Writing with Light

Topaz Labs – Star Effects – A Lighting Enhancement and Star Creation Software

Topaz Labs announced today that they have just launched a new plug-in…Topaz Star Effects. I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to play around with the beta version this week and this really is a handy tool to have in your post processing arsenal of tools.

Topaz Star Effects allows you to create unique star effects by manipulating and enhancing the various light sources within your digital images. With just a few clicks you can easily transform points of light within your image to create stunning lighting and star effects, supplement existing light sources, change or enhance image mood, add shimmering effects to things like water and jewelry, and much more.

Some of the unique features you can expect ot find in Star Effects are:

  • Selective Brush. Intuitive selective adjustment brush that allows you to select the light sources in your image that you want to add (or remove) star effects.
  • Star-Type Selection. Choose the type of star you want.
  • Star Stack-a-bility. Features an apply button allowing you to create various layers of star effects with different characteristics.
  • Color Adjustments. Allows you to adjust the color characteristics of your added star effects.

Star Effects has the same, easy to navigate, layout as the rest of the Topaz Labs suite. The beta version had 13 presets but more will be added. The presets are a good starting point but there are hundreds of variations to the effect you can produce by using the adjustments tools.

“Star Effects™ is the most customizable and inclusive star filter out there right now.  With adjustments like star type, glow, ring flare and color controls, the program allow for users to create effects from realistic sun flares and glowing water to more obvious, artistic additions,” said Nichole Paschal, Senior Marketing Specialist for Topaz Labs.  “Plus the ability to selectively add and remove these effects, in a single click, is easy to understand and an important aspect to Star Effects™.”

Here’s an example of 2 different ways you can use this plug-in. Click on the images to see a larger, more detailed version.

This is the original tonemapped version using 3 brackets

I used Topaz Adjust 5 in this version to make the scene darker and more foreboding.

Here I used Star Effects to add a sun flare through the trees

 Click on the images to see a larger, more detailed version

This is the original shot. You can see the star flares on the lights leading up to the church which is a result of an aperture of f/22

Using Star Effects I added light stars on the church and the lamp post near the trees on the right.

Topaz Labs is offering a special introductory price of $19.99. Just enter coupon code “TopazStars” when purchasing.


12 responses

  1. Thanks for sharing. There is quite a difference from one photo to the other as you make the changes. Your use of these effects has been quite educating. I continue to admire your work.


    January 27, 2012 at 7:53 am

  2. Niiice! I read many positive comment on that plug-in. You can add beautiful atmosphere and quality to your photos. Thanks for sharing. 🙂


    January 27, 2012 at 7:57 am

  3. Very nice images Edith. The software that everyone is developing is crazy good but it takes talent to use them effectively. Nicely dome.


    January 27, 2012 at 8:17 am

  4. Thank You for these lessons. I have never used Topaz or other methods to add effects.

    Happy week-end!


    January 27, 2012 at 9:48 am

  5. Interesting how it brings out light sources. I may have to give it a try.


    January 27, 2012 at 11:50 am

  6. Very nice!! Thank you for sharing..Edith!


    January 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm

  7. Excellent review Edith – gotta love Topaz Labs software… some of the best plug-ins out there!


    January 28, 2012 at 5:27 pm

  8. sil

    Looks really nice! Thanks for the review! 🙂


    January 29, 2012 at 11:13 am

  9. Love the effects. Well done!


    January 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm

  10. Thanks for sharing the information about Topaz Star Effects. So far I have been very reluctant to install and use plug-ins for Photoshop, simply because I think it’s too easy to becoming obsessed with the result – and the photographs end up being more about the appearance of the image than the image itself. But I have seen many examples from your blog where plug-ins have been used in a very effective way, so I will start looking into various plug-ins, such as this.


    January 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm

  11. Those effects look awesome Edith. Love these reviews/previews you do. Introduces me to a lot of new products! Nice work!


    January 30, 2012 at 3:42 am

  12. Excellent review, Edith. Star Effects is a nice product for sure. Picked up a copy last week. I haven’t used it on anything I’ve posted just yet but had a ball playing around with it. Overall, I think Topaz has really great products.

    The results you’ve shown here are fantastic.


    January 30, 2012 at 11:34 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.