How to Create Custom HDR Presets

How to Create Custom HDR Presets

By Roger Wambolt

Learn how to create, save and share your own custom HDR presets with this quick PaintShop Pro tutorial. If you’re not already familiar with the HDR lab, this will show you how to adjust the various settings (such as vibrancy, contrast, shadows, etc.) to your preference. Once you have created just the right HDR effect for your photo, you can save those settings as a Preset file that will be added to the PaintShop Pro HDR Preset Library.

Now that you know how to create your own preset, why not share it with others? Submit your preset through this form and if your submission is chosen it could be included in the next version of PaintShop Pro!

Creating Your Own HDR Presets in Corel PaintShop Pro


Opening the HDR Lab
With two or more photos selected (the same photo taken at varying exposures) from within the Manage Tab, right-click the selected images and choose HDR > Exposure Merge from the context menu–this will open up your HDR Lab. Remember, the HDR technique can be used on all kinds of photos but usually works best when applied to high-contrast photos, such as landscape photography.

From within this module, creating your HDR preset is a pretty quick and easy process. The first window in front of you merges the various photos you’ve selected and you can brush in or brush out areas of the final merge. This, however, is not an integral part of creating an HDR preset, so we’ll skip over this section (for more on the whole Exposure Merge process, visit the full HDR tutorial for PaintShop Pro). Go ahead and click Process at the bottom of the screen to merge your photos and move on to the next step.


Creating Your Own HDR Preset
Now in front of you is the HDR Adjustments window. In the first pane in the window on the left are a handful of HDR presets. Below this, options and sliders to adjust White Balance, Temperature, Tint, Contrast,  Highlights, Midtones, Shadows, and Vibrancy. You’ll also see a drop-down menu to control the Natural detail (with sliders for Local highlights, Local midtones and Local shadows) and Creative detail (where you can adjust the Strength and Blocks).

To create your own preset, you can start from scratch or use one of the presets as a starting point (like in the example below). Then, to make it your own, simply move the various sliders left or right to adjust the settings and create your own unique HDR effect.

Saving Your HDR Preset
Once you’ve found a look you like, it’s time to save your preset and give it a name. To save the adjustments you’ve made, just click the small disk icon above the library of presets. After clicking, a pop-up box will appear where you can give your HDR preset a name. Click OK and your newly created preset will now appear in the library on the left.

Submitting Your HDR Preset to Corel
Now that your new HDR preset is saved, you’ll need to submit it to the Corel Photo team for consideration for the next PaintShop Pro. First, navigate to the PaintShop Pro folder, locate the

If you received the Discovery Center’s newsletter, you can submit your presets through the form provided, or you can email your presets as attachments to

And that’s it–you’re done! We can’t wait to see all the amazing presets you come up with and to share them with PSP users around the world. So get started today and you could be featured in the next PSP!

Thanks for watching! We hope you found this tutorial helpful and we would love to hear your feedback in the Comments section below. And don’t forget to visit our social media pages and show us what you’ve learned by sharing your photos, videos and creative projects with us.

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