OPAL - Opacity Slider for Lightroom Presets - $15
Meet Opal – the tiny (but brilliant) Lightroom plugin for adjusting Lightroom Preset strength. It works like having a Lightroom Opacity slider, so you can turn down (or crank up) any Lightroom preset in seconds.
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Have you ever wished you had a "Lightroom opacity slider" that let you tone down the intensity of your Lightroom presets?
Since I started NATE Photographic, I've gotten emails about this almost every day: "Help! When I apply a Lightroom preset, I find the effect is usually too strong for a photo. Is there a way I can easily turn down the strength of the preset, like an opacity slider in Lightroom?"
As a preset designer and Lightroom trainer, this doesn't surprise me at all. Because here's the problem...
Adjusting Lightroom Presets by hand is complicated, time-consuming & rage-inducing
Why? Because Lightroom presets can have very complex settings in them. There are over 50 individual settings you can adjust, not to mention Lightroom's tone curves (how do you accurately adjust the strength of those by hand???).
Just look at this wall of settings you'd need to go through!
If you have ever tried to adjust each setting by hand, I'm guessing it ended with you either giving up, or throwing your laptop against the wall in a tone-curve-induced rage. (Ok, maybe not, but still, it sucks, right?).
Meet Opal - the crazy good Lightroom Opacity Slider for all your presets
So many photographers were asking me for a feature like this that eventually, I decided to make my own Lightroom Plugin called "Opal" (a combination of the words "opacity" and "lightroom" – get it??) Ready to see how easy it is to edit in Lightroom with Opal? Watch this:
(ABOVE VIDEO: Using the Opal Opacity Slider on EX07 from E-Chrome Preset Pack)
Having a tool like this makes it so easy to find the perfect strength of any preset in just a few seconds, without the pain or frustration of trying to adjust the preset one setting at a time.
The most thrilling part for me about making Opal is getting to use it now everyday in my own Lightroom workflow. It really is fun to use. Here are a few things I think you'll love about using Opal too:
Opal makes it fast & easy to adjust Lightroom Presets
With Opal, it's incredibly easy to get just the right effect of any preset. Just start editing your image as you normally would. You can try out different presets, or adjust any settings you want.
Whenever you're ready, hit the UP ARROW (↑) and your Opal Opacity Slider will pop up!
Now, you can drag the Opal slider to change the opacity of your settings. Opal does all the work for you, adjusting all the settings of the preset in unison, to fine-tune the strength of those settings.
Wanna edit even faster? Opal has a number of shortcuts that make editing your photos lightning fast. Check out theto learn more.
Opal works great with ANY Lightroom Preset (yep, even that one)
It was important to me that Opal work well with ANY Lightroom Preset (yes, even one that I didn't design). This means making sure that Opal could work with Lightroom presets that use custom camera profiles (like VSCO presets, NATE presets, DVLOP presets, etc). And work with presets that use a custom White Balance (and give you a way to choose the white balance you mix it with).
Here's an example of Opal adjusting the strength of a VSCO film preset (in this case, it's Portra 800+¹ ++ from VSCO 06):
Opal works flawlessly here, even with VSCO's custom camera profile, and complex R/G/B tone curves!
Opal makes complex adjustments simple
One feature I really wanted was a way to adjust the opacity of different Lightroom settings individually, to create more complex adjustments in Lightroom.
It would be WAY too overwhelming to include every setting (or even every Lightroom panel) to Opal. So instead, I've grouped the advanced options using the 4 building blocks of Lightroom style I teach in my Lightroom Mastery course.
So now, you can independently adjust the Tones, ColorCast, ColorPalette & Details of your presets. This is so SO powerful! In just a few seconds, you can make advanced edits that used to take hours, and design amazing new preset variations with a few clicks.
Opal makes smarter choices, so you get better results
What's the point of an opacity slider if your final image quality isn't amazing, right? Of course, just the fact that this keeps your workflow RAW in Lightroom is a plus. But, it's also important that it makes smart choices about how to fade your presets.
As a preset designer, this is one area where I've seen other Lightroom plugin's fail. They assume that all settings should fade linearly – which works fine on some of the simple settings, but starts to break apart on others (particularly tone curves).
SO, for Opal, I built a dynamic interpolation engine that produces better results than linear interpolation. Basically, it builds in my deep knowledge of Lightroom and preset design into Opal, so you don't even have to think about it.
Ready to get better, faster Lightroom editing with Opal?
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Version 1.2 Release Notes:
Hey guys! Lots of great stuff in the newest release. Check it out!
Windows Shortcut Key
Opal now includes shortcut key for Windows users!
More Shortcut Key Options.
Both Mac and Windows users have multiple options for what shortcut key they want to use.
Quick Start PDF guides:
Both Mac and Windows versions now include a quick start PDF, which shows you step by step how to setup and use OPAL.
Better instructions + error reporting.
The installer and activator now gives more specific directions to users (and error reporting if something goes wrong)
In Advanced Mode, Opal will detect if photo is in color or black and white mode. For color photos, they will see a "color" checkbox item. For b+w photos, they will see a "bw mix" item
Opal advanced settings are now "sticky" - meaning Opal will remember what you used the last time.
Other Various Fixes
Including black & white conversion issue, invoking from outside the develop module, and more.