Everyone is very happy about the recent update to Adobe Lightroom (LR)and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). I have been pretty happy too, but one thing has been bothering me a lot. How do you make these new profiles? This blog is not going to discuss how to use these profiles as there are many great videos on this topic. I just want you to understand how profiles differ from presets: Presets once applied have all kinds of different settings from the various panels throughout the program in either ACR or LR; but once a Profile is applied there are no settings changed in the panels or tabs – they simply act as a kind of film sitting on top of your original RAW file (they will not work with JPG files) and now the various program settings can be changed from this point on. Also, to find the new Profiles and all the Legacy files, go to the top right of the Basic section in both ACR and Lightroom and click on the 4 square icon to open up the browser. Usually an Amount slider is available that can go all the way up to 200% to adjust how much of the profile is applied. The default profile for any new downloads is now the Color profile in the Basic folder, which is better according to my sources – for older photos Adobe Standard in the Legacy folder will be applied so switch them over in the Basic settings to see if it helps the image. When done, press Close to access the rest of the Basic Panel. The image above is from the Viera Wetlands in Florida. It is the final image of photo used in video.
Everyone has been talking about the fact that you can make your own profiles, but no one was showing you how. But the New Profile dialog in ACR or the Camera Raw Filter will let you convert your presets and some LUT files with the .cube extension to a new profile. Colin Smith at Photoshop Cafe in his How to Make New Color Profiles for Lightroom and ACR video finally discussed the secret on how to create your own profiles. Although not based upon settings in Adobe Photoshop CC or LR, but from within ACR itself – it is not that hard to do at all. I included a short video on this and give you the steps below. Several of the profiles are based on my own or those from others Photoshop LUT files (see my How to Use and Create Lookup Table (LUT) Files blog). I also cover this in my video, but I have to admit the LUT file created looked different in ACR than in LR – not sure why but checking on this – all my other ones were fine.
Here are the steps for converting ACR presets (which are now the same as the ones in Lightroom) into profiles.
- Profiles can only be created in Adobe Camera Raw or the Camera Raw filter, so first an image needs to be opened in either one, but not in Lightroom.
- Make some changes to the image that you think would make a great profile to apply to other images or select one of your existing presets. Changes can be made to the settings to add additional changes to existing presets.
- Go to the Presets tab in either (the second from the right in ACR as the end one contains a Snapshot tab or the last tab in Camera Raw which does not allow snapshots).
- Now here is the clincher – go down to the bottom of the Preset Panel to the Create Preset icon and instead of just clicking on it, hold down the ALT key + the icon and the New Profile dialog box appears! (See screen capture below.)
- Name the Profile and create a New Set for the profile if you want to put them in a special folder.
- Next time you open up Photoshop or Lightroom, the profile will be in this folder. Note the folder will not be in the Presets list if you created a new one unless you also saved it down as a Preset, but only in the new Profiles browswer in the Basic Panel.
I have included a very short video below so you can see exactly how a preset is turned into a profile. Also I am showing how to do a quick LUT or Color Lookup Table using the .cube extension in Photoshop to use as a profile. I have not tried a Look Table using a .csv file, which is one of the choices for saving a LUT file. The default Photoshop LUTs use a .look file extension – I have not figured out how to convert it to a different usable extension. Adobe has issued an article with more info how to do this on their Digital Negative (DNG) page – scroll down to Resources Profiles SDK (2018) to download the PDF. Apparently it is a pretty complicated process. If viewing in the RSS feed and video link does not show up, please visit my blog site to activate the video.
I find it odd that everyone is leaving out this bit of info. I have to give Colin kudos for sharing this. It is so easy to do, but it must be done in Camera Raw. Who knew, but now you can at least go on and make your own to your hearts content. Hope you have a good weekend creating profiles!…..Digital Lady Syd
I decided to do this blog because I was experimenting in Photoshop trying to see if different plug-ins can get the same look even though they are very different. I started with this basic image from Camachee Cove in St. Augustine, Florida. This is a really pretty place to take images and my beloved sailboat lives there. Only the Basic sliders in Lightroom were adjusted and all the following images used this one as a starting place. Also, whenever possible I used a Smart Layer to save the settings so I could easily go back to tweak the sliders. I am becoming a big fan of doing this with all plug-in adjustments!
Overall, the above is not a bad picture. That said, I still love the new Topaz Black and White Effect plug-in (click on right in my Tidbits Blog to access site) and decided to give it a whirl and see if the image feeling could be improved. Below is what was achieved using this plug-in.
Personally I loved the results (this is how I remember it) and the cool thing is that it took only two minutes to get this look and it was done! If you are interested in the settings for the Sunny Preset, my Tidbits Blog “Sunny Preset – Topaz Black and White Effects” list how to do it. There was just one further adjustment made in Photoshop which, unfortunately when adding most of these plug-ins, there is some noise created. I took the image back into Adobe Camera Raw (see my blog “Edit Layers with ACR Script“) but any Noise Reduction plug-in would work fine also.
Next I tackled the updated NIK Color Efex Pro 4.0 (CEP4) plug-in to see what I would get. This plug-in is another fabulous NIK product and I totally love using it. I could not get it to do what Topaz B&W Effects did as quickly and as well. I spent a long time fooling around in CEP4 trying to get this effect, especially the color effect.
The sky has a really ugly edge in the upper clouds that I could not adjust easily. This image also has Hue/Sat and Selective Color adjustment layers and still is not quite right. The stacked CEP4 filters used for this image were: High Key, Brilliance/Warmth, Graduated User Defined, and Vignette. Normally this image could be adjusted nicely but when trying to copy the Topaz B&W image, it does not do this so easily.
Now to be fair, since Topaz B&W was used, I next tried the NIK Silver Efex Pro 2 (SEP2). The results are pretty nice, but they still had to be adjusted in Photoshop. Below is the final image that started as a black and white using NIK .
The results are pretty close. The image was processed in SEP2 using the High Structure preset and a Red Color Filter. The layer was set to Luminosity blend mode in Photoshop, a Color Fill adjustment layer using a a yellow-beige Fill Color (9f9f84) set to Vivid Light blend mode and 55% opacity, and a low opacity light beige edge added to the top and bottom of the image. The sky and water color is very close to the Topaz B&W results, but it took a lot longer and required Photoshop work to achieve the results, and you had to know what you were trying to do.
Now this next image uses OnOne PhotoTools 2.6 (click on right in my Tidbits Blog to access site). They have a new version coming out shortly which may make this much easier to do but overall, it gave a reasonable approximation to the Topaz B&W result.
I do not use this plug-in as much since I seem to have trouble getting the look I want and it is very computer RAM intensive. It also does not support Smart Objects at this point. In all fairness, I do believe it is a really good plug-in and it already has stacking abilities for effects. Unfortunately, at this point it does not have different sliders for the effects, but they do offer several setting choices for each filter, and several filter effects can be brushed on using a brush and mask in the plug-in. I plan on reviewing the upgrade after it becomes available. In this case, the clouds just do not have the detail and water and sky color is not quite right. There were 6 effects stacked to get the effect and I saved it down as a preset to preserve. If I was more familiar with the program, I might have been able to get a better result since there is no shortage of filters in this plug-in.
Alright, let’s change things up a bit and go back to Topaz using their fairly new Lens Effects plug-in (click on right in my Tidbits Blog to access site).
It also gives a nice result even though it is a different type of plug-in. The Dual Tone Filter Effect was used as a starting point using the Green to Yellow preset. Both Regions A and B were adjusted – this is very similar to the Quad Tones in Topaz B&W Effects. That is one reason there is some similarity, especially in the sky horizon area. A Vignette was also added in the program. It is nice that you can get similar results without buying every plug-in module in the set.
Personally I still like the Topaz Black and White Effects result the best. I hope this gives you some idea about how similar but how different these plug-ins are when applied to the same image. I did not mean to make it look like one plug-in is better than the other, just that it really depends on what your picture is will determine how it looks finished. If you do not like the way it turns out with one of the plug-ins, try a different one – it can be totally different! Have fun experimenting…..Digital Lady Syd