Working with Styles and Presets in Layers

Layers / Selections / Styles and Presets

Capture One's Layer's tool allows you to apply Styles and Presets selectively to your images. You can also save groups of adjustments as a User Preset and apply those to batches of images.

Overview

Capture One allows the application of certain built-in and user-customizable Styles and Presets to layers, thereby allowing you to apply groups of adjustments as a specific look or personalized style to selective areas of an image. Styles and Presets can be applied either from the Layers tool after creating a layer, or directly from the Styles and Presets panel, where they can be applied to the background, the selected layer, or a new layer. Not only does this help speed up your workflow, especially if you are working with multiple layers, this new option for Styles and Presets provides a more streamlined workflow. Presets can also be applied to a layer from the tool’s manage preset menu.

Capture One enables you to apply a Style or Preset in different ways, such as to a gradient, or to the image as a whole as an offset, or you can brush it in. Brushing is arguably the most versatile option. The application of a group of adjustments (i.e. a Built-in Style) or a customized group (i.e., a User Style) this way enables you to adopt the brush’s flow control option so you can build-up the effect gradually, in steps. You can even fade the amount applied on each layer retrospectively using the Master Opacity slider - there’s no more guesswork and no more painstaking reapplication of individual adjustments.

There are some restrictions in the way the Styles and Presets can be used, however. When working with the dedicated Styles and Presets panel, they can only be applied from there using the tool’s context menu (ctrl/right-click). If you prefer to brush-in adjustments, you can do so after creating a layer and brushing-in a small area first, allowing you to see the effect on the image as you brush over the rest.

Styles can’t be stacked on the same layer (you must use a new layer for each, where the effects are additive) and where certain settings aren’t compatible they’re disabled, such as those relating to certain features including the crop, keystone correction tools, and the application of metadata. When certain settings are disabled, the Style or Preset may still be applied partially. A dialog will open to advise you.

Capture One allows the application of certain built-in and user-customizable Styles and Presets to layers, thereby allowing you to apply groups of adjustments as a specific look or personalized style to selective areas of an image.

Applying with a brush or a gradient

    When working with Styles and Presets on layers in Capture One they are applied to the layer, which enables you to work with them in a number of ways. When you want to apply a Style or Preset to the whole image, for example, as a color grade to compare with another Style or a normalized adjustment on a layer or background, you should select a new filled layer and apply it to that.

    When you want to apply the Style or Preset selectively you can apply it to an empty layer, then brush the adjustments in or apply them to gradient. When used this way, you can view effect in the Viewer as you make the selection (remember to turn the mask off (M) or enable only show mask when drawing). If you're unsure of the Style to use, make a small selection first and scroll over the list to preview the effect.

    More than one Preset can be applied to a layer and a Preset can be applied to a layer with a Style (i.e., they can be stacked). However, only one Style can be applied to a layer at a time, and those adjustments will be in addition to any already applied to the layer, if there are any. If you want to apply a second Style, create another layer and repeat the steps detailed below. Note Styles or Presets that include adjustments that can't be applied will appear grayed-out in the list.

    1. Select an image in the Browser.
    2. Go to the Layers tool or Viewer’s tool bar, and click on the New Layer button (+ icon) and select the following:
      • New Empty Layer - Use this when you want to make a selection using the brush or gradient. A new empty adjustment layer is created. Ensure the layer is selected from the list, if not already.
      • New Filled Layer - Select this option to apply the Style or Preset to the whole image (e.g., when you want to apply a color grade to a layer or an offset using Levels or the Curve tool).
    3. From the Layers tool’s title bar, select the Action menu button (… icon) or ctrl/right-click on the Layer in the stack. The Action menu opens.
    4. Select Apply Settings From > User Styles / Built-in Styles / User Presets / Built-in Presets, and select the appropriate option. The effect will be applied to the New Filled Layer in the image, or if you selected a New Empty Layer, start brushing or add a gradient. Make a small selection first to preview the effect of the Style.
    5. If you want to apply a different Style or Preset, return to step 4 and select another from the list. The image will be updated as you hover the cursor over the choices in the list. Click on the option in that list to apply the Style’s settings to the selection.

    When working with Styles and Presets on layers in Capture One they are applied to the layer, which enables you to work with them in a number of ways.

    Brushing in directly

    Like most other adjustments, the combination of settings from the Styles and Presets library in the Layers tool can be brushed-in. The recommended workflow is to first create an new empty layer from within the Layers tool, then brush-in a small selection. With a small selection in place, select the Style or Preset from within the Layers tool, so that you can see the effect, and then continue with brushing-in the selection. Note that, while it’s useful to see the effect being applied using the brush, this technique may not be suitable for all images, particularly where edge selection is critical. If you've not used all the available layers, it is recommended to keep the layer dedicated to the chosen Style (or Preset), and thus free of other adjustments.

    1. Select an image in the Browser.
    2. Go to the Layers tool or Viewer’s tool bar, click on the Create New Layer button (+ icon) and select New Empty Layer. A new Adjustment Layer is created. Ensure the relevant layer is selected from the list.
    3. From the foot-bar in the Layers tool click on the Add/Erase Mask button and select the brush cursor Draw Mask (B).
    4. Repeat and select Never Display Mask (M) from the menu. Note this option can be toggled on or off, using the shortcut (M).
    5. Modify the brush as required, and brush-in a small selection on the image.
    6. From the Layers tool’s title bar, select the Action menu button (… icon) or ctrl/right-click on the Layer in the stack. The Action menu opens. 
    7. Select Apply Settings From> User Styles / Built-in Styles / User Presets / Built-in Presets and select the style or preset as desired.
    8. Return to the initial selection and continue to brush-in the effect. The image will be updated in the Viewer as you apply the selection.
    9. If you want to apply a different Style or Preset, return to step 6 and select another from the list. The image will be updated as you hover the cursor over the different choices in the list. Click on the option to apply the new settings to the selection.

    Like other adjustment settings, the combination of settings from the Styles and Presets library in the Layers tool can be brushed-in.

    Applying to a filled layer

    When you want to apply a Style or Preset to a mask covering the whole image, simply add a New Filled Layer and then choose the effect. You might want to use this option, for example, to either erase a small area, keeping the rest for the adjustment, or for the application of an offset in a normalized workflow, applied either to the background or another layer, as preferred. 

    When working with any layer, the adjustments made to each are additive including any made to the background layer, so you may want disable the layers after adding the adjustments or label them first.

    The following workflow is based on creating a new filled layer using the Layers tool, after applying adjustments to the background layer, however, the same workflow can be adopted for another layer instead of using the background. For more information on working directly from the Styles and Presets panel, please see the section on Applying Styles to Layers.

    1. Select an image in the Browser and, for example, apply a Normalization adjustment, an Auto-adjustment, White-Balance correction or an Auto-Levels, etc,. The adjustment is made to the Background layer.
    2. Go to the Layers tool or Viewer’s tool bar, click on the New Layer button (+ icon) and select New Filled Layer. A new Adjustment Layer is created. Ensure the relevant layer is selected from the list.
    3. From the Layers tool’s title bar, select the Action menu button (… icon) or ctrl/right-click on the Layer in the stack. The Action menu opens.
    4. Select Apply Settings From > User Styles / Built-in Styles / User Presets / Built-in Presets and select the option as desired. A new filled layer is added and the Style or Preset is applied to the mask.
    5. To display a before/after view of the normalized image and the offset (i.e., the applied Style or Preset) before deciding which one to adopt, toggle the adjustments on/off by adding/removing the check-mark in the chosen Layer's bar.
    6. Repeat from step 2 to add another layer and a new Style or Preset as necessary.

    When you want to apply a Style or Preset to a whole layer of an image, simply add a New Filled Layer and then choose the effect.

    Applying to batches

    You can apply Styles or Presets to layers in batches of images by either adding a new Style or Preset to a New Layer (e.g., a new filled layer to apply the effect to the whole image) in each or, if Capture One detects existing adjustments layers in the selected images, apply the Style or Preset to the topmost layer in the stack. The topmost option is particularly useful when you’ve created a masked layer from a color selected using the Color Editor. If a mask is detected on the topmost layer, Capture One will apply the adjustments to the mask. If a Style was used on that layer, it will be replaced with the new one.

    1. Select all of the images in the Browser that you want to apply a Style or Preset on a layer to.
    2. Ensure Edit All Selected Variants is enabled from the Edit menu or toolbar.
    3. Go to the Layers tool, click on the New Layer button (+ icon) and select from the New Filled Layer from the list. A new filled layer is created for the primary variant.
    4. Ctrl/right-click on the layer bar in the primary variant or select the action button (… icon) in the title bar and select Apply Settings From > User Styles / Built-in Styles / User Presets / Built-in Presets and scroll over the list to preview the effect on the primary variant in the Viewer.
    5. Select the Style or Preset from the menu, adding a check-mark. A dialog box opens asking if you would like to create a New Layer in each and apply the Style or Preset or, if there are any layers detected, apply it to the Topmost layer in the selected variants.
    6. The Style will be applied to the new layer in the primary variant and will be applied to the others in the batch according to your choice in step 5.

    You can apply Styles or Presets to layers in batches of images.

    Copying between images

    You can copy a Style or Preset on a layer between images. If there’s more than one layer on the primary variant they will all be copied and applied to the selected variants.

    1. Select the image and apply a Style or Preset to a layer, either using the Layers tool or Style and Presets panel.
    2. Select the image you want to apply the new layer complete with the Style or Preset to. Ensure the Edit Selected Variants option is enabled from the Edit menu or from the toolbar.
    3. Click on the Copy and Apply button (double-headed arrow icon) in the header bar. Alternatively, choose from the Adjustments menu, main tool-bar, or Adjustments Clipboard, select Copy Adjustments, or Copy, respectively.
    4. From the option chosen above in step 3, select Apply Adjustments, or Apply, respectively. The layer or layers if more than one will be copied with the adjustments to the selected variants.

    You can copy a Style or Preset on a layer between images. If there’s more than one layer on the primary variant they will all be copied and applied to the selected variants.

    Save settings as a Style

    If you regularly use a combination of adjustment settings, or if there’s a Style that you modify in the same way regularly, the Layer’s tool can be used to save these additional settings as a seperate User Style.

    1. Create a mask using the brush (B), gradient (G), or color selection, and apply the necessary adjustments.
    2. From the Layers tool, select the Action button menu (… icon) in the title bar or ctrl/right-click on the Layer in the stack. The Action menu opens.
    3. Select Save Settings as Style from the menu.
    4. The Save Style Adjustments Clipboard dialog window opens.
    5. Select the parameters you want saved by adding a checkmark to each and select Save to create the Style, or Cancel to close the dialog and continue working.
    6. If Save was selected, a system dialog opens.
    7. Give the Style a meaningful name in the Save As field, then select Save, or Cancel to close the dialog and continue working.

    If you regularly use a combination of adjustment settings or if there’s a Style that you modify in the same way regularly, the Layer’s tool can be used to save these settings as a User Style.

    Organizing Styles

    To keep User Styles organized, you can save Styles in a folder as they’re created. This is useful if you have a progressively expanding library of styles and want to group similar combinations of settings together. The folder will be display separately in the Layer’s tool Action menu > Apply Settings From > User Styles > [Folder Name].

    1. Follow the steps 1 through 6 in Saving settings as a Style (above).
    2. Give the Style a meaningful name in the Save As field of the system dialog window.
    3. Select New Folder and type a meaningful name for a collection.
    4. Select Save, or Cancel to close the dialog and continue working.

    To keep User Styles organized you can save Styles in a folder as they’re created, which is useful if you have a progressively expanding library of styles and want  to group similar settings combinations together.