One of the things I have noticed since using the Lightroom 4 is that my adjustment brushes that I created for LR3 just don’t give the same results as they used to. The reason for this is that the adjustment sliders have changed since Lightroom 3. The clarity brush is a perfect example for this, as the clarity slider is now twice as strong as it was in Lightroom 3.
I have created a new set of adjustment brush presets especially for the new Lightroom 4 and as it was my 40th birthday this weekend, I would like to make them freely available to you.
There are four brushes in the download at the end of this post. Three of the brushes are for retouching the eyes and eyebrows and the final brush, I use for skin softening without losing detail and texture.
As you can see in the before and after image above, the effect of the brushes is quite subtle as I wish to enhance rather than overkill the image. There is nothing quite so distracting than eye whites that have the Tipp-ex look, with the whites popping off the page.
The first brush is the SB Eyes preset and is used to add a touch of colour, brightness and clarity to the iris. Paint on the colour part of the eye using the SB Eyes brush, using the erase brush to remove the adjustment from other areas of the eye.
With all of these brushes they are are good starting point for editing the eyes.. individual images may need more or less adjustment depending on the lighting conditions of your shot.
Next I use the SB Clarity brush to add depth and clarity to eyelashes and eyebrows..
The Clarity brush is also great for adding a little oomph to hair, so have a play and see where else you can use it.
The third brush is for brightening the whites of the eyes. I make very delicate changes to exposure and remove any colour cast showing in the whites. Again, with this brush I apply the preset to the whites and then carefully remove the excess using the erase brush.
The last brush in this set is for skin softening. Too much skin softening can lead to a plastic skin tone that looks very unrealistic. We want to soften the skin while maintaining the underlying textures.
The result of these brushes can be seen below
To install these brush presets, download and then unzip the link below
and save the 4 presets into the Lightroom Settings \ Local Adjustment Presets folder as shown below..
If you struggle to find the folder to put the presets in, search for the folder named ‘Local Adjustment Presets’ and that should be the one
I hope that you find these brushes helpful and I’d love to hear your feedback below