurred image of any complexity and efficiently restore image clarity.

 

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