Topaz has a new plug-in out, called Impression. For the time being, you can get it for 25% off its normal US$99 price by using the coupon code SEPIMPRESSION. (Note: if you’re a current Topaz owner of some or all of their filters, log in and check your account to see if there’s a better pricing. Depending upon when and what you bought, you may get a better discount.)

So what does this new plug-in do? Well, it’s another of those “convert photo to painting” type of plug-ins. These plug-ins tend to be a bit hit or miss, depending upon how much time you want to spend optimizing not just the image you present them, but also how much time you spend playing with the various controls. Here’s a quick and dirty test on a D3x image I took a few years ago:

INT AF 2010 D3x 02657.jpg

At first glance, that looks photographic. But take a close look at the details:

INT AF 2010 D3x 02657-painted.jpg

I was going for a slightly dark, dappled, acrylic-on-canvas effect with a smallish brush, and as you can see, those aren’t RGB pixels anymore. There are plenty of items to play with in the (hidden) tools palette to adjust the look, plus the usual (these days) browse mode of effects. I’m sure with some more work I can make this look very much like a painting instead of a photo.  

Here’s the same image treated as an oil painting with a slightly different color palette:

INT AF 2010 D3x 02657-oil.jpg
INT AF 2010 D3x 02657-oil-detail.jpg

So far I like what I see, though on my big 24-36mp images the rebuilding of the image each time I move a slider can take a few seconds on my MacPro. This is really a specialized plug-in, obviously, but it’s also part of a US$430, 15-tool suite that Topaz makes that is one of my two go-to Photoshop accessories (the Nik Collection being the other).  

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