A photorealism disappointment – Topaz Labs Software Review

Photo by fe_cavallo, Gregory Heinrichs
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You would expect a program designer to have a well thought out website. It doesn’t instill a lot of confidence in the design program you are purchasing when the website is poorly designed. This is the first sign that ReMask and photoFXlab are going to give you a headache.

No simple download

Topaz Labs gave me the run around. The Topaz Labs website was a mess. I got the key to unlock their 30-day trial easily enough, but it took me several hours to figure out how to download their bundle program. It took an hour and a half to download; only it didn’t actually download the program, just parts of it. The actually product looks like it may have a lot to offer if I ever get a chance to try it.

To save you the hassle of trying to figure out what Topaz Labs wants from their customers, read their instructions on the website. The instructions are still overly complicated and not at all user friendly, but at least you won’t have to try and locate them.


Once the program was installed on my computer I still couldn’t access it. All the files installed, but only the UserGuide and ReleaseNote ended up in my start menu. They are only accessed through your existing program. So if you don’t have photoFXlab, Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or Paint Shop Pro, then you’re out of luck.

ReMask is not compatible with iPhoto, Aperture, Lightroom, Photo Impact, or Irfanview. It will only work if your system supports OpenGL 2.1 and above.


Make sure you want it before you download it. Taking it off my computer was tedious. I had to remove each plug in separately. Obviously, I wasn’t impressed with the downloading process and the program was not compatible with my computer, so after wasting hours of my time, I finally gave up.

However, there are some positive reviews available online, so there are some happy customers. If you are willing to go through the hassle of installing ReMask and photoFXlab and risking the equally annoying process to uninstall, then the product might actually be worth the effort. Make sure you check and double check the compatibility. Topaz Labs does offer a download tool which will tell you if your computer is compatible with their product, make sure you run the test first.

Alternatively, I would recommend Perfect Photo Suite 7, it does much the same thing and is much more user friendly.
[ Feature photo by fe_cavallo, Gregory Heinrichs]

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