I recently had the chance to experiment with the new and improved Black and White Effects 2 by Topaz Labs. It is quite the powerhouse of a program with many new and improved features from its predecessor. I am a huge fan of continuous improvement and it is very refreshing when software companies aim to do just that. I have never been let down in the past by Topaz Labs products as they continually improve on already great software. The product is even better software!
Topaz Black and White Effects is scheduled to be released sometime mid-February. I am highly anticipating its release to officially add it to my post processing arsenal!
- The interface is beautifully crafted. The rest of the Topaz line could really benefit from a makeover like this. It is very clean and easy to navigate.
- There are tons of preset that are actually very useful. I thumbed through a handful of them and was very pleasantly surprised.
- Topaz Labs has added new buttons just below the loupe that add immediate filters to your image. In the 35 mm days these filters were a priceless addition to any black and white enthusiasts kit. I am very glad they have been incorporated in such an easy way to use.
- They have increased the size of the preview for the presets. This new addition makes it much easier to see a more accurate depiction of what the preset will look like on your image.
- Some of the adjustment , the vignette strength, boost whites, and blacks for example, are very touchy. The slightest movement in either direction reacts very quickly. A minor adjustment makes a huge difference so operate slowly with those ones!
The Bottom Line:
I can’t wait for the release of Black and White Effects 2. The Good highly out weighs the Bad. If black and white is your thing, Black and White Effects 2 will be your new best friend Topaz Labs, you have out done yourselves once again!
Be Sure to Register for the 30 minute Webinar to see it in action before it is released!
The full list of additions from B&W Effects 1 to B&W Effects 2:
1. User Interface Design – With B&W Effects v2, we are introducing a much cleaner, more efficient interface to improve usability and workflow.
2. Preset Preview – A larger, floating preview is displayed when hovering over presets.
3. Preset QuickLook View – A full-screen, pop-up grid view that shows all the presets in a certain collection at the same time.
4. Grain Enhancements – The grain algorithm has been enhanced, allowing for even more realistic grain creation from our true grain library.
5. Color Filter and Sensitivity Enhancements – The strength and quality of both the Color Filter and Color Sensitivity have been improved.
6. Quick Tools – Adjust contrast, brightness, adaptive exposure and more without having to access the full adjustment panel.
7. Loupe – Quickly view a small portion of an image at 100% zoom.
8. Viewing Enhancements – Easily change the main preview background color and hide side panels for less distraction.