Google’s brand new Analog Efex Pro plug-in is the latest component in Google’s Nik Collection. It comes with a selection of preset camera and film effects to reproduce the look of traditional analog photography, but I’ve been spending some time trying them out and using the Analog Efex Pro Camera Kit (see part 2 of this Analog Efex Pro mini-series) to make my own, and I think you can do just as well by designing your Analog Efex Pro custom presets yourself.

So this time I’m going to take look at how you can quickly build up a collection in your own style, by adapting existing effects and by modifying and duplicating your own. I’m starting with this everyday still life shot on a digital SLR, with the aim of finding a variety of new analog film ‘looks’. Along the way I’ll show a couple of tricks I’ve learned that aren’t immediately obvious.

Analog Efex Pro custom presets

Analog Efex Pro’s built-in presets are displayed in the Cameras panel in the left sidebar; any you create yourself are stored in the Custom panel beneath it. You’ll see I’ve already created some custom presets; as they say in the best cookery shows, here are some I made earlier.

01 Modify a preset

Analog Efex Pro custom presets

Even when you save a custom preset, it’s not too late to change it. I’ve selected one of my custom presets in the left sidebar (‘Wet plate black and white’) so that I can change the Dirt & Scratches effect in the panel on the right.

And here’s an option that you could easily miss – clicking on a Dirt & Scratches effect doesn’t just centre the texture in the image and fix it there. In fact you can click and drag in the image to reposition the effect so that it doesn’t obscure a key element in the picture, for example, or look exactly the same each time.

02 Update the preset

Analog Efex Pro custom presets

Now that I’ve made the change to my image, I can save the new settings over the old custom preset – I just click on the icon (circled in red) in the bottom right corner of the preset’s thumbnail.

03 Saving over the original

Analog Efex Pro custom presets

Analog Efex Pro now checks that you really do want to save your new settings and replace the old ones. In this case, I do. If not, though, you should click ‘No’, because you can save a brand new custom preset instead.