Working with Aurora HDR Looks

Aurora HDR Looks allow you to make instant changes to your HDR image with one click of a button. Each Aurora HDR Look is made up of all the saved filters as well as the settings used for each of those filters. A different Aurora HDR Look can be applied to each layer, which can make for some creative results!

Applying an Aurora HDR Look

In order to save time when developing your image, you’ll find an extensive collection of Aurora HDR Looks. Professional photographers from around the world have helped us to create a comprehensive group of Aurora HDR Looks that give your images amazing enhancements in a single click.

To apply an Aurora HDR Look:

  1. Make sure an image is open in Aurora HDR 2019.
  2. If the Aurora HDR Looks Panel isn’t visible, click its button in the top toolbar.  
The Aurora HDR Looks Panel will open at the bottom edge of the screen. You can click the Aurora HDR Looks Panel button in the top toolbar to toggle between displaying and hiding the filmstrip bar at the bottom of the window.
    Working with Aurora HDR Looks
  3. Examine the Aurora HDR Looks available by exploring their thumbnails at the bottom of the page.  Each offers a live preview of what the image would look like with the Preset applied.
  4. Click on an Aurora HDR Look thumbnail to apply it. All the settings of the current Aurora HDR Look are immediately applied to the image. A gold frame highlights the current Aurora HDR Look.
  5. You can quickly switch Aurora HDR Looks by clicking on a new thumbnail. To view all the Aurora HDR Looks in a given category, simply use the arrow keys on your keyboard or the horizontal scrollbar located at the bottom of the Aurora 2019 window.
  6. If you hover your mouse over an. Aurora HDR Look, an Amount slider is revealed with the default set at 100% opacity. By dragging the Amount slider located within the Aurora HDR Look name, you can lower the intensity of the effect on your image.
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  7. Click the Star icon on a Look thumbnail to add it to your Favorites list for easy access.

Loading Additional Aurora HDR Looks

There are many  Aurora HDR Looks included with Aurora HDR 2019.  To make it easy to manage these Aurora HDR Looks, you’ll find that they are organized into several groups and categories.

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Choosing a Group

Looks are organized into three major groups. To view these options, click the Categories menu at the top edge of the Looks Panel.  You’ll now see several groups (as well as categories) to choose from, including:

  • All Aurora HDR Looks shows you both  Aurora HDR Looks created by the Skylum team as well as any that you’ve saved or imported. These are listed in alphabetical order.
  • Favorite Aurora HDR Looks are the  Aurora HDR Looks that you tagged with a star. (Just click the hollow star on each thumbnail. Use these Aurora HDR Looks to create a consistent edit across a series of images or to keep a shortlist of your favorite adjustments. To remove an Aurora HDR Look from the favorite's list, click the star again.

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Choosing a Category

Presets are also organized into categories to help sort them by style.  These categories include  Aurora HDR Looks created by Skylum and professional photographers. To view by category, click the Collections menu at the top of the Aurora HDR Looks panel.  You’ll now see several collections to choose from including:

  • Essentials — versatile, built-in  Aurora HDR Looks suitable for all kinds of images
  • Landscape — suitable for nature and landscape images
  • Architecture — suitable for architecture, cities, and urban landscapes
  • Dramatic — a set of creative Aurora HDR Looks for stylized photos
  • Artistic – a collection of creative Aurora HDR Looks to stylize your photos
  • Trey Ratcliff Looks — signature Aurora HDR Looks by Trey Ratcliff
  • Serge Ramelli Looks — signature  Aurora HDR Looks by Serge Ramelli
  • Randy Van Duinen Looks – professional  Aurora HDR Looks for architectural photography

Customizing Aurora HDR Looks

Remember, an Aurora HDR Look is merely a starting point. Different photographers will desire different visual styles.  Plus, an Aurora HDR Look may work great on some photos, but need a little tweaking for others.  Once you select an Aurora HDR Look, you have the ability in the Side Panel to use Filters controls to modify that Aurora HDR Look to fit your specific image.

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Saving Custom Aurora HDR Looks

As you adjust Aurora HDR Looks or build your own recipes from scratch, you may find a particular combination that you like.  Custom  Aurora HDR Looks can function as the jumping off point for your own look and style. An Aurora HDR Look can store a lot of control in an easy, one-click effect.

  • Adjust an existing Aurora HDR Look or add your own effects to an image.
  • Click the Save Filters as Aurora HDR Look button at the bottom-right of the Filters controls.
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  • A dialog will pop-up at the top of the window asking you to name your Look.
Give it a descriptive name to help you remember what situations a Look is useful for.Click the Create New Aurora HDR Look button to store the  Aurora HDR Look. Once you've added the Look, it will appear in the User Aurora HDR Looks group.
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Modifying Custom Looks

There are additional features for user Looks that are not available for built-in Looks. To access the menu for a user Look, click the small triangle next to a Look's name while hovering over the Look’s thumbnail image.

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  • Update with Current Settings — Overwrites or re-saves the Aurora HDR Look using the current state of the sliders in the Filters controls.
  • Delete — Deletes the current user Aurora HDR Look.
  • Rename — Renames the current Aurora HDR Look.   
  • Show in Finder — Opens a Finder (Mac) or File Explorer (PC) window for the currently selected Aurora HDR Look file. This allows you to copy the Aurora HDR Look and pass it on to someone else.
  • Export — Saves the current Aurora HDR Look file to a location of your choice.

Sharing a Custom Look

Any Aurora HDR Looks you make can be shared with other users, manually backed up to a new location, or copied to a new computer.  You can freely export your own Aurora HDR Looks and import another person’s Looks into your application.

  1. To view any Custom Aurora HDR Looks simply chose File > Show Aurora HDR Looks Folder….  Aurora HDR 2019 Looks have the file extension .maup. 
  2. Select the Aurora HDR Looks you want to share, then send them to fellow Aurora HDR 2019 users.
  3. To copy  Aurora HDR Looks on another machine, just choose File > Show Presets Folder… on the other computer.
  4. Simply drag the new Aurora HDR Looks into your Aurora HDR Looks Folder. All Aurora HDR Looks in this folder should appear in the Custom category and the All Looks category.
  5. For best results, restart Aurora HDR 2019 to load all the new  Aurora HDR Looks.


You can take precise control over your Custom Aurora HDR Looks with the File>Show Looks Folder… command.
To export, you can simply copy files from this folder.
To import, just copy the files into the new  Aurora HDR Looks folder.
To delete an Aurora HDR Look, you can simply delete the  Aurora HDR Look file in the folder.

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Adding a Custom Looks Pack

Occasionally Skylum or other professional photographers will release a collection of  Aurora HDR Looks, called “Packs”.

When you import a Custom Looks Pack, it will create a new category in the Presets category window, and display any associated Aurora HDR Looks therein.

To add a Custom Looks Pack, select the menu item File > Import Aurora HDR Looks Pack. An Open dialog box is displayed, allowing you to choose the Aurora HDR Looks Pack you wish to add.

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