Topaz Glow: A Closer Look

Topaz Glow: A Closer Look

Blending Options within Glow

 

During the Topaz Webinar on Tuesday I showed quite a bit of information.  After the webinar my head was spinning, it felt like an hour went by in 5 minutes!  Sorry if you got sucked into my whirlwind of tips and tricks and spit out without a clue (I felt the same way in the end).   Luckily, you have the PDF with the Workflows and the settings on the Webinar page!

The main thing I wanted everyone to take away from the webinar session was to not look at Glow so literally.  Glow, in its most basic form is a fractal art generator, however, it is capable of SO much more with the power of blending options.

In this tutorial I will be taking a closer look at Glow with specific attention placed on the 2 heavy hitting blending options, Screen and Soft Light in reference to Glow:

Screen

The Screen Blend Mode makes anything Black on the top layer disappear, showing the bottom layer below it.  This is critical to making some really interesting images with the “Neon” Presets in Glow.  Try this:

  1. Duplicate your background layer
  2. Open Topaz Glow
  3. Select any “Neon” preset
  4. Change the blend mode to Screen
  5. Now you can adjust the neon colors in the Color section and reduce the saturation to zero to allow for really nice highlight effects.

Soft Light

The Soft Light Blending Mode makes anything above 50% grey in the photo slightly darker and more contrasty, likewise anything under 50% grey will become lighter.  Try this:

  1. Duplicate your background layer
  2. Open Topaz Glow
  3. Select the ‘Soft Bloom I’ preset in the ‘Afterglow’ section.
  4. Change the Blending Option to Soft Light
  5. Now you can adjust the color cast in the Color section by reducing the saturation.  This will only effect the tone in the image rather than the color.

Check out the Tutorial for more information and a demonstration of the tips above!

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Blake Rudis
Creator of f.64 Academy
Most people think I am passionate about Photography, but in reality I am not.

WHAT!?!

Wait, before you freak out, you are on a photo site, I am addicted to post processing. To be more specific, I am addicted to workflow efficiency and cracking the codes to complex systems. That's what I do here, crack the code to photo post processing and present it in a concise way, for you :)
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21 Comments

  1. A wonderful tutorial about how to really use Topaz Glow. Thanks for this great lesson.
    Don

    Reply
    • Thanks for checking it out, Don! I appreciate the feedback and am glad you enjoyed it. I love the possibilities with Glow.

      Reply
  2. Blake, thank you so much for your vast knowledge. I have learned so much from your blog and Topaz Labs webinars. Like you, I wasn’t sure about Topaz Glow to the point that this was the only one which I used the demo before purchasing. Your sessions were the turning point for me and for that I thank you. Now to get busy putting your knowledge into creating my works of art. Here is wishing you and your family the happiest of New Years.

    Reply
    • That is great to hear! I was in a very similar position as you not too long ago, now I run every photo through Glow just to see what I can come up with. It is a lot of fun! Thanks for the feedback! I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year as well!

      Reply
  3. Blake, thank you, thank you for the written steps!!! I always watch the videos and I love them. These written steps prevent me from accidentally leaving something out, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to do this :).

    Pam

    Reply
    • Awesome! I figured that would help. I had a lot to cover in this webinar! Glad it worked out well for you.

      Reply
  4. Blake, do you have any simple way to define “fractal” and fractal art? I’ve looked it up in Wikipedia and am still without a clue. 🙂

    Thanks for another great Webinar!

    Reply
    • Fractal art is art created from numbers placed. It is interesting, glow doesn’t do the same thing, but the look is similar. Lookup Redfield Fractalius and fractal art on wikipedia.

      Reply
  5. Another great tutorial. I guess that my first impression of Glow was similar to your own. I thought that it was a great program, but not one that I could use with any regularity. Your tutorial has changed that opinion. I can now see that there may be a way of integrating it with my current workflow. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Thanks, Graham, I appreciate the feedback. I was very surprised by how powerful this program had become in my workflow. It is now that finishing touch for many of my images.

      Reply
  6. Thanks, Blake, I have started experimenting with Glow and find it fascinating. Your tutorial was so well explained and I have now learned a lot more. I will head back now and try a few more images that need a little lift.

    Reply
    • Nice! It can definitely make a nice finishing touch on nearly any type of photo of used subtly. I find the various effects fascinating as well.

      Reply
  7. Have to say Blake it was a lot to take in on the Webinar but I had the advantage of being familiar with Topaz Glow as I took part in the beta-testing. But once again you did a great Webinar and the follow-up PDF and actions is a great idea. Like you, I quickly realised that Glow was better used in a subtle way, blending it in with existing photographs. Sure, during testing I created some out and out, obviously Glow, pieces of art, but for normal use blending is much better and that’s how I use it in my workflow.

    Reply
    • Very true. I made several interesting fractal animals and abstract landscapes before I found a great place for it in my workflow. You are right, it was quite a bit in one webinar, I just wanted to show as much as I could on the various uses for Glow.

      Reply
  8. Blake, you were for to teach.

    Your videos and webinars have changed the way I process photographs. I’m having fun again.

    The Christmas Room photograph is beautiful!!!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Mikki! Glad to see I could inspire you. That photo is Union Station in Kansas City, amazing building!

      Reply
  9. Blake, I saw your Topaz webinar this week and I was still unsure about buying it until today. You taking the time to explain one image and its possibilities in more depth in this follow-up, really did it for me. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
    • That is great to hear. I love Glow when used subtly, the viewer would never know you used it and it adds such a nice amount of drama to a photo that is completely customizable.

      Reply
  10. Very savvy tutorial! Glow is becoming my best pal too.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  11. I just watched your Glow/Impressions tutorial on the Topaz site. Fantastic job. I learned so much. I would like to apply the techniques presented, and to that end, I was looking for the pdf that you mention at the beginning of the video. I can’t find a link to it anywhere.

    Reply

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