A New Beginning

photography by Mary Lou Jacobs

Topaz Simplify 4

I have had Topaz Labs Simplify 3 for a long time and never used it very much. When Simplify 4 was released last week there were a lot of posts on Facebook about how much better it is than Simplify 3. I upgraded my software and  thought it was time for me to give it a try and see for myself.


After Topaz Simplify 4


1. Duplicate image and do your normal edits. If you look at the original you will see some spots on the horse’s face and neck. I used the Spot Healing Brush to remove them. If you do not have the Spot Healing Brush you can use the Clone Tool.

2. Open Topaz Labs Simplify 4 and in the Effects Panel click on BuzSim Preset.

3. Scroll down to the Presets Panel and click on BuzSim Desaturated. I decided this needed a tweak or two so I went to Global Adjustments and clicked on Adjust and moved the Saturation slider until I had the look I wanted. You can play around with the any of the adjustments to see if you like the changes in your image.

4. Click Apply and then OK and you will go back to PSE.

6. I added a very slight Gaussian Blur of 1.2.

7. The I went to Enhance then Unsharp Mask and used these settings:  Amount 80   Radius 1.0   Threshold 4

8. I created a composite layer ~  CMD + option + shift + E on a Mac or CTL + ALT + shift + E on a PC. That’s it!!

Please let me know if you have any questions.


As always please remember if you choose to use any of the links or tutorials on this blog that you give credit to the author.


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9 thoughts on “Topaz Simplify 4

  1. Nice – very subtle but a definite improvement to an already nice photo.

  2. Beautiful results…I agree w/ Val – it is very subtle, but it takes away the specks and softens the image wonderfully!

  3. The technique gives the image a soft painterly effect

  4. I like how subtle the changes are..the orginal shot is lovely as well but improved with your program..

  5. As Lynn mentioned the adjustments have a subtle change and very pleasing. The red in the barn seems to be toned down and that accentuates the color of the horse! Quick and simple, Thanks for the tutorial.

  6. Love your result and the new Simplify.

  7. Love the result here, Mary Lou.
    It’s such a beautiful image.

  8. Well, if you’ve looked at my shots lately you’ve noticed my affinity towards Simplify and I’m glad someone else is enjoying it too. The results here are very well done and you know if you play with the program long enough the options become endless so watch out:)

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