An Overview of Brushed Adjustments

In Aperture, you brush an adjustment when you want to specify the area of the image the adjustment is applied to. Most adjustments in Aperture can be brushed on images. You simply specify the parameter settings for an adjustment, previewing the effect of the adjustment on the entire image, and then you choose to either brush the adjustment “in” or brush the adjustment “away” using the adjustment’s Action pop-up menu.

You brush an adjustment in when you want to apply the adjustment to a specific portion of the image rather than the whole image. When you choose to brush an adjustment in, the adjustment is applied to specific portions of the image as you brush it on.

Figure. Image showing a circular overlay with a plus sign indicating the position of the brush and that the adjustment is being brushed in.

You brush an adjustment away when the area you want to apply the adjustment to is larger than the area you don’t want the adjustment applied to. When you choose to brush an adjustment away, Aperture applies the adjustment to the entire image, and you use the eraser brush to remove the adjustment from the areas of the image that don’t need the adjustment.

Figure. Image showing a circular overlay with a minus sign indicating the position of the brush and that the adjustment is being brushed away.

When you brush an adjustment on an image, a Brush button appears at the top of the adjustment controls for that adjustment.

Figure. Brush button in the Enhance area of the Adjustments inspector.

Aperture also provides Quick Brush adjustments that have been specifically designed for brushing on images. Using Quick Brush adjustments, you brush an adjustment on the image and then modify the adjustment’s parameter settings. Several of the adjustments and adjustment parameters in Aperture have Quick Brush equivalents: Noise Reduction, Saturation, Sharpen, Contrast, and Vibrancy.

However, a few Quick Brush adjustments are uniquely designed to fix imperfections best remedied with selective brushing. Examples are Halo Reduction and Skin Smoothing. When you identify the area of an image that is ideally suited for a Quick Brush adjustment, you choose the appropriate Quick Brush from the Adjustments pop-up menu in either the Adjustments inspector or the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD.

Figure. Quick Brush adjustments in the Adjustments pop-up menu in the Adjustments inspector.

You can also choose a Quick Brush adjustment from the Quick Brush pop-up menu in the tool strip of the Aperture main window or in the Full Screen view toolbar.

Figure. Options in the Quick Brush pop-up menu in the tool strip.

Each time you choose a Quick Brush adjustment from the Adjustments pop-up menu or the Quick Brush pop-up menu, the adjustment controls for the Quick Brush adjustment appear in the Adjustments inspector (and the Adjustments pane of the Inspector HUD, if both are shown). Some Quick Brush adjustments, such as Retouch, have just a checkbox and a Delete button for removing brush strokes. Other Quick Brush adjustments, such as Definition, have additional parameter controls that allow you to modify the radius and intensity of the adjustment after it has been brushed on the image.

Figure. Definition adjustment controls in the Adjustments inspector.

When you choose to brush either a standard adjustment or a Quick Brush adjustment, a Brush HUD for that adjustment appears, and the pointer turns into a brush. You use the controls in the Brush HUD to define the size of the brush, the softness of the brush’s edges, and the strength of the brush stroke. In addition to brush controls, the Brush HUD also contains controls for erasing brush strokes, feathering the edges of brush strokes, working with overlays, limiting the adjustment to specific tonal ranges, and detecting edges. When you are satisfied with the settings in the Brush HUD, you can begin brushing the adjustment on the image.

Figure. Brush HUD for the Enhance adjustment.

All brushed adjustments are available for use in the Viewer and in Full Screen view, and you can apply a brushed adjustment at any magnification setting. If you prefer to make brushed adjustments with a pen and tablet rather than a mouse, the brushed adjustments are pressure-sensitive.

Important: Brushed adjustments are available only for images using Aperture 3 image processing. For more information about reprocessing your images, see Reprocessing Images from Previous Versions of Aperture.