When I started using Lightroom, I thought it would be very handy to be able to import all my Camera Raw presets into the developing room. Afterall, I’ve spent the past couple of years developing them and they’re the same options as far as I could see. Wrong.
I thought it would be a matter of copy and pasting the files from the Camera Raw folder into the Lightroom one. Which is what I initially tried. It didn’t work. So I saved a setting from Lightroom, had a look back in the folder and it has some strange .LRTEMPLATE file to store the settings.
Not sure who thought that was a good idea. It’s probably just the same Camera Raw .XMP file but with some changes to make .XMP unreadable.
As far as I can tell, the following is the only way to import the Camera Raw settings into Lightroom (at the time of writing).
Essentially, we need to get a bunch of photos, apply one preset to each photo, click done to save the XMP sidecar file, then open those files with Lightroom, go to Develop on each one (it will read the sidecar files with your Camera Raw settings) and click the plus sign to save as a Lightroom preset.
It shouldn’t take very long, depending on the number of presets you have. Personally, I had about 25 Camera Raw presets that I use and tweak further for my photos. I’m not sure if that’s a lot or not. Took me about 10 minutes to go through them all and make the Lightroom files.
Step by step
Open Photoshop and import a Raw photo, then go and check to see how many preset files you have. You’ll need to open the same number of files to apply one preset to each.
Cancel Camera Raw and go and select the number of raw files you need. In my case it was about 25. Import them into Camera Raw (don’t worry – we’re not going to be opening them all with Photoshop)
Now select the first photo, then go to the presets tab and select the first preset. Then select the second photo, apply second preset and so on, until you have one preset for each photo. Shouldn’t take too long.
When you’re done, press the Done button – not the okay button which will open all the photos in Photoshop (which, if you have a fairly slow computer like mine, could take ages). Pressing the Done button simply writes the sidecar file with the settings.
Close Photoshop and open Lightroom. Go to the folder where those Raw files and sidecar files are saved. Select the first photo and Press D to go to the develop section.
The photo should look pretty much the same as in Camera Raw (if it doesn’t, wait a few seconds for Lightroom to read the sidecar file and apply the settings).
Now click on the little plus sign to save a preset. It’s not really well labeled. I thought the plus sign would grow and shrink that palette when i first saw it.
Give it a name or a number – done. Your first preset has been created. Now, press the right arrow key to move to the next photo. Again, click the plus sign, name it, and so on through the folder.
Before too long you should have all the presets saved into Lightroom’s own strange little .LRTEMPLATE preset files.