Updating Develop Presets for Lightroom 4

If you’ve upgraded to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 from previous versions of Lightroom, you may have noticed that some of your Develop Presets might create a different look in LR4 than you saw in LR3.  We revamped our image processing algorithm in Lightroom 4.  In particular, presets that include adjustments to any of the following attributes will likely give you different results in LR4:

  • Exposure
  • Brightness
  • Contrast
  • Fill Light
  • Highlight Recovery
  • Black Clipping
  • Clarity
  • Tone Curve

Before you begin, we recommend making a back-up of your existing Develop Presets.  The easiest way to do so is by going to Preferences > Presets > Location and clicking the “Show Lightroom Presets Folder.”  Make a copy of this folder in Windows Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) and save it someplace safe.

For user-created PRE-Lr4 Develop Presets that contain settings for any of the attributes listed above, the easiest way to insure that the look and intent of the Develop Preset is maintained is by saving them with their Process Version included.

  1. Select an image and go to the Develop Module in Lightroom 4.
  2. Set the Process Version to 2010.  This is in the Camera Calibration panel on the lower right hand side.
  3. Select the appropriate Develop Preset created in Lightroom 3 or earlier
  4. Select the “+” button in the Preset Panel.  This allows you to save the current settings as a new Preset.  Make sure that the “Process Version” checkbox is checked.
  5. Hit the Save button.  We recommend creating a specific folder for Lightroom 3 presets that you update in this fashion.
  6. Now your LR3 preset will create the same results in Lightroom 4.

You can also recreate your Develop Presets in order to take full advantage of PV2012, the revamped image processing algorithm in Lightroom 4.  You can do this by:

  1. Select an image and go into the Develop Module in Lightroom 4
  2. Select the appropriate Develop Preset created in Lightroom 3 or earlier.
  3. Set the Process Version to 2012. This is in the Camera Calibration panel on the lower right hand
  4. Review the image and make adjustments until the image meets your visual expectation for the Preset.  Please note that some images might require significant tweaking at this step.
  5. Save the Preset with a new name.

33 Responses to Updating Develop Presets for Lightroom 4

  1. Bob Sanderson says:

    Certainly this is doable but….is there not an easier way to import all the presets and have them function as before?

    • Liza Laurel says:

      There is nothing complicated about this

      • Bob Sanderson says:

        Apparently you like repetitive work, but I am busy.

      • Bob Sanderson says:

        Perhaps you have the time but I don’t have the time to manually do this for each and every one. Maybe you have a handful – I don’t.

      • Casey Kopp says:

        It is not complicated but it is time consuming. I have to re-train new and existing employees to know when to do what. This costs money. Perhaps for a hobbyist this is fine but for a business with thousands of photos and many, many presets it is not.

      • Tracy Pinto says:

        When will the censorship stop?

      • Bob Sanderson says:

        You don’t get it. If you have a lot of presets, tens of thousands of photos and employees doing the work it requires a lot of extra time to manage and assure similar results. It is easy for one person with a few presets sure.

  2. Matt says:

    I can’t move from L4 to Nik Silver Effects Pro 2 the way I did in L3. What should I do? Thanks.

  3. Jay Kinghorn says:

    I’m wondering how the change to 2012 PV affects DNG profiles created using earlier versions of LR using Adobe DNG converter or X-Rite Color Checker Passport software. Is the DNG profile calculated “upstream” from the process value-making the new PV irrelevant to the DNG profile creation, or is the PV information applied prior to the DNG profile which would mean that we should create our DNG profiles?

    Thanks for your time.

  4. Patrick A Samuelson says:

    My feeling is that Adobe when designing upgrades has concentrated more on forcing customers to upgrade to get features like the latest Raw while forgetting to make sure their products are so attractive and valuable that, of course, we all want to upgrade. When you are forced, some of the joy of getting a new toy is gone. Adobe think about it.

    • Richard Edwards says:

      Hello …….

      It’s ALL about the revenue stream. I was going to skip PS5 ’till they made that expensive!

      Knuckle under and pay………

      Regards, Dick

    • Bob Sanderson says:

      Patrick is correct in my opinion and I wonder how many people have been turned off and chosen other available options (Adobe probably has no idea). I have been with Adobe since almost the beginning but I have harbored a slow burning annoyance about this very issue.

  5. Sandy Christian says:

    I think Patrick S makes a very good point that should give Adobe pause on their current strategy.

  6. Clarissa Chambers says:

    I don’t know what Adobe’s marketing strategy is but I do know that they depend on making us upgrade whether we want to or not. They should have more confidence and treat their imbedded base better.

  7. Chris Ogden says:

    Come on guys, they dropped the upgrade price to $76 (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=lightroom+4+upgrade&N=0&InitialSearch=yes).

    If you can’t justify that cost in the time savings, let alone the drastically improved image quality, then skip this upgrade. If you’ve bought a brand new Canon 5D Mark III or something, then envision this as less than the cost of a good filter for a lens.

    It’s a huge value. It supports Adobe engineers keeping the product current, let alone improving this critical tool!

  8. Chris Ogden says:

    That said, I (and others) are frustrated by a couple of their choices to “dumb down” lightroom and not even give existing users a Preference to continue to access functionality that has been present from the product’s genesis. It would be courteous/nice of Adobe to continue to support Choice within their user base (eg, see post at http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/lr_data_loss_from_global_status_flags_bug_not_feature )

  9. Tom Mikkelsen says:

    The LR4 and LR4.1 Develop Module is slow and quite awkward to use compared to LR3. Several of the sliders don’t work at all. This is the first time that I have had any critical comment about this program. I suspect that LR4 was released far too soon or that too much emphasis has been placed on the the development of the map and video modules to the detriment of photo processing. I can’t continue to use it and will revert to using LR3.

  10. Dennis Coello says:

    My pre-Lightroom 4 workflow was to crop and make other changes in LR to the RAW files I’d imported, then hit Control-E to take a single photo into Photoshop 5 if I wished to use one of its tools. All LR adjustments to that RAW file transferred into PS, and followed with that image back into LR when saved. Now, however, adjustments to JPEG and TIFF files in LR transfer to PS, but changes made to RAW files within LR do not. Why is this? I hoped LR 4.1 would return this capability, but it appears that only crop settings transfer properly; other adjustments do not. Yes, one can make PS alterations first, but I don’t always know I’ll need PS tools when first beginning to work up files in LR. I like LR 4′s new abilities, but will switch back to LR 3.6 if RAWs can’t be transferred with changes.

  11. Paulo Parreira says:

    There are some issues with import/export and merge catalogue. My iMac and my MBPro just goes terribly slow when i import (RAW) or export to jpeg with watermark (processor reaches 100%).
    Does not merge catalogue between my two computers as it used to in LR3.

  12. Rima Berzin says:

    Ykes. Dennis your comment about RAW file changes not transfering to PS makes me a bit nervous. I haven’t tried that yet. I do love the improved image quality, but YUK the time consuming job of saving LR3 presets to function in LR4 is truly a time consuming (yes I understand it’s easy)and annoying chore.

  13. Rima Berzin says:

    Yikes. Dennis your comment about RAW file changes not transfering to PS makes me a bit nervous. I haven’t tried that yet. I do love the improved image quality, but YUK the time consuming job of saving LR3 presets to function in LR4 is truly a time consuming (yes I understand it’s easy)and annoying chore.

    I REALLY REALLY hope I don’t have the merge catalogue issues that Paulo speaks of. That would really be a nightmare. Ok I’m spooked but moving forward and thinking positively.

  14. Rima Berzin says:

    MODERATOR

  15. Rima Berzin says:

    MODERATOR – OOPS sorry, I didn’t mean to post twice. I hit the return button before I was finished. User error :/

    Is it possible to delete my first reply and also my web link? thanks and so sorry.

  16. gavinkwhite says:

    There seems to an important step missing from these instructions – surely the preset should be saved to work with the current (2012) process version? As it stands with the instructions above, the new saved preset changes the process version back to 2010, and the “!” (update to current process version) icon appears below the image (and this will happen every time the ‘new’ preset is used).

  17. gavinkwhite says:

    There seems to an important step missing from these instructions – surely the preset should be saved to work with the current (2012) process version? As it stands with the instructions above, the new saved preset changes the process version back to 2010, and the “!” (update to current process version) icon appears below the image (and this will happen every time the ‘new’ preset is used).

  18. Zoriah says:

    I never post to thread online but I am doing this in hopes that Adobe is paying attention. This is the last time I will purchase an Adobe program, as it is just not worth the time and frustration to upgrade. If Adobe is not willing to take the time to figure out how to make their presets work from one version to another, then I think I will switch to Aperture and hope that Mac, in their tradition of good customer service, does a better job. Since Lightroom 1 I have made dozens and dozens of presets and now, all of sudden, I am expected to sit down and re-make all of them? “Significant tweaking” I should say so! It took me weeks to figure out why half of my photos looked different after upgrading from Lightroom 2 to 3, now it begins again. It is great to offer new features in a program but if it comes at the cost of having to spend days working after every upgrade, you can count me out.

    • Pete Green says:

      Hi Zoriah,

      Thanks for your feedback. We are always looking to improve lightroom, sorry to hear that the recent process changes have caused you the need for more work for your presets. I do hope that with the new technology and algorithm included in PV2012 you are able to get better results with your photos with minimal effort than with previous process versions.

      • Mikael says:

        Dear Adobe & Mr. Green,

        You really are not listening to your customers, are you? I’ll try and make it easy for you:

        WE DO NOT HAVE THE TIME/MONEY TO MANUALLY CHANGE EACH OF OUR HUNDREDS OF PRESETS.

        We require a batch processor, as in: LRS Presets in -> LR4 Presets out.

        Do you get it now?

        • Pete Green says:

          Hi Mikael,

          I am reading, and responding to what has been written.
          That is fine if you don’t have the time to change all of your hundreds of presets. You don’t HAVE to.

          You CAN still use PV2010 presets in LR4 if you’d like, you just won’t get the same results you would if you used PV2012 to process your image.
          You could use the pv2010 preset, then switch to PV2012 for final processing if you’d like as well. There are options.

          If you do want to use PV2012 with your specific presets, then yes, the presets need updating since the process options have different numeric values and values associated with those numbers. Currently, there is no automated means for doing that since the values are different and preset specifics are based on the eye of the beholder.

          This post: http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/lightroom_3_presets_in_lightroom_4#reply_7989355
          shows how you can see which process version you’re using while working on your image, and how to switch between the options.

          Others are having fun testing out the different results between pv2010 vs pv2012.
          It is up to you which process version you’d like to use moving forward.

  19. Mark Forte says:

    Dear Mr. Green and everyone on the Lightroom development team,

    I think we all understand that we can keep images processed under Process 2010 by leaving the process unchanged. We also understand that Process 2012 does things differently and probably better. What I, at least, do not understand – and I think this is bothering Zoriah and others – is why converting to process 2012 does not keep the image _looking_ the same.

    Why can’t Lightroom just make the appropriate adjustments for us? Then we could move forward making new adjustments with the new tools, if we choose. Can Adobe tell us, at least, how to approximate adjustments to the affected tools, so we are not grasping for straws trying to make adjustments? I have tried to approximate the results on virtual copies switched to process 2012, and I simply cannot achieve the same appearance.

    I can honestly say I am not “having fun testing out the different results”. If there really is no fix for this, then I beg you, please, please do make this type of change again in subsequent versions.

    • Pete Green says:

      Thanks for the feedback Mark. Lightroom currently doesn’t do the work for you with PV conversion, but that sounds like it’d be feature request worthy.
      Post it here for the LR team to see: http://phtshp.us/Feature_Request
      Others can vote on your request to give it added weight.

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  21. Andrew says:

    Could you confirm how to import custom made Camera Profiles which I have made in LR3 and which I want to continue to use in LR 4 with images which I will continue to work in with Process 2010. Thanks