Creating Your Own Custom Look
The first time you use the software, you’ll be presented with a welcome tour that quickly walks you through Impression’s interface and tools. Although this is a nice feature and I recommend reviewing it, Impression is intuitive enough that you don’t really need this introductory tutorial. So, if you’re the type who likes to jump right in and learn as you go, you should be just fine.
Topaz Impression does a great job of combining easy-to-use presets with a wide selection of tools that allow you to customize your results. Once you’ve selected a base style, such as Colored Pencil Drawing or Oil Painting, you can quickly access the settings for that style and modify them to achieve your desired result.
Style settings are grouped into four areas: Stroke, Color, Lighting and Texture. Here’s where the real fun begins. You can experiment with different settings simply by moving sliders back and forth, selecting a different brush stroke, choosing a different texture, and so on. The preview of your image will update with each change you make, so you can always reverse the modification if you don’t like it.
Once you’ve found a collection of settings you like, don’t forget to save it as a new custom preset by clicking on the ~ezentity_lsquo+ezentity_rsquo~ button in the menu area of the settings panel. That way, you can easily apply the same style to any other photo with a single click.
One thing I would love to see in a future release of Impression is the ability to easily export and import presets so that users can share the custom styles they’ve created with others. Similarly, I’d like to be able to quickly access other textures I’ve collected and use them within Impression.