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Aperture Preset with Texture

April 19, 2011

I’m posting some Aperture and Lightroom presets.
Nothing too crazy, just my usual soft tones/cross process/vintage style.

Take a look if you like, it’s all free of course !

Recently I discovered a trick-hack to add Textures inside the Aperture Brush Adjustments.

You can download this Aperture Preset here at presetpond.

You can replace the TIFF mask generated by Aperture with your favorite texture. Just open the TIFF file with Photoshop paste your greyscale texture, scale it (up or down) to fit the edges and overwrite the original file.

To find the Mask file follow these steps:
Select one of your photo, go to “Curves” brick and enable it. Modify the curve bringing down the middle point (just for test now you will adjust it later)

Now click on the “Brush Curves In”

On The Brush panel, click on the Gear icon (drop down menu) and Click
“Clear from entire photo”.

This will create a black mask file on your disk.

Add a simple brush stroke, like, make and “X” in the middle of the image, in this way, you can make sure that you’re editing the correct mask later on with Photoshop.

Close Aperture.

Now to find this mask you need to dig inside your Aperture Library.

Mine is under “Name of Computer” >Users> “Name of User” > Pictures.

Right click on Aperture Library and choice “Show Package Contents”

You will see a list of folders, double click on “Masks”. You will see a list of subfolders, sort them by Date Modified. Double click on the first folder. You will see one or more subfolders.. again.. double click on the most recent folder. You should now see a tiff file, something called like “CjHwJwD1TuGxP2akef1onA.tiff”

Open it with Photoshop, it should be a black image (Grayscale 8bit file) with a white “X” in the middle.

Now open your texture, convert it into black and white (convert it to grayscale) and adjust the brightness and contrast to make it punchy.

Select all pixels, Copy, go back to the Mask file and Paste.

Now adjust the size of the texture to match the edges of your Mask.
Flatten the layers and save (overwrite) the file.

Now you can re-open Aperture, and the new mask should be loaded.
You can play around with the Curves adjustment now.
The white areas of the mask will show the adjustment. If you want to change this, you can select “Invert” under the Gear icon drop down menu.

Have fun!

P.S. If you want to use these masks/textures on files with different resolutions you will need to re-scale and re-adjust the textures in photoshop again.

Andrea “Rusky” Rascaglia

17 Comments leave one →
  1. Alex permalink
    May 10, 2011 8:43 am

    Amazing presets. The most expressive is “John and Marcus Salvation”, but I can not use it. You could do the same thing for Lightroom? I would be very happy =)

    • May 10, 2011 11:49 am

      I’m glad you like them!
      Usually Lightroom has some limitations because of the RGB curves. By the way, something simple like the “terminator salvation” desaturated look it’s easy to achieve with Lightroom. I’ll try to do it in the next few days šŸ™‚

      • Alex permalink
        May 11, 2011 2:11 am

        Thank you. I will wait šŸ˜€

      • Alex permalink
        May 11, 2011 2:30 am

        Aperture is good, but I’m not yet ready to go to the Mac…

    • May 12, 2011 12:59 am

      Hi Alex, I tried to recreate that “John and Marcus Salvation” look with Lightroom and this is as close as I can go:

      It’s kind hard to do this desaturated look in Lightroom.
      With Aperture it’s easier because you have a lot more tools. Like my favorite is the Color Monochrome, where you can dial in the intensity. RGB Curves also are great in Aperture, and you can stuck one of top of the other.

      Well, download the preset and see if you like it. You will need to adjust the exposure ‘cos probably you’ll get overexposed highlights with this preset.


      • Alex permalink
        May 12, 2011 7:45 am

        Thank you very much. Turned out pretty good. I like it.

        In the future I need to think about buying a Mac. I realized that the Aperture gives more opportunities for Color Correction.

        Sorry for my English, I do not speak English. Only in Russian.

  2. May 12, 2011 4:41 pm

    Yes if you do work with a lot of photographs and you need to apply a global look to all of them, Aperture (for now) it’s the best choice on my opinion.
    Another option, could be just use Photoshop, but it’s a pain when you have to work on a series of pictures.

  3. Alex permalink
    May 12, 2011 8:34 pm

    For a large number of photos Photoshop is not suitable. Totally agree with you.

  4. June 23, 2011 1:17 pm

    All I can say is wow. This hidden feature certainly isn’t user friendly, but thanks to your tutorial, I figured it out. Once it’s saved as a preset, it’s really frigging neat!!! Thanks so much! You’re awesome šŸ™‚

  5. June 23, 2011 2:36 pm

    Cool !
    I wish the new versions of Aperture and Lightroom will let us add texture masks in a more user friendly way…
    This is OK, but every time you paste this preset, it will create a new mask (texture) you library will increase in size pretty soon.. But you can export the files and delete the masks from the original folder

  6. June 24, 2011 2:16 am

    Oh. Interesting. The idea that I was actually adding a 5 meg texture file to the original image hadn’t occurred to me.

    Is there any particular reason why you chose to implement the mask using curves rather than some other adjustment? I’m fascinated by this concept! …especially since I love shooting textures, so I’ve already got a supply of potential textures to work with for creating my own presets.


    • June 24, 2011 6:54 pm

      Hi Rob,
      I think the Curve adjustment is the most powerful color grading tool.
      With one control you can adjust shadows, midtones, highlights..and at the same time you can adjust the colors.
      I always use the RGB curves in other apps too (like Photoshop, After Effects.. even Premiere Pro has the same RGB Curves…) It’s very predictable..
      Of course. for the texture purpose, maybe even other adjustments will work..but since i`m familiar with the curves, I went for that one ! šŸ™‚

      The RGB Curve is the reason why I moved from Lightroom to Aperture (Aperture has a very limited Curve controls…)
      Aperture is the only Apple software I use…I am more of as Adobe fan šŸ™‚


  7. July 27, 2012 3:50 am

    Awesome trick. I’ve been wondering for a long time how to do this. Thanks!

  8. Jan permalink
    August 14, 2012 10:20 pm

    Hi Andrea; I was just wondering if you maybe knew a way to convert Lightroom Preset into Aperture Preset (Effects)?

    • August 14, 2012 10:41 pm

      I’m pretty sure it’s not possible to convert the presets from one software to another, because they use different tools and handle the RAW (or JPEG) in a different day…
      But, of course, it’s possible to recreate a similar preset just eye balling the adjustments.
      Aperture is more sophisticated (in terms of color adjusents/toning)so anything that you could do in Lightroom you can replicate it in Aperture (but not the other day around)

      The only thing I miss in Aperture is the Split Toning.. There is a 3 way color correction tool in Aperture, which supposed to be more powerful (shadows, midtones, highlights instead of just shadow and highlights as Lightroom).. But I can’t really use it very well, it’s kind unpredictable.
      Since Lightoom 4 came out, I didnt use Aperture
      anymore. The new RGB curves in Lightroom 4 is all I always wanted.


  9. November 30, 2015 11:41 pm

    Hi, I did explain this it in my post. If you read, at the end I say this:

    ā€œP.S. If you want to use these masks/textures on files with different resolutions you will need to re-scale and re-adjust the textures in photoshop again.ā€

    BTW This post is kind old, PresetPond is pretty much dead and so is Aperture


  1. Presets voor Apple Aperture

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