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New Lightroom Texture Slider & Clarity – What’s the Difference?

Thanks to guys like Max Wendt at Adobe, we now have the Lightroom Texture Slider.

Max wanted to develop a tool for Lightroom that works like Photoshop for smoothing skin. Once he achieved the result he was looking for, he thought, “what would happen if I made the slider work the other way?” And thus, the Lightroom Texture Slider was born. Great for subtle contrast increases. Great for smoothing skin. If you’re a true technology wank, read more about Max’s Texture Control here.

It is a very useful feature that’s in both Lightroom Classic and Lightroom Desktop. And this new feature has been added to the basic develop settings as well as the local adjustment tools.

Now, you may have wondered what the difference is between Texture and Clarity, especially if you’ve had some time to play with the Lightroom Texture Slider. It can be hard to see these subtle differences. But at its most basic, visually, the Texture Slider is less contrasty than Clarity but still adds enough to crisp up an image without going to Sharpening. Which I shy away from (that’s another story). And, in order to make the most of the Lightroom Texture Slider, it helps to know what these three tools look like up close.

The Texture Slider

Pushing the slider right, the Texture results are lighter, less heavy and contrasty than it’s older sister, Clarity.

And, the feature of the Texture Slider that Max Wendt was aiming for: Smoothing skin on human faces. Moving the Lightroom Texture Slider to the left softens skin. But don’t go too far, keep the look natural.

A simple slide to the left on the Texture Slider for negative numbers is an easy fix for softening skin, expecially on high megapixel captures, which can be very unforgiving for faces.

The Texture Slider is a very welcome addition to Lightroom Classic and Lightroom Desktop. It may very well take the place of the Clarity slider in many situations. You’ll find it in the Presence section of the Basic Panel and in with the sliders for the Radial, Gradient and Adjustment Brush local adjustment tools.

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