Topaz Video AI Review: Enhance & Upscale Your Video Resolution
Did you know it's possible to enlarge (upscale) video footage without losing significant quality? In this Topaz Video AI review, we investigate how to do it.
By Jeff Collier
Before hearing about Topaz Video AI, I never thought it was possible to enlarge (upscale) video footage without losing significant quality.
Upscaling low-resolution SD or HD 1080 video footage to 4K or even 8K may sound like magic, but this incredible software promises to do just that.
Video upscaling low-resolution footage isn’t a new concept, with Adobe Premiere and various other video editing software being able to do something similar.
However, Topaz Video AI uses machine learning to ensure that the video quality of the original footage isn’t only retained but actually improved by adding crisp and natural video details.
This means that you could make your old video files bigger and of better quality and even restore old footage without adding visual artifacts.
In this Topaz Video AI review, we put these claims to the test to see if it’s the right software for you.
What is Topaz Video (Enhance) AI?
- Upscaling up to 4K and 8K
- Excellent video quality, outperforming traditional interpolation techniques
- Easy-to-use user interface
- Supports lossless PNG or uncompressed TIF and TIFF
- 30 days free trial
- One-off charge
- Slow render time without a powerful GPU
- Not as effective on low-quality videos, like old VHS tapes
- Upscaled file size can be huge
- Program may crash when working on long videos
Topaz Video AI is a video enhancement software that uses AI technology to upscale video resolution and enhance video quality.
The software comes with AI models, which are algorithms that intelligently upscale, denoise, deinterlace, and restore your footage.
That’s how it reduces video flickering, sharpens blurred areas, and restores low-resolution footage.
Video AI’s functions don’t end here, though. You can also use the software to add a smooth slow-motion effect to videos.
Topaz Enhance AI is available as a standalone app for both Windows and macOS, allowing it to process videos without having to offload them to a server.
As a result, it costs less and integrates more easily into your workflow than server-based software.
This also eliminates the need for you to worry about offloading your work.
Topaz Video AI Latest Version
Released April 14, 2022.
Support for Intel ARC GPUs
- Nvidia GTX performance improved by 10-15%.
- M1 16GB machines performance improved by 15-20%.
- Reduce machine load allows M1 users to use the app without heating up.
- Fixes need to repeated login on certain machines
- Audio is now properly kept on Mac for certain input formats like wmv, vob etc.
- Comparison view output frames might sometimes be out of sync
- Certain mp4 videos crash the app on native M1, run app in rosetta2 for now
- Multiple file download sometimes gets stuck in model manager
- Using preset with batches messes up settings
- Avoid using output size of 8K or greater if using a machine with less than 32GB or memory
What Does Topaz AI Do? 6 Key Features
1. Upscaling Video While Adding Crisp & Natural Video Details
One of the most common techniques to enhance a video is through upscaling, which is the most powerful feature of Video AI.
With Topaz AI, you can upscale videos from SD to HD, HD to 4K, and 4K to 8K. That way, any low-resolution video can fill your entire screen.
Many other video upscaling software programs can do this.
However, when they process the footage frames, their techniques often cause a slight shimmering or flickering in the final result.
Topaz AI, on the other hand, is great at minimizing those artifacts as much as possible. It upscales the resolution while enhancing frames by using temporal information from multiple frames.
That way, when you upscale a video, the details remain realistic and clear.
What makes this feature even greater is that Topaz AI can batch upscale. All you have to do is load the videos you want to upscale to the video list.
Then, for each video, adjust the settings to your liking and click Start Processing.
If you want to upscale the entire batch with the same settings, load one video first. Make the adjustments you want and save them as Default.
Then, load the remaining videos and press Start Processing.
It’s worth noting that an upscaled video won’t have the same resolution as a video shot at that resolution.
However, combining upscaling with some of the other Video AI features allows you to create a video that’s comparable to other high-quality videos.
2. Denoising Video Without Softening Footage
Topaz Video AI allows you to get rid of noise for much clearer and more detailed footage.
This noise suppression feature comes from Topaz’s DeNoise AI denoising software, which removes noise from high-ISO and low-light images.
When the ISO on a camera is set to high, shooting in low light adds a lot of noise to the footage.
This noise, or grainy texture, diminishes the quality of the footage and makes it unclear. Upscaling can also add noise to videos.
Instead of installing a separate denoising software, you’ll be able to use Topaz Video AI models to denoise videos without a hitch.
The best part is that Video AI also eliminates flickering and other artifacts caused by the denoising process.
Additionally, while most noise suppression techniques end up softening the video, Video AI removes the noise without compromising the footage’s sharpness.
Thankfully, the denoising process is seamless. Open the “All” dropdown menu under AI Model Selector and scroll down to select Proteus AI model.
Under Model Parameters, you’ll find Reduce Noise. You can adjust the noise as much as your footage needs by moving the threshold left or right.
3. Deinterlacing Video Without Reducing Quality
Because they were less expensive, interlaced videos were far more popular than progressive videos. That’s why many old videos are interlaced.
As you’ve noticed, those videos are of lower quality, with numerous visual artifacts.
Luckily, with Topaz Video AI, you can deinterlace any video and convert it into a progressive format with the Dione AI model, resulting in a smooth and realistic image.
Video AI is much more successful than traditional deinterlacing techniques at reducing artifacts due to the AI models, which also preserve image definition.
As a result, the deinterlaced footage is sharp and clean because it has almost no visual artifacts.
4. Restoration of Old Videos While Enhancing Details
Another great feature of Video AI is the restoration feature, which allows you to restore old videos without introducing visual artifacts.
Video AI can revert compression, remove aliasing, and use AI to generate new details to restore old footage. This way, you can use this feature to restore to your heart’s content any old or low-quality footage.
One of the restoration methods that Video AI excels at is reverting compression. However, restoring old videos can be “hit-or-miss.” If the original video is of poor quality, the software’s AI models may not work as well as they would with a higher-quality video.
Removing aliasing, for example, can be tricky if it’s heavy. In addition, using AI to generate new details can alter the videos in an unnatural and uncanny way.
5. Frame Rate Conversion for Smoother Video Motion
The Chronos AI model was a new feature added in Topaz Video Enhance AI v2.3., which is meant to increase the video frame rate without adding artifacts.
With just a few clicks, you can increase the frame rate for a smooth conversion. Simply select the Chronos Slo-Mo/FPS Conversion model.
Under the Video Format section, click on the Out FPS dropdown menu and select the frame rate to which you want to convert the video.
Video AI, unlike traditional frame rate increasing methods, interpolates new frames from information in multiple adjacent frames.
The AI then predicts the best frame between the originals.
As a result, the new frames are often indistinguishable from the original frames, and the video motion is smooth and clear.
6. Add a Slow-Motion Effect Without Adding Stuttering
Traditional interpolation techniques, such as frame sampling, frame blending, and optical flow, can provide a somewhat realistic slow-motion effect. However, the footage may end up being a bit jittery, especially on fast-moving scenes.
This is where Video AI stands out. As we’ve discussed above, the software uses an algorithm that creates new frames that are indistinguishable from the actual footage.
So, when you add a slow-mo effect to your video, the result is smooth and non-stuttering—just like professionals.
Adding slow-motion effects to a video is similar to frame conversion.
Simply click on the “All” tab under the AI Model Selector and scroll down to select the Chronos Slo-Mo/FPS Conversion.
Then, select the percentage you would like to slow down your video from the Slow Motion dropdown.
Overall, the performance of Topaz Video AI is solid and smooth. The application works seamlessly on any computer that has at least 16 GB of RAM. A 4 GB VRAM Graphics card also enhances the user experience.
Some users have reported that the software tends to crash when they work on long videos. Previewing footage in the app can also be a bit laggy at times.
However, this issue likely has more to do with their computer’s system than Video AI itself.
One thing that you should be mindful of when using the Topaz Video AI is that its performance depends on your system. So, if your system only meets the minimum hardware requirements, the software’s processing speed may suffer.
Topaz Video AI, like any other video editing and rendering software, is a heavy application. That’s why it requires a computer that can handle video editing.
What’s more, Video AI will download and install its models during the first use of the software or new video render, slowing down the entire process even more.
That’s why it’s best to keep only the crucial applications running while using the software.
Just keep in mind that when we say slow, we don’t mean that you’ll spend hours stuck to your computer to edit one video. After all, Topaz Labs is constantly upgrading the software so that it works faster without losing efficiency.
Luckily, in return for your patience, Video AI produces excellent high-quality results.
Alternatives to Topaz Video AI
There are other software alternatives to Topaz Video Video AI that offer similar features.
Here’s a breakdown of what makes each alternative superior to or inferior to Video AI.
Premiere Pro is Adobe’s video editing software that’s packed with built-in tools for creating and editing professional videos.
The software is often used in conjunction with Adobe After Effects to upscale videos, but only from 1080p to 4K. That said, because neither Premiere Pro nor After Effect use AI, their upscaling results aren’t as good as Video AI’s.
What’s more, Adobe, like Topaz, provides a free trial of Premiere Pro. It includes all of the latest Premiere Pro features and updates. The trial, however, is only seven days long, far less than Topaz Labs’ trial.
The full version of the software costs around $21 or 31 per month. The difference is that if you pay $21, you’ll be charged if you cancel your subscription after 14 days. You can also pay annually for around $239, which is significantly more expensive than Video AI.
Final Cut Pro
Apple Final Cut Pro, previously called Final Cut Pro X, is a post-production video editing software for Mac users. It has unlimited preset options and advanced tools, such as Object Tracker and Cinematic Effect.
Unlike Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro can upscale videos to 8K resolution. However, the end result is significantly lower in quality than upscaled videos using Topaz Video AI.
While Final Cut Pro is similar to the other options, it’s only available on macOS. It’s not available for Windows or Linux. The software is also quite expensive, costing around $299. Luckily, you can download the free trial to see for yourself.
DaVinci Resolve is a video editing program by Blackmagic Design that’s often used for feature films, as well as post and broadcast productions.
The software allows you to add visual effects, color correction, color grading, and even audio post-production mixing.
Like Video AI and Final Cut Pro, DaVinci Resolve can upscale videos up to 8K resolutions. However, it’s the only software that’s available to use on Linux.
One perk of using this software is that it’s completely free. The full version, on the other hand, costs $295 and unlocks professional-level features.
How Much Is Topaz Video AI?
Topaz Labs has priced the Video AI software at around $200 – tap here to see the latest price.
The price can be a little hefty for video editing software, especially for beginners.
However, you only have to pay this fee once, which can be a great deal compared to the other subscription-based alternatives.
What’s more, Topaz Labs offers special deals and sales from time to time. So, you can get the software for less than $150, making it more affordable.
Still, you have to take into consideration software updates. The software’s pricing includes unlimited upgrades for the first year. After that, you may have to pay up to $99 for every new software update.
The best part is that Topaz offers a 30-day free trial in which you can download the software and use all of its features.
So, if you’re still hesitant to spend this much money all at once, you can try the software for free first.
All you have to do is visit the Video AI page and click the “Try for free” button. Enter your email address in the box that pops up and click “Get free trial.”
The app will begin downloading automatically, and you’ll receive an email with your trial information.
After installing the app, you’ll be able to begin your free 30-day trial.
How to Get Topaz Video Enhance AI Free
You can get a free trial download of Topaz Video Enhance here just by entering your email.
Topaz Video Enhance AI Review | Final Words
Numerous software programs claim to provide excellent video enhancement results. However, the Topaz Video AI app produces some of the best results, which you won’t find in other similar apps.
You can upscale, denoise, deinterlace, and restore low-quality footage all in one app. You can also change the frame rate and add a slow-motion effect without introducing artifacts that make the final result jittery and unnatural.
That said, Video AI isn’t without flaws. When it comes to processing speed, the software could use some work. Even with a powerful GPU, Video AI can have a slow render time and occasionally crash.
The best part is that you don’t have to pay the full price if you’re still on the fence about purchasing the software. You can use the free trial to see if Video AI is the right video editing software for you.
Resources & Further Reading
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