If you’re an avid user of Apple’s Aperture, you no doubt know about the recent release of Aperture 3.0. One of the most desired features for the program was universal presets, of the type used in Adobe’s Lightroom image adjustment application. Well, advance presets are now available in Aperture 3.0. The application comes installed with over three dozen very useful presets that you can use right out of the download or box. In addition, any presets that you created in the previous version of Aperture will show up automatically in 3.0.
Most users will probably want to access Presets and Adjustments in the Adjustments panel of Aperture. The presets can also be accessed in the floating Adjustment HUD, as well from the Aperture menu bar: Photos>Add Adjustment, and right below it, Add Adjustment Presets.
In the Adjustment Panel, the Presets on the left consist of exposure correction and enhancement presets; and the set on the right consist of mainly preset brushes.
Previews of Adjustments
When you select a preset, you get a preview of how the adjustments will look before you apply them. If you hold down the option key, the currently selected adjustment will replace any previous adjustments you make.
Brushes and Adjustment Tools
Note: this and other screen shots were captured from Aperture’s menu bar. They are the exact same adjustments in the Adjustment Panel.
The Quick Brushes Presets are a mixture of settings that that can be selectively applied to selected areas of an image or the entire image.
Brush In and Bruse Away
Every Adjustment Tool includes the option to brush in or brush away the effects of that tool. This process almost works like using Layers and Brushes in Photoshop. Working with Brushes in Aperture are not always easy as using them in Photoshop, but they are convenient for image adjustments in Aperture.
Similar to using brushes in Photoshop, you select a tool and paint the effect. If you select Detect Edges, Aperture will try not apply effects outside selected edegs of an area you’re working in. Sometimes zooming in on a image can help in more effectively applying effects.
Also notice that each brush comes with a feather tool for blending or softening effects, and an eraser tool for removing applied effects.
Assign Shortcut Keystrokes to Adjustments
Starting with Aperture 2.0, users could customize and assign shortcut keys to individual tools and other commands. Thankfully this can also be done with all the Presets in Aperture. Simply click on Aperture>Command>Customize in Aperture‘s menu bar to pull up the editor. Aperture will save the default command settings for you. From there you can assign shortcut keys to frequently used presets. For your top, top favorite presets, use Control+Option+Command modifiers, plus a selected key. For example, so far I really like the Toy Camera preset, so I assigned Control+Option+Command+T so that easily remember and apply that effect to photos.
Quick Fix adjustments and presets seem very useful because they are combine several adjustments for each “fix.” Once the effects are applied to an iamge, you can tweak the individual adjustments in the Adjustment panel.
Saving and Editing Presets
You can easily save your own custom presets and edit the exsiting ones. Clicking on Edit Presets brings up a window where you can re-arrange the order of presets. You can also organize presets into folder sets. Presets can be exported and imported, to be used by other Aperture 3.0 users.
Because Aperture 3.0 comes with so many default presets, I took screen shots of them all so as to become more familiar with the numerous offerings. The screenshots also include some custom presets and shortcut keys that I created, so of course they won’t be a part of your sets.