Video – Soft Dreamy Effect Follow Up

Here’s the follow up video to yesterday’s presets I released. The soft/dreamy presets tend to soften everything in the photo. In this video, I show you how to selectively go into the photo and bring back the details in the areas you wanted to keep them in. The best things about it… it’s all done in Lightroom (Lightroom 2 that is). No trips to Photoshop. Everything is non-destructive and you can go back and change it as much as you’d like. I hope you enjoy it!

Click here to watch the video. (15MB)


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  1. Matt – great stuff! Thanks so much for giving all that do to the wonderful world of Lightroom!

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  2. Most excellent tutorial Matt! Thanks!!!

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  3. To Mike Nelson Pedde – thanks very much, I’m so glad there’s a way to display the mask, I didn’t realise it was possible until I read your tip!

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  4. I don’t know how to get in touch with you, other than this website; please forgive me. I am unable to send the following email to the Help Desk. It keeps rejecting it because it has spam. Can you help me?

    Metadata is not copied to the Backup copy of a .CR2 image when I import from my flashcard. I use “Copy photos to a new location and add to catalog” File Heading, Put the images into a subfolder under “Organize: Into one folder”, and check the “Backup to:” option. I select “My Copyright 2008” preset under the Metadata block of the “Information to Apply” section. The metadata is applied to the images copied to the “Organize: Into one folder” location, but the images copied into the “Backup to:” folder is missing. What am I doing incorrectly?

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  5. My apologies – should have read all the comments prior to writing – looks like some others have already commented about this.

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  6. Matt,

    Great video as always. I subscribe to the Lightroom Killer Tips podcast through iTunes – however it hasn’t posted a new cast since July 3rd! I see you have new vids on the site here, and didn’t know they were out until I came to the site. Just an FYI – not sure if you knew they hadn’t posted anything new in their directory since July.

    Thanks for all you do.

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  7. Nice video. I’m curious why it hasn’t been published to the rss feed via itunes.
    Is there a new lightroom killer tips feed with 2.0 now out there? The last podcast on killer tips was on colour spaces in lightroom 1.

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  8. NAPP_News, Thanks for publishing the video on Viddler. I kind of find the Kelby stable tries to push Apple everything onto you. I guess they must get some pretty good kick-backs from Apple. Anyhow, not too customer friendly. I am not a iTunes user. Had it once, but just like Real and QuickTime, too aggresive so I took them all off my computers. What’s wrong with using Flash to publish media? Adobe’s not in your face like these other guys.

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  9. Matt! You make life so much easier with your wonderful tips…seriously! I love all of them so far and I am way excited to learn more! Thanks so much for your hard work!

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  10. Hi Matt,
    I am an avid reader of your blog and user of your videos.
    How come this video did not downlaod automatically to iTunes Podcasts, as it used to happen before Lightroom 2 arrived?

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  11. Nice video, Matt! When working with the Brush tool, pressing the ‘O’ key (that’s Oh, not zero) will toggle the red overlay on and off so that you can see where you’ve been working. Holding down the Ctrl/Cmd key will toggle the Auto Mask feature – turning it off it’s checked, turning it on if it isn’t. And holding down the Alt key after applying a Brush stroke will make the Brush tool into an Eraser so you can ‘unpaint’ your selection. It’s worth noting that the Erase tool can have different Flow/ Feather, etc. settings than your current brush setting, so it’s important to check that if you find that it’s not bringing back as fast as it was applied – your flow rate for the eraser may be lower than for the brush. Pressing Alt before applying a brush stroke to the image allows you to set a Default setting for a brush (A or B).

    Finally, it’s good to remember that you can set an extreme setting (say Exposure -4.0) when applying a brush stroke to see where the effect will be applied, and then tone it down afterward.

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  12. Hello Matt,

    It doesn’t apper in my iTunes (Leopard up-to-date), the last one is the 3th of July.
    Your podcast is international (available from Hungary)?


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  13. Thanks for the tutorial! You are an excellent teacher. I just got Lightroom 2.0 and am learning as I go. Your tips will really speed things up…much appreciated!

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  14. Thanks for the video. Always appreciate everything you give us. I think life with LR2 is just going to get better and better.

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  15. Nice Matt, I’m really excited about the negative clarity. I find myself wondering though. Could face detection feature be made that would beeps the eyes and mouth sharp when softening a portrait.

    I know it not there now, but it would be great to automate it.


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  16. When you went to clear the -100 clarity I expected you to do that by painting with 0 clarity. When you had to use +100 to nullify the -100, I thought hey, this could get interesting; and it did.

    All I can say is WOW! I had no idea that adjustment brushes were additive allowing me to do multiple adjustment strokes for a mega-clarity (or mega-anything) effect.

    Thanks Matt. I might never have discovered that on my own.

    Now I just wish they would make presets work that way so that I could double the effect by applying it twice rather than having to maintain multiple presets for light and heavy adjusting. It also seems to me that in some cases it makes more sense to be making a relative, rather than absolute, setting for a control (brightness comes to mind). I know the quick develop controls in the library work that way.

    Rich (charter fan of the Photoshop Guys)

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  17. Thanks for the video- the softening looks like an awesome feature. Got me thinking about the opposite- sharpening in LR. Noticed there is a new export sharpening- for output. Would love to hear how this incorporated into the workflow, detail about what this does & how to manage the exported files once they’ve been printed or uploaded.
    Can’t wait to use the preset- thanks again!

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  18. Thank you for a GREAT video. It incorporated the functionality of your presets, and with the before and after capability, one can see the complete affect. Yes Matt, you rock.

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