Thursday, November 12, 2015

REVIEW/Tutorial: Topaz Labs Texture Effects 1.0

Texture Effects User Interface
Texture Effects User Interface

If you are familiar with Analog Efex (and if you aren’t don’t bother), then think of this as everything that products offer and much more. It begins with an extremely powerful user interface that allows for complex layering on par with Photoshop in an app that can run stand alone or integrated into Photoshop, Lightroom, etc… It goes far beyond by allowing nearly endless customizations that made me quickly realize that this is really the ultimate preset building tool that just happens to support your textures, borders, light leaks and more.

Take 15 minutes to at least watch the video tutorial, but read on to see why I really like this product!

Video Tutorial / Demo

A video is worth a thousand words, so here’s both a demo and a deep dive tutorial on how to use this powerful product:

Click here for the YouTube Page

Here’s the before and after of the image edited in the video:

Early Morning Preset [ronmartblog]

You can download this preset from within the Texture Effects Grid View Browser and searching the community presets for the word ronmartblog.

Product Tour

Main Interface
Main Interface (Click for a larger view)

When you start the product you are greeted with a user interface that will seem familiar to Impression and Glow users, but this is a significantly faster and more powerful variant. Whereas Impression was painful to use because it was so slow when it first came out, Ii never had any performance issues on my 5 year old system with Windows 10.

At its core the user-interface is designed for users to browse the massive library of over 130 customizable effects to create great images in a single click. However, the power of this product lies in its customization which starts with an extremely advanced layering system that is faster and nearly on par with Photoshop:

Example Adjustment Stack
Example Adjustment Stack

With support for duplicate layers, show/hide, delete, reset and drag & drop reordering – this is the best layering system I’ve seen outside Photoshop itself.

In addition, some adjustment layers support custom masks and there’s global mask support (handy for Lightroom users). Here’s what the masking module looks like for both:

Masking Module
Masking Module

Within the adjustment layers are lots of options, but one of the more powerful ones is the namesake Textures adjustment shown here:

Texture Adjustment Module
Texture Adjustment Module

Textures can be used with support for modifying the look and feel as well as blending mode and opacity of the texture. To help manage your textures, an extremely handy Texture Manager is available as shown here:

Texture Manager shown with
Trey Ratcliff's Textures (sold separately – discount available)

If you are like me and many other photographers you probably take photos for use as textures and have them scattered all over the place. This is FINALLY the product that allows you to collect them in logical order and actual use them in a powerful way!

In addition to textures there’s support for keeping track of your borders and more. Like Analog Efex Pro and others, there’s also Light Leak support but again with support for the texture manager to keep track of any you have made or collected over time…

Light Leak Adjustment Module
Light Leak Adjustment Module

Viewing all of the presets can be a challenge, but the effect grid view browser shown here makes it much easier:

Effect Grid View Browser
Effect Grid View Browser

With support for filtering as well as viewing online community contributions, it is a great way to see how YOUR image will look with the countless number of effects available. Thankfully there’s also options to sort by newest and most downloaded as well as searching by name.

This is a well thought out UI that just works great right off the bat. I love it and now want to see these features in Impression and Glow!


Initially I didn’t think too much of this product, but when I jumped in and user the interface realized it was a lot more than I expected. While it is sold as a texture product, it’s really a powerful multi-layer preset tool that offers community integration as well. In fact, I wish they would have taken the best of Restyle, Impression and Glow and merged them all into this one product with this fast and powerful user interface.

By the time I was done, I started to think that this is much of what onOne Software has been trying to do for years with its products like PhotoFrame, Perfect Layers,  and more  (now part of Photo 10) – but this one does it without crashing and is fast and easy to use.  

Don’t let the simpleton name fool you – this is a powerful product that is worth a look. It’s also an amazing bargain, so at least check out the free trial! I highly recommend this product even if textures aren’t your thing as it makes for a great preset builder!

Stand alone or integrated it works the same – and it’s very fast! Lightroom users are going to love this!

Where to order

CLICK HERE to learn more and order!

From now until November 20th you can use the coupon code TEXTUREFX to get this amazing product for under $50! Afterwards you can use my discount coupon code to get the best price on the web on any (or all) Topaz Labs products. Here’s a screen shot to show you how to use coupon codes:

Enter the coupon code and click Apply Coupon
Enter the coupon code and click Apply Coupon

You may also be interested in this:

Trey Ratcliff's Textures Tutorial
Textures also available separately here
See my discount coupon code page for discounts on this!

Other articles you may enjoy

Here’s some of my Topaz Labs software reviews:

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy these articles:


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This blog is intended for freelance writing and sharing of opinions and is not a representative of any of the companies whose links are provided on this site.

The opinions provided are of Ron Martinsen alone and do not reflect the view of any other entity

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