Join Michael Ninness for an in-depth discussion in this video Saving and using a library of Camera Raw presets, part of Photoshop CS5 Essential Training.
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So as you get more comfortable using Camera Raw, you might find yourself doing the same sort of edits over and over and over again. For example, you might find that you really like a particular vignette style and you tend to apply that to your images often. Or you might have a custom grayscale conversion setting that you like to use over and over again. Or you add digital film grain, whatever it is that you do repetitively. Rather than doing that every single time manually and try to remember what settings you're supposed to use. Camera Raw actually allows you to create what's called Presets. So let's take a look at how that works.
We're just going to open up any representative image. I'll just double-click on this raw file here to open it up. And then I'm going to go ahead and edit this just like I'd normally edit it. So I'll start in the Basic panel, and make sure I get that general tone and color and exposure correct. So I'm going to go ahead and lower the Exposure just a little bit, maybe increase the Recovery, Fill Light, Blacks. Maybe bring the Brightness down. Oh, Blacks is too much, bring that back down a little bit. Bring the Brightness down a little bit. Increase the Contrast and maybe bump up the Clarity. And great! That's looking awesome.
Then I might go over to the HSL/Grayscale tab. And then I'll convert this to grayscale by clicking that checkbox, and have a nice custom grayscale conversion there. Then I think I might want to add a Sepia Tone Effect as well. So I'm going to go to the Split Tone tab, and I'll increase the Saturation of the shadows to about 25 let's say. Looks enough there. Good! And then I'll change the Hue to more of a sepia tone around Hue of 50. It's a good looking effect there. Great! And last but not least, I want to add a custom vignette. So I'll click on the FX panel, and I'm going to go to the Amount slider, drag that to the left to create a nice darkening frame effect to burn in those corners.
Okay. So I have done four distinct things here. I have done a basic color and tone correction, went over and converted it to grayscale, turned it into a sepia tone and then added this black framing vignette effect. To save these settings as presets, let's go to the Preset panel. It's this one here, second from the right. Go ahead and click the Presets button. Now, we're going to create some named presets. I'm going to click the New button. It says great! What do you want to capture as a preset? I'm going to go ahead and choose Basic. And then from the Subset menu, I'm going to choose just the basic settings.
That turns off all the checkboxes for all the other options outside of the Basic panel. I'm going to go ahead and click OK. I'm going to create another new preset. You might be wondering why I didn't just create one preset that captures all four things. I want the flexibility to use the grayscale conversion independent from the sepia tone, or the color conversion and correction separate from that vignette effect, because then I can mix and match these preset values and add them up over time on a different set of images later on. All right! So from the subset, I'm going to choose let's say the Grayscale Conversion and we'll make this name grayscale.
Then we'll add that as a second preset. We'll do another one. We'll click the New button. And this time I'm going to choose the Split Toning, and this is what I used to create the sepia effect. So I'm going to call it Sepia. And we'll create one last more, Vignetting, Post Crop Vignetting. We'll call it Vignette. And every time I choose a subset, it turns off all the other checkboxes that don't apply. We'll click OK. Okay, I can go ahead and click Done, and this takes me back to Bridge. And I can apply those presets to any other image inside of Camera Raw or I can do it from Bridge.
Let me show you both methods. Let's click on this particular image here. Double-click to open it up inside Camera Raw. And I'm going to switch over to the Presets panel. These presets are now saved in Camera Raw. They are not attached to any particular file. They are actually saved as presets that Camera Raw can use on any file now. So if I just want the basic correction, I just click on the word Basic, and I instantly get that preset applied to the image. If I want to skip the grayscale and sepia and just go for the vignette, well, I can click on Vignette. And now I have got a color version of that file that just has the Vignette effect.
If I want to then decide that I do want to go with grayscale, I can click on Grayscale to add that effect, and then I can click on Sepia as well. So each one of these is separate and I can mix and match them to my taste. I'm going to go ahead and hit Cancel. Now that I'm in Bridge, I can do it here as well. I'm going to go ahead and click on the first thumbnail that I want selected, hold-down the Shift key and select the others. And then the quickest way to apply those presets or choose from those presets is to either right-click and get the Contextual menu, there is Develop Settings. And you can see any preset that you saved in Camera Raw will be listed at the very bottom of the Develop Settings submenu here.
So there's Basic, Grayscale, Sepia and Vignette. They are also available under the Edit menu themselves. Edit > Develop Settings and there are those presets. So I'm going to go ahead and choose the Basic Preset and all those thumbnails will ripple through and get updated. And then, I'm going to go back and add the vignette as well. I'll go back to Edit > Develop Settings, choose Vignette and it's going to update all those thumbnails and add that Vignette effect. So hopefully, by now, after watching this video, you can start to see how powerful and how much time this Presets feature can really save you.
You can build up dozens of presets all named appropriately and targeting the specific effects that you're trying to save. And then it makes it really easy to go back and apply those to multiple images later on. Okay, now they get back to where we all started, I'm going to go ahead and do a Select All, Command+A or Ctrl+A and I'll just right-click on one of the selected thumbnails from the Develop Settings menu. I'll choose Clear Settings and this will get us back to where we started. Again, just reinforcing that none of this is destructive, especially Presets. It's just a powerful nondestructive way of editing your images very quickly.
- Automating image adjustments with Camera Raw
- Adding keywords, ratings, and other metadata to images
- Filtering a large collection of images down to the "keepers"
- Cropping, correcting perspective, and straightening images
- Creating, naming, hiding, and deleting layers
- How to make selections and masks quickly
- Improving mask quality with Refine Edge
- Techniques for combining multiple images
- Non-destructive editing techniques with adjustment layers and Smart Filters
- Retouching essentials, such as blemish removal and body sculpting
- Color correcting images
- Using the essential blend modes, layer effects, and styles
- Creating contact sheets and web photo galleries