How to Combine Multiple Capture One Styles and Presets

One powerful feature of Capture One styles and presets is the ability to applying and combine several of them on a single image. This is called stacking. With the possibility of stacking styles and presets in Capture One, you get full flexibility and control of how you use styles to optimize your workflow. However, when it comes to combining styles you get even more control by adding them as separate layers as you will experience in this article.

How Stacking Styles and Presets Works in Capture One?

With the stacking option enabled, you can apply multiple styles and presets and mix them according to your preferences and creativity?

You can decide for each tool in Capture One, whether you will allow presets to stack. In many cases, it does make sense to enable preset stacking as long as settings don’t conflict with each other within a single tool.

When working with styles in Capture One, you can also enable stacking, which opens up for you to mix several looks into one fantastic looking photo.

Without the stacking option enabled for styles and presets in Capture One, you can only apply a single style or preset to your image. Applying a second one would cancel the previous corrections applied.

If you have a Capture One preset from the Curves tool, that gives your image a subtle S-curve, you can stack it with a Clarity preset, sharpening preset, or presets that add metadata to your image. You can also stack several presets within a single tool in Capture One.

Likewise, you might have some Capture One styles that deal with color correction issues or gives your image a particular look. You can stack this style with another style, that focuses more on exposure corrections or enhancing visible details in your image.

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Stacking Presets In Capture One

How to Create a Preset in Capture One?

To better understand how to stack presets in Capture One, let us take a practical example.

Before you can stack in Capture One, we need to know how to create the presets that work well with stacking. Begin by making the adjustment you want to save as a preset. In our case, we will use the High Dynamic Range tool as an example. We will create a preset with the Shadow Recovery set to 80.

save capture one presets

Next, select the action menu from the upper right corner of the High Dynamic Range tool (the three lines), and choose Save Preset. In the dialog, make sure that only the setting you have modified is selected. In this example, only Shadow Recovery should be checked. If you leave the Highlight Recovery checked, you will override any highlight recovery settings applied to the image. Click Save when done.

You can make several presets for the High Dynamic Range tool. Like for instance, Highlights +30, Highlights +50, and so on. You can also create several presets for shadow recovery.

Once the presets are created, you can begin to use the presets freely in Capture One whenever you want to speed up processing your images. You can also freely stack the presets as you like. Just remember if you stack presets, which alters one of the sliders you have already adjusted, the latest applied preset will override previous settings.

How to Stack Presets in Capture One?

The photo below needed recovery in both the highlights and the shadows. If you only want to apply a single preset from a tool, you can select it from the action menu in the upper right corner of each tool. However, in this case, we want to apply several presets from a single tool, and therefore we need to check Stack Presets from the action menu.

Once enabled, we can select the presets Highlights +50, and Shadows +80 to recover the highlights and shadows.

The above preset we applied were both from the same tool.

Let us take another example where we combine several presets from several tools.

We can once again begin by recovering a bit of detail from both the highlights and shadows, as shown below.

Next, let us adjust the contrast a bit by using the curve tool and apply a slight S-curve to the luminosity curve (Luma), so we don’t affect the colors but only the tonal values in the image. Once again, we will use one of our custom made Capture One presets.

The last preset we will apply to this image is from the Exposure tool, where we will give the image a bit more Vibrance or vivid colors.

Remember that the first time you work with presets under each tool, you should check the Stack Presets, if you want to enable preset stacking for this tool. A checkmark should indicate that it is turned on, (even though I have also experienced that stacking was turned on, without showing a checkmark).

How To Remove Stacked Presets in Capture One?

If you want to remove a stacked preset that you already applied to a photo, you can do so by clicking on the action menu for the specific tool, and clicking on the applied preset and select clear. You can also find the preset from the list of presets for the tool and uncheck it directly from the list.

stacking capture one presets

Overview of Applied Presets Across Tools

If you lose track of which tools you have been using for applying preset, go to the Styles and Presets tool to see the list of applied presets. On the top, you will see a short list of styles and presets used.

Further down, you can see the complete list of user presets in Capture One and with a checkmark for those currently applied. You can check and uncheck presets from here as well, instead of using the action menu from the individual tools.

How to Stack Capture One Styles?

Stacking styles in Capture One is quite similar to stacking presets. Just remember that styles are different from presets because they contain settings from several tools, instead of only one. This means that settings will often overlap from one style to another. This means that some settings from the first style applied might be overridden. However, this doesn’t mean that stacking styles are not useful. Some styles work with enhancing details, while others concentrate on improving the colors.

To enable stacking styles, go to the Styles and Presets Too and select the action menu and choose Stack Styles.

stacking capture one styles

combining capture one styles and

After enabling Stack Styles, you can apply multiple styles to the same image. However, using this method will apply all the styles to the whole image. This might not be what you want. As an alternative approach, you can also work with “stacking” styles by applying them to separate layers. Using different layers for each style you apply, allows you to combine the power of styles with the masking tools in Capture One.

How to Apply Styles to a Layer in Capture One?

To apply a Capture One style to a new layer, you should go to the Styles and Presets tool, and right-click on the style you want to apply. In the popup, select Apply to New Layer.

Now go to the Exposure tab or any other tab that shows the Layers tool. Here you will see that a new layer has appeared named after the style you applied.

From here, you can work on limiting the effect of the style layer, by adding a mask. In this example, I will apply a Luma Range Mask, to avoid the darker areas, like the foreground, from being affected by the style we applied to the layer. You could also choose to create a Linear Gradient Mask instead.

Next, we will go back to the Styles and Presets tool and look for a Capture One style that can help us enhance the foreground. For this image, I think the foreground looks better when applying the Details Booster style. Right-click to and chose Apply to New Layer.

Now the Details Booster style is applied in a separate layer, but it affects the whole image, which we can correct by using another mask.

Again we have freedom in how to create our mask to limit the effect of the style layer. We will continue using the Luma Range tool to create a luminosity mask that targets the darker tones in the image, so we only enhance the details in these areas.

Now we have successfully applied two styles to two different layers. This is a bit different from stacking styles in the normal way in Capture One. However, it offers the advantage of being able to apply different masks to each of the styles. Furthermore, you can also lower the opacity of each layer and thus, each style, if one of them becomes too dominant in the final image.

Image edited by applying two different styles using layer masks.

Concluding words

Now you have learned how to work with combining multiple styles and presets for editing a single image. Capture One is exceptional in this regards since the ability freely mix both presets, styles with traditional masking techniques opens up for a whole new range of creativity when it comes to working with styles and presets as part of your workflow.

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Hey I’m Peter. I’m the owner and editor of Photography-RAW. I make sure that you get the best articles about photography. Personally, I prefer to shoot landscape, nature and macro photography. I hope you enjoy the site 🙂
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Hey I’m Peter. I’m the owner and editor of Photography-RAW. I make sure that you get the best articles about photography. Personally, I prefer to shoot landscape, nature and macro photography. I hope you enjoy the site 🙂
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How to Combine Multiple Capture One Styles and Presets

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