Anything Photoshop or Photography

Quad Tones in Topaz Black and White Effects Plug-in

This image is of an old cannon on the grounds of the Historic Fairfax County Courthouse in Virginia. I do love NIK’s new Color Efex Pro 4 plug-in, but I keep going back to Topaz’s new Black and White Effects plug-in. (Hover over image to see original shot.)

The Topaz Black and White Effects preset I created gives a really nice sunny vintage feel and I think it is great for that historic look. To create the preset, select the Van Dyke Brown Collection Effect and Chamoisee Cyan preset as a starting point. The trick to getting this look is to set up in Finishing Touches the Quad Tones using these settings:  Color 1 Region (R1 G1 B12) – 15.08; Color 2 Region (R63 G78 B85) – 143.9; Color 3 Region (R216 G211 B129) – 227.5; and Color 4 Region (R255 G254 B237) – 225.0. The sliders will need to be adjusted depending upon the image used. The Transparency setting was set to 1.00. For this image a small light Edge was added.  Also, I was able to brush away the distortion over the back part of the left wheel using the Burn tool with a large brush and lightly clicking a few times, then using a smaller brush to run over the details just a bit. It totally disappeared! These brushes work wonders! To bring out the cannon a little more, back in Photoshop the image was sharpened using a High Pass Filter set to 9.1 Radius, a black mask was added to cover up the effect, and then by painting just the cannon on the mask, only it becomes sharp.

I really like the Quad Tone effect in this plug-in. Topaz has created a very nice video on how to use this section called “Quick Tip – Quad Toning Explored.”  This may be the key to why it is hard to reproduce this look in other plug-ins.

For more information on this plug-in, see these related posts:

Fun Photoshop Blog: “Topaz B&W Effects Plug-In-A Real Winner!
Tidbits Blog: “Topaz B&W Effects vs. Nik’s Silver Efex Pro
Tidbits Blog: “Just Another Topaz Black and White Effect Example

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