Presets – Retouching Brushes

Today I’ve got another round of Adjustment Brush presets for you in Lightroom 2. These presets focus on some of the basic retouching effects you can achieve with the Adjustment Brush. Now, before you download them, keep one thing in mind. These aren’t for high-end fashion retouching. Photoshop is still the best place for that. They’re geared for some quick enhancements that you can do right in Lightroom when you just don’t have the time to move the photos into Photoshop. In this set, I’ve included:
• Brightening/Whitening Teeth
• Whiten Eyes
• Red Lips
• Iris Enhance

I tried to stay fairly conservative on the settings but one of the challenges I came across was the settings worked differently on different photos. But I’ve found they’re a great start and really have sped up my editing. Plus, you can always quickly adjust the sliders after you apply them.

Anyway, these are a little different to install from the regular Develop presets so here’s the instructions.
1) Navigate to your Lightroom presets folder. The easiest way to do this is to go to Lightroom’s preferences by clicking the Lightroom menu and choosing Preferences (PC: Edit > Preferences). Then choose the Presets tab and click the “Show Lightroom Presets Folder” button to open the Lightroom Folder.

2) Now go into the Lightroom Folder. Then go into the Local Adjustment Presets folder. You’ll know you’re in the right folder because you should see the file “Soften Skin.lrtemplate” there too.

NOTE: A number of Mac readers commented that their presets were not stored here. Here is the location that a few readers gave, though mine are not located here: Pictures/Lightroom Settings/Local Adjustment Presets

3) Unzip the file you downloaded from the bottom of this post.

4) Copy and paste the “.lrtemplate” files into the Local Adjustment Presets folder.

5) Restart Lightroom

Enjoy and let me know what you think. Thanks!

• Click here to download Matt’s Retouching Brushes.

Author: Matt K

Matt is a full time Education Director for the NAPP and Kelby Training. He's a best-selling author of various books on Photoshop and Photography co-hosts the live weekly photography talk show "The Grid" and is co-host of "Photoshop User TV". In his spare time he practices as a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo and enjoys spending time with his family in Tampa, FL.

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75 Comments

  1. Hey Matt
    Just downloaded the retouching presets but can’t find where they show up.They are not in the develop presets “user presets” or any where else?Thanks.

    Post a Reply
  2. J.P,

    After re-opening lightroom, go to the develop module and with a picture selected, click on the adjustment brush. You then have a dropdown called effect, and they should be available there.

    Matt,

    Thanks!

    Post a Reply
    • Matt, I’m having the same trouble as J.P. I followed the instructions and am using LR 4.1. Can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong?

      Post a Reply
  3. Matt,

    Thanks Matt, these are cool, who needs Photoshop now! You are right about needing to adjust the settings for different photos. I found this is particularly the case with whiten teeth.

    Mike

    Post a Reply
  4. Matt,
    I’m glad you put my comment into practice. Those presets looks really good, and updated some details into mine.

    Post a Reply
  5. Matt,

    Thanks so much! It seems you are always a step ahead of my preset needs. Just when I think, “It would be really great if I had a preset for…”, you release another great preset.

    Ben

    Post a Reply
  6. Matt you rock!

    You’re making it way to easy for me! Thanx a lot, these brushes are timesavers!

    Post a Reply
  7. Thanks for the presets once again Matt, I’ve got some really handy great from this blog, as well as plenty of inspiration for my own stuff. Cheers!

    Post a Reply
  8. Hi Matt,
    Thanks for these, they’re very useful. Methinks those who have their presets folder in pictures have checked the “keep the presets with the catalogue” checkbox in Preferences.

    Thanks again,
    Phill

    Post a Reply
  9. Holy Crow!! Wow I never thought making something like this was even possible.. Now add how easy they are to use!? I’m blown away, now imagine if I actually knew how to use lightroom! (back to reading Scott’s book)

    Post a Reply
  10. Thanks, Matt! Those work well even with my balky adjustment tool. I should say that it wasn’t until I unchecked “store presets with catalog” as per Phill’s suggestion above that the Local Adjustment Presets folder appeared where you indicated. (Windows, not Mac)

    Post a Reply
  11. Hey everybody…

    I have a questions, but I think this question is here out of place. I hope that is not too bad:

    I convert my files to the “DNG” format at the import. The reason for this step is, that I haven’t xml containerfiles.

    Is it possible to show the edit dng image correct (that means with all adjustments, brushes inclueded) in a different programm.

    Is there such a programm anywhere?

    Background: I have my pictures on an external harddrive and I want to show them to others, without exporting every single one.

    Sry for my bad english, I’m a nonnative Speaker…

    Hope you can help me…

    Kind regards… Jens

    Post a Reply
  12. I don’t see these listed under effect. I see exposure, saturation, brightness clarity, etc. I followed the installation instruction. What did I do wrong?

    Post a Reply
  13. Hello Matt,
    Thanks a lot for the presets.
    They are really useful.
    Cheers, Levi

    Post a Reply
  14. Hay Matt I just got your new DVD Lightroom 2 in depth. And the Layers Book. Great job, very easy to follow along. and BTW the preset are great as well.
    Charlie

    Post a Reply
  15. …wow…these presets are GREAT…i especially love the fact that they create such subtle effects on eyes and teeth, nothing exaggerated or unnatural about them…if i may put in a shameless plug: i used all four of them on my latest b&w portrait (called “meltdown”) in the “portraits” gallery of my web site (www.udjat.net)…thanks Matt, really great job…

    Patrick DS
    (PS: even the 2.1RC brush adjustments work very slooooooowly on my Apple iMac 24inch…i guess the issue has to do with the video card driver…i hope they can sort it out soon)

    Post a Reply
  16. WOW

    Thank you very much!
    These are exactly what i need for a quick retouch!

    Awsome!!!!

    I am a real fan of your podcasts!

    Regards . . . Jan

    Post a Reply
  17. Matt,

    Thanks for the presets. I made one slight change by renaming them by putting “Face-” before each of the preset names. That way, they are grouped together when i look for them.

    Thanks again,
    Bill

    Post a Reply
  18. Richard Capuozzo, could you explain to another dummy, how you made the presets appear? I don’t see them either, except for an additional separation line.

    Post a Reply
  19. ok, found them as well. In Preferences, “Store presets with catalog” has to be unchecked.

    Post a Reply
  20. Matt,

    For me a great way of using the brushes is remove local clipping.
    Put the clipping warning on, make a brush with some exposure -/+ and just paint the clipping away, instead of changing the whole photo.
    Works also fine with too bright skies.

    Post a Reply
  21. Matt,

    Those presets are amazing ! Thanks

    Post a Reply
  22. This is about presents, I didn’t know how to send you a comment directly after watching the video. Question about the present of including Jpegs as a separate photo. During the import off the cards both JPEG and Raw are saved correct? But LR2 only shows the RAW, I think mine says NEF& JPG but I see only one photo. When I work on the Raw do these changes also occur on the Jpegs behind the Raw photo? If so then I would want to save the Jpegs to Tiffs or PSD instead so they don’t degrade?

    Thanks for the videos
    Ron

    Post a Reply
  23. For Matt and Scott –

    RANT –

    You guys do so much great stuff but I think you might have damaged your credibility a bit this time.

    Color me a bit p$$d. When LR 2.0 was announced you guys told us it was so good we should to go get it right then. (I did.) Now CS4 is announced and with the purchase of a CS4 upgrade or total package a person can get a discount on LR2.

    I am a bit gobsmacked that you both didn’t serve a bit more as advocates for the masses of people who follow you and your advice. Why didn’t you caution us to wait a bit until CS4 was out? Surely you’re plugged in enough with Adobe to know that. Perhaps you are contractually prohibited from making flat statements on such things but surely, surely you could have foreshadowed it a bit. Maybe you did and I missed it but I don’t think so.

    And another frustrating thing about Adobe – A person can’t get Camera Raw 5 without upgrading to CS4. That is so much like what I went through with CS3 and D300 compatibility.

    Adobe is to be commended for continuing to improve the capability and functionality of their software but they could better support the people who buy their products (and keep Adobe afloat) by extending the compatibility range a bit more to show that they understand that in today’s economy and shrinking disposable/discretionary income a $200 upgrade (for ONE software package) every year or so may not be easily come by. Combine that with the recent LR2 upgrade and those $$ and . .

    . . . it just gets OLD, ya’ know?

    Thanks for listening.

    Bill

    Post a Reply
  24. Ron,
    Yes, they are stored as one. There is not really a reason to change your .jpegs because it’s all just Meta data and won’t deteriorate them until they are exported. There really isn’t much of a reason for you to be using both .jeg and Raw (NEF) anymore. Just stick with the Raw.

    Post a Reply
  25. Oh yeah,
    Matt,
    Thanks for the brushes! Keep up the amazing work!

    Post a Reply
  26. Bill,

    Did you watch this video:
    http://www.scottkelby.com/blog/2008/archives/2033

    “Now CS4 is announced and with the purchase of a CS4 upgrade or total package a person can get a discount on LR2. ”
    – MK: Why didn’t we tell you this? Bill, I just found this out today after reading your post. I had no idea. You have to understand that Adobe doesn’t give us this kind of pricing information. We find out when you find out. Heck, I didn’t find out how much CS4 was going to cost until 2 days before they announced it.

    “Surely you’re plugged in enough with Adobe to know that.”
    – MK: Yes we know. But we can’t tell you and Adobe isn’t really in a position to tell you that far ahead of time either. It would be like Sony announcing a new Playstation game console 3 months before it was due out. That would be suicide on Sony’s part because that would be 3 months of no sales. Stop and think about why Adobe ships Photoshop (and other products) so quickly after the new version announcement (if not on the day of). It’s because the day they announce it, people stop buying the old version and will wait for the new one.

    “And another frustrating thing about Adobe – A person can’t get Camera Raw 5 without upgrading to CS4.”
    – MK: You’re preaching to the choir here. Please tell Adobe on their website. They don’t ask me for my opinion on these types of things.

    “to show that they understand that in today’s economy and shrinking disposable/discretionary income a $200 upgrade?”
    – MK: I hear ya and I don’t blame you. Everyone is feeling the pinch these days. Honestly, though. $200 for an upgrade of software that basically helps people do their job is pretty fair if you ask me. If there is 1 (just one!) feature in it that saves you 5 minutes of billable work a day, then you rack up nearly a half hour per week (2 hours per month / 24 hours per year). At a rate $50 per hour that comes to $1200. Not too shabby for your $200 contribution to Adobe. I think you’ve made your money back. If you’re a hobbyist on the other hand, then you’ve got to weigh how much you’re willing to spend on your hobby and consider skipping this upgrade.

    In the end, we knew CS4 was coming, but did you really expect us to violate our Nondisclosure agreement with Adobe by telling you this? Imagine what that would do this company as we’d never get invited to Beta test again and now our training would be months behind our competitors. I sung LR2’s praises and told everyone to get it, knowing that CS4 was coming out because I believe wholeheartedly that LR2 is a wonderful upgrade for LR users. CS4 coming along doesn’t change that one bit for me – I’m still a LR user for my photography. CS4 coming out with some of the same features in ACR doesn’t change that. I’d still tell a friend to get LR instead of using ACR and Bridge any day of the week (even though ACR 5 is on par with Camera Raw in LR)

    Finally, please tell me where I told everyone to go out and upgrade to CS4 right away. I haven’t. I did that with LR2 and I still would. I’ve demo’d the CS4 features, some of which I think are cool. When they are cool, I’m going to tell people that. Remember, not every Photoshop user is a Lightroom user in your situation. There are literally hundreds of thousands of Photoshop users out there that don’t (and never will) use LR. So when CS4 comes out, I’m going to do my job and teach them about the new features and show them what’s hot and what’s not. You have to remember that Photoshop’s scope goes well beyond the scope of this tiny Lightroom podcast/blog site we’re on. Most of the folks I come across over the year have no idea what LR is so when new version of Photoshop comes out its VERY big news for them.

    In “damaged credibility”,
    Matt K

    Post a Reply
  27. Matt,

    Thank you for this response and for the email you sent. Such a personal approach is above and beyond the call of duty.

    Matt, you guys are still my heroes. That won’t change. I couldn’t do the little I can muddle through in LR/CS without your help and Scott’s help. I appreciate it. I am a very vocal proponent of all that you offer and the help you give us.

    Somehow you misunderstood my comment about telling everyone to go out and buy CS4 right away. I made that comment regarding LR2 – “When LR 2.0 was announced you guys told us it was so good we should to go get it right then.”

    As I mentioned in my RANT, I thought you guys might be under contractual/non-disclosure restrictions but I still hoped for a bit more guidance. I don’t expect you to violate any agreements. I understand that.

    I also understand not overhanging the market with a premature product announcement and the deleterious effect that can have on product sales. I’ve had to manage the same issue with my customers in my former life (before photography). I was just so totally bummed over the confluence of the 2 things:
    1 – Looking for Camera Raw 5 and finding I HAD to upgrade to CS4 to get it.
    2 – While looking at the CS4 upgrade order page, finding a CS4/LR2 package deal not long after paying full $ for LR2 upgrade.

    I will take your advice and add my voice at the Adobe Forum to what I expect will become a chorus of others regarding the CR5 situation.

    Thank you for listening to my RANT, addressing my concerns/comments and for your personal note about it all.

    Bill

    Post a Reply
  28. Thanks so much Matt, these are great. You rule.
    Bay

    Post a Reply
  29. thanks for the preset filters but i simply cannot see them in lr 2; when i go to the presets folder it seems there are a lot of them but the only ones that appear in lr are matt’s vividity numbers 1 thru 3; even the skin softening filter which is in the folder does not snow in lr; when i try to import these filters i get the message that this cnnot be done because these filters are the wrong type! any help would be great because i really like the filters of matt!

    Post a Reply
  30. I didn’t find ‘iris enhancement’ in the lightroom presetes. All other are there. Where is it supposed to be found?

    Post a Reply
  31. Hi, what a great idea and service, just one snag, copied them over to th efile suggested, i saw the mentioned file in there so i was in correct area as you pointed out, however, they dont seem to appear when i restart, doubt you could make it more simpler my friend, any ideas?? im using trial download, would this matter??

    regards

    Post a Reply
  32. Cool.

    What a great idea, and thanks for making this available. Since upgrading to LR2 I have a raft of fans of my portraits!

    It did entail a quick double take to find out where the effects are when you re-open LR – which is, I guess, where some people are having problems. But then LR2 has grown up so quickly from its younger, simpler days.

    Thanks Matt – and keep up the good work!

    Post a Reply
  33. Hi,Matt
    Is it me or the LR which has made a mistake? I did exactly how you said to install the presets.Still I do not see them in effect .I had some problem with soften skin as well ,because it did not show in adjustment brush.I had to install the LR once again.

    Post a Reply
  34. Hi everybody,with this brushes i just can’t make it work if you have some suggestions have message that preset is incorrect

    Post a Reply
  35. I love the adjustment brush and have been using it for touch ups all the time but how did I not know about the presets??? Thank you so much for your presets… they work wonderfully. Subtle but they make a world of a difference.

    Post a Reply
  36. Thanks for the Mac users tip. I tried every way I could think of to get the “darkening brushes” to work; they would show up in the proper folder that you mentioned but never appeared in the Local Adjustments Presets menu. I had given up. Going the Pictures route worked like a charm.

    Post a Reply
  37. Matt, I’ve just loaded the eyes, iris, lips teeth presets. Thanks a MILLION. They are GR8. I really like presets. Much better than clunky old PS Actions (well thats what PS had “wen ah were a lad”

    On another subject…do you have any idea when the LR2 Ace is coming out?

    Thanks again

    (when R U coming to Bonnie Scotland? We’ll put you up…no problem Big Man!!!)

    #:-)

    Steve

    Post a Reply
  38. I downloaded the darkening brushes as instructed and they show up in the proper folder but they do not appear under effects when I select the local adjustment brush. The skin softening brush has also disappeared.

    I also downloaded some other presets and they appear in only 1 of the 4 catalogs I have. I have ticked “keep the presets with the catalog”. Is this my problem?

    Do I need re-install LR2?

    Thanks, Patti

    Post a Reply
  39. I downloaded the gradient filters and imported them but they do not work and then I downloaded the adjustment brushes and the folder is not in the lightroom folder? Not sure how to find them. I read your added comment about mac users but it is not there either? Can you help me! Thanks, I would love to use both sets;)

    Post a Reply
  40. Do you think you might post a video on how these work? I would love to see some examples of what hey do and how they work. I, too, cannot seem to get them to work at all, much less see them in the adjustment brush area. Just a confused LR kinda guy. Thanks for all you do.

    Post a Reply
  41. MAC users: Try looking in Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom. You should see the Local Adjustments Presets folder there.

    That’s where I found it.

    Matt, once again I thank you!!!

    Post a Reply
  42. Using a mac
    I placed the brushes and pasted them at different times into local adjustments folder and develop folder… After restarting LR they are not showing up as other added presets did…

    the message I am getting is
    Error importing “Whiten-Bright Teeth.lrtemplate”.
    The preset file was the wrong type of preset.

    where do I find your response?
    thank you

    Post a Reply
  43. Wow, these brushes are really cool. I was spending $2.50 per picture to have done some of the things these brushes do. You rule Matt.

    Thanks

    Post a Reply
  44. just used your teeth whitener, excellent stuff! Exactly what I have been looking for!

    Post a Reply
  45. It would be great if we can assign shortcuts to these saved brush effects. I have quite a few standard brushes defined myself and would love just to hit a key to get the right effect for efficiency.

    Any idea whether this can be achieved ?
    Thx,
    Markus

    Post a Reply
  46. I have downloaded these and followed your directions but they are not showing up.

    I do not get the Effect pop-up menu when I click on the Brush. This is the white pop up menu that is shown in Kelby’s LR2 book on page 170. He says if you hit the K key this will also pop up.

    Nothing I do brings up this white menu. I cannot find how to Soften Skin without this menu.

    I have version 2.3 of Lightroom. All these new shortscuts show up in the Local adjustments preset folder, but none show up when I try to use them in Lightroom 2.3.

    What am I missing?

    Post a Reply
  47. I’ve just upgraded to LR2 after learning that LR can now handle raw files. Unfortunately being an hobbyist type of photographer and only on SS can not aford CS4. Did have CS2 but it got corrupted and is non usable. Do you have a set of presets that could be used for Landscape and Flowers.
    I really like the idea of having presets. BTW I shoot with a Canon Xt and a Canon A580 point n shoot.

    Post a Reply
  48. Hi, Matt! I’ve recently discovered the fabulousness of the adj. brush and your wonderful presets. I really want to make one of my own. I can save a custom preset with a single adjustment, but I can’t figure out how to layer more than one adjustment in a single preset. (i.e.- tooth whitener=exposure & sat adjustments) I’ve googled and searched here, but haven’t found the answer yet. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks so much for all you do; this is a wonderful resource!

    Post a Reply
  49. I found that the whiten teeth brush works better if you change the color to a very light blue to cancel out any yellowish stains on the teeth.

    Post a Reply
  50. i’m new to lightroom and have v.1.1. will these presets work?

    Post a Reply
  51. hmm..i have LR 2.4 and have tried this over again..and restarted it and the brushes do not show up in LR. I can see the brushes in with the original soften skin inside the folder as you mentioned..and that brush is “blue” in the folder?

    Post a Reply
  52. i got it to work..there was a check box mentioning “store presets with catalog” that needs to be unchecked for the new brushes to show up in LR.
    good stuff! thanks!

    Post a Reply
  53. why is my Mac. Adobe Lightroom saying that this preset is the wrong kind of preset or file???

    Thanks Erin

    Post a Reply
  54. Thank you very much for these helpfull presets. I have searched a long time for presets like that.

    Post a Reply
  55. Matt,
    THESE ARE THE BEST!!! I had some trickey lighting issues and I was able to brighten just a few spots and make the pictures perfect. THANK YOU !!!!!

    Post a Reply
  56. :-(

    On a macbook pro with LR2, i put them in the Pictures/Lightroom Settings/Local Adjustment Presets…

    … and they didn’t work… They did’t appear in the Adjustment Brush panel, either…

    Can anyone help me? :-)

    Post a Reply
  57. So I feel dumb for having to ask, but I am new to lightroom. I downloaded the presets, extracted files… now what????

    Post a Reply
  58. Hey everyone who mentioned problems finding the presets. This might help. When you click on the adjustment brush, you will see a dialog box open below it. It says “effect” and then near the middle of that column, it reads “exposure” with up and down arrows next to the word exposure. Click those arrows, and you will get a drop down menu. The brush presets here show up at the bottom of the list. I was confused too because I kept trying to click on the word “effect” so I hope this helps others.

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks for the pointer. Works great.

      Post a Reply
  59. Hi,

    with LR3 it seems that the presets can’t be installed. And still nobody answering here…?
    Dead site?

    Post a Reply
    • I was able to install them but I lost the original ones.

      Post a Reply
  60. Where is the Local Adjustments Preset folder? The only presets I see are just called Lightroom Presets, and are on the left hand side of the screen when I’m in the Develop module. When I open up the Local Adjustment brush, I don’t see any presets.

    Post a Reply
  61. I have downloaded the onone presets which are great, I can’t find the vol 2 ones iris brighten teeth brighten etc in the brush section , only one showing is skin soften. Help please??

    Post a Reply
  62. I have found the presets effects skin soften iris teeth etc, cannot find the ones I really want backgound lighten and darken Help please??

    Post a Reply
  63. Matt, Thanks, I downloaded the presets and am very happy with them. however, when Idid this I lost the orig ones. I have LR3 and lost the dodge and burn, etc. do you know where I can find those so I have all of them? Help please??

    Post a Reply
  64. Thank you for these! Two years later….lol!
    I was able to upload them, however I lost the soft skin file that was already in there…any idea how to get that back?

    Thanks much,
    Joanna

    Post a Reply
  65. Matt,

    Thanks so much for these presets – they’re fantastic!!!

    Kimmi

    Post a Reply
  66. Hi Matt,

    I tried install presets in LR3, but can’t be installed in LR3.
    How converter this presets to use in LR3?

    Thanks a lot Matt.

    Post a Reply

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