Should You Pirate – Topaz Labs Video Enhance AI
20 March 2022
Review software Topaz Labs upscaling VEAI Video Enhance AI

Should you pirate Topaz Labs Video Enhance AI, firstly what the actual fuck am I going on about and what the bloody hell is “Topaz Labs Video Enhance AI” anyway?

Well, the modern video game as you’re probably well aware by now, especially if you actually come here happens to feature nothing but faggotry crap and identity politics on top of being absolutely garbage games to start with.

So enough with the gay shit, I’m going to gloss over and review rather interesting bits of software and utility programs and whether or not “should you pirate” them.

Now then, Video Enhance AI or VEAI for short is a rather niche bit of software tailored in “upscaling and enhancing” digital footage, how it actually achieves this I’ve got no idea but Topaz Labs do market their Video Enhance AI software as featuring the magical buzzword of “Artificial Intelligence” when it comes to video enhancement and upscaling.

When it comes to marketing bullshit, upscaling technologies are rather recent “innovations” such of the likes of NVIDIA’s DLSS technology and AMD’s FSR, both of which negatively impact the raw picture quality for the sake of performance, not so much with the VEAI software which truly does provide a “better than native” output.

Topaz Labs Video Enhance AI offers a fair few different individualized presets regarding the footage being enhanced with varying outcomes. Whether or not your footage is progressive or interlaced, live action or animated, high quality or a slurry of bitrate soup, there’s a preset more or less suitable for all forms of digital footage.

I myself have used VEAI extensively for animated content which in my eyes is where the software excels at in comparison to more live action footage.

Anime Upscale Comparison

WARNING: Shitty Dubbing

It’s not always perfect, particularly for animated content anyway the enhanced result while appearing vastly “superior” in terms of sharpness and clarity might actually be a negative in your eyes from it appearing very smooth, almost like a cel shading effect.

Thankfully anyway that’s where the Fine Tune preset comes in handy, you’ll be able to adjust individual parameters such as sharpness, compression reversion and whether or not to lean more towards anti-alias or “deblur”.

(Before & After)

While the quality may appear to be “better” with higher amounts of sharpening and deblurring I find with these two parameters in particular are the main contributing factor behind more over sharpened, smoothed results.

Typically however the general result is either a hit or miss, it’s entirely dependent on a series to series basis whether or not the upscaled result is either drastically or marginally improved.

(Before & After)

Regardless of whether the improvement is visually overwhelming or almost non-existent, simply by throwing just about anything through VEAI does net a positive return on quality with improved sharpness.

Trinity Seven EP01 (Before & After)

Gleipnir EP01 (Before & After)

Performance Issues and Complaints

While the end result when upscaling through Topaz Labs for animated content is typically flawless for the most part, the actual performance of VEAI is anything but.

System requirements for Topaz Labs Video Enhance AI is actually fairly extreme, before you can even think about enhancing your own personal collection you aught to ensure that you’re equipped with something along the lines of an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 in terms of performance.

Ideally you’d actually be wanting something along the lines of NVIDIA’s RTX variety considering how VEAI is more or less utilizing “ML” or Machine Learning, you’ll be far better off if your system comes packing a mere RTX 2060 or better.

My system configuration comes equipped with an AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT which certainly gets the job done on VEAI but the software itself certainly is more reliant upon Team Green for outright performance.

When upscaling footage from 1080p resolution to 4K resolution, with my system configuration on VEAI I tend to get around 0.44 seconds / frame which may actually seem pretty damn fast, but it isn’t.

Enhancing footage at that rate, for a video file that typically has the length of around 24 minutes on average you’d actually be waiting for well over four hours just to upscale one file.

Life’s Good with OLED.

That’s fucking lunacy, and it certainly wouldn’t get much better if your system were equipped with top of the line GeForce RTX hardware either, I sure as shit didn’t get gouged with my RX 6800 XT simply to spend ~48 hours at a time upscaling a series of 12 episodes.

But of course the benefit of having a high-performance graphics card such as the 6800 XT is that you’re entirely capable of upscaling multiple videos simultaneously, just don’t expect to do much of anything aside from browsing the internet when doing so.

Instead of upscaling a single video file at a time, if I were to enhance three videos simultaneously instead the performance does drop to around ~0.88 seconds a frame however the overall time that it would otherwise take to enhance a series of twelve drops dramatically down to around 33 hours give or take.

Of course, your system configuration and therefore performance characteristics will differ drastically, enhancing footage from 1080p to 4K resolution is probably the most demanding thing you can do with VEAI, so regardless of your specific hardware if you were focusing more so on lower resolution footage your performance will improve drastically though don’t expect to be able to enhance a single file during a mere coffee break.

And if you thought that shit upscaling performance was bad enough with VEAI let me bloody tell you something, if you’re trying to enhance footage that contains multiple audio tracks or god forbid subtitles, while VEAI has the option to retain audio in the files that you upscale it will only retain the first audio track with subtitles being lost into the abyss.

So after wasting away probably days of your time and electricity on upscaling you’ll probably be all the more thankful that you’ll have to re-encode the footage just to reinsert the audio tracks and subtitles from the source file, because let me tell you 4K video encoding will probably add another hour per individual episode.

Because when enhancing footage from 1080p to 4K resolution, undoubtedly that has a dramatic effect on the overall file size, you have plethora of options regarding Constant Rate Factor (CRF) quality with a wide range of whether the enhanced video itself having quadrupled in file sized or eating up disk space with tens of gigabytes per individual episode.

Any minor adjustment to the CRF quality on Topaz has a dramatic effect on a video’s file size.

So if that’s a massive pain in your ass you may just want to stick with Topaz Video Enhance AI when it comes to upscaling sub-HD live action content such as older TV shows and movies that don’t necessarily contain subtitles.

Live Action Upscale Comparison

When it comes to live action content VEAI is rather finnicky with the end result, it’s really a crap shoot if I’m being honest.

There’s no doubt that the image quality of live action footage is unquestionably “better” once enhanced with Topaz Labs Video Enhance AI however that doesn’t mean that the end result is actually better.

High Octane Overboost (Before & After)

The general result of using VEAI on live action footage no doubt looks much more clear and sharper while for the most part depending on the preset selected it more or less comes out looking immensely washed out and completely unrealistic resembling that of a cartoon more than live action.

At the very least when it comes to video files that are just outright ruined by passing them through the Video Enhance AI software there’s one saving grace in the form of VEAI’s frame rate conversion option.

Dubbed “Chronos”, you’re able to simulate slow motion or more rather you can “double” the framerate of a given source file, when it comes to live action footage or even animated content that just doesn’t bode very well when “enhanced” doubling the frame rate provides much more fluid motion that is certainly the greatest compromise.

“60 fps”

And that’s all there really is to the Topaz Labs Video Enhance AI software. For the most part it truly does enhance various different kinds of footage, though I’d probably stick to animated content rather than live action with it.

Topaz Labs VEAI requires a pretty beefy system configuration and even still the amount of time required to “enhance” footage is flat out unacceptable, especially when you also then have to take into account of re-encoding various footage for the problems mentioned above.

But I can’t exactly deny that VEAI has a dramatic effect on the quality and therefore enjoyment of enhanced footage, however one question still remains.

Should you even bother to pirate this software? Well that depends, I myself mainly restrict utilizing VEAI for enhancing my more favorable series’. But if you’ve got the time, hardware and the electricity to spare I’d actually recommend at least giving Topaz Labs Video Enhance AI a download at the very least.

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Play around with it, see how VEAI affects content that you’d really like to enhance because the differences can certainly be night and day. Just don’t actually expect to actually enhance footage in any reasonable timeframe, you’re either going to have to upscale sparingly or simple leave your PC on overnight.

You can either choose to download VEAI through one of your more preferred torrenting websites or choose to take a gamble into trusting a “vile Nazi” such as myself with the specific version of Topaz Labs Video Enhance AI that I use.

Installation is fairly straightforward, download, extract and blitz through the installation wizard. After that simply drag and drop the two cracked files to the VEAI installation directory and replace.

You’ll then be able to run VEAI and either choose to update it without issue, or simply login using BLANK credentials and then you’re free to use Video Enhance AI as you see fit.

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