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Adding and editing points on a curve

From: Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Adding and editing points on a curve

In this movie, I'll show you how to add and edit points inside curves. I'll start things off here by double-clicking on the thumbnail for the Curves 1 layer; that brings up Curves inside the Properties panel. And I'm also going to drag this black triangle back to the far left-hand side of the graph, and that's because you can typically achieve more control over your shadows in particular by adding points along the left-hand portion of the graph, and I'll show you what I mean in just a moment. But first, I'm going to scroll the image over so that I can better keep track of the woman in the foreground here. And now I could just click at some point inside of the shadow region here in order to set a point like so.

Adding and editing points on a curve

In this movie, I'll show you how to add and edit points inside curves. I'll start things off here by double-clicking on the thumbnail for the Curves 1 layer; that brings up Curves inside the Properties panel. And I'm also going to drag this black triangle back to the far left-hand side of the graph, and that's because you can typically achieve more control over your shadows in particular by adding points along the left-hand portion of the graph, and I'll show you what I mean in just a moment. But first, I'm going to scroll the image over so that I can better keep track of the woman in the foreground here. And now I could just click at some point inside of the shadow region here in order to set a point like so.

And so in my case I've set a point at Input 32 and Output 16, so I'm taking any shades of gray that formerly had a luminance level of 32 and I'm darkening them to 16. And that's just by virtue of the natural curvature of the graph so far. All right, let's say I want to modify that point. Well, I could drag it of course if I want to, or I can modify the numerical values, but typically the easiest way to work is to press the arrow keys. So if you press the Left Arrow Key, you're going to nudge the Input value down, and if you press the Right Arrow Key, you're going to nudge the Input value up.

Now, at first that might not make any sense, why left for down and right for up? And that's because you're moving the point back and forth to either left or the right. And the more you work with it, the more you'll get a sense of what's going on there. And so I'm going to go ahead and scoot this Input value over to 30. And then if I press the Up Arrow Key, I'm going to raise the Output value. And if I press the Down Arrow Key, I'm going to lower that value. And in my case I want to take that value down pretty darn far, to an Output level of 10.

So that darkens up the shadows considerably, but it also takes away some of the detail inside of the hair. So what I need to do is lift the brightness of the lightest hairs, but first I need to find them. And the easiest way to find luminance levels inside of an image is to take advantage of the bouncing ball, and here's what I mean. You switch over to your Target Adjustment tool, so that same tool we saw at work with Hue/Saturation, and Black/White is available to us with curves as well. And by the way, if you loaded dekeKeys, you can get to it by pressing the K key.

And then notice, I want you to watch this dark section of the curve right there, you'll notice the ball bouncing back and forth as soon as I move my cursor over the dark hairs. And I want to emphasize, I'm not dragging, I don't have the mouse button down, I'm just moving the cursor around. And so right about this point I think I'll click in order to set a point. So notice as soon as you click inside the image, you've set a point in the graph, and in my case the Input value is 61 and the Output is 27, I want to go ahead and back off that Input value to 60 and then I'm going to take the Output value up by pressing the Up Arrow Key several times until I get a value of 35.

That ends up brightening that shadow detail inside of the hair and elsewhere throughout the image. And something that's very important, by the way, if you want to get a sense of what the values actually are, if you're not seeing your values change properly, that's because you've left your cursor outside here inside the image. And so for example, I'm seeing Input 172 and Output 134, that doesn't have anything to do with the selected point; that has everything to do with the location of my cursor. So you need to move the cursor back inside the panel, like so. All right.

Now, I'm going to switch to the next point, the one that I've already created in advance here at the center of the curve. And I can get to it just by clicking on it of course, but when you click on a point, it's very easy to nudge it, to move it to a new location, so oftentimes it's preferable to cycle to a point from the keyboard. And here's how you do it, you press the Plus (+) key to advance to the next point like so. So if I press the Plus (+) key a second time, I would advance to that final point. if I press it again, I'll advance to the very first point in the graph, and so forth.

If you press the minus (-) key, you'll back up through the points. And I love this shortcut, because notice if I click on the panel, then I deselect all the points and now I can make any one of the points active anytime I like just by pressing the Plus (+) key, and that will go ahead and select the very first point in the graph, that is the point in the lower left corner, and then I'll advance onward. All right. So I'll press Plus (+) enough times to get to that center point right there, and then I'm going to press Shift+Right Arrow to move that Input value in the increments of 10, and eventually I want that value to be 155.

And then I'm going to press Shift-Up Arrow a couple of times there in order to raise that Output value ultimately to a 110, so you may have to press the Up Arrow Key a few times by itself as well. And that ends up brightening the midtones just a bit. And then finally, I want to brighten the highlights a little, because they've gotten dragged down by this midpoint here. And so once again, using the Target Adjustment tool, I'll click inside a highlight inside the eye, for example, in order to set a point, in my case at 225, with an Output of 206.

And in order to see those values, you're going to have to move your cursor inside the panel, and then I'll press Shift+Right Arrow in order to nudge that Input value to 235, and I'll press Shift+Up Arrow a couple of times, and then Up Arrow a little more to set the Output value to 230. And so just so you can get a sense of what kind of difference I made there, I'll go ahead and press the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on the Mac and click on that highlight point in order to delete it. So Cmd+Click or Ctrl+ Click on a point deletes it. This is how the image looked without that point, and then if I press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z again, this is what the image looks like with this point.

All right, that's the extent of our graph right there. So I'm going to go ahead and hide the panel and then zoom out and scroll over just a little bit. And so just so you have a sense of what we've accomplished, I'll turn off that Curves 1 layer. This is the image as it appeared when we finished working on it back in Chapter 20, and this is the new deeper, darker, more dramatic image, thanks to our addition of a Curves Adjustment. Now, I just want to say one more thing before we quit this movie here, even though I just got done closing the Curves panel, my Target Adjustment tool remains selected, and that can get you in trouble or at least provide unexpected results if you, for example, think that the Rectangular Marquee tool is selected and you begin dragging inside the image and you get an effect like this one here.

In which case just go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on the Mac to undo that change, and then press the M key to switch back to the Rectangular Marquee.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

124 video lessons · 19105 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 30m 4s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 19s
    2. Loading the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      6m 5s
    3. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 4s
    4. Adjusting a few general preferences
      4m 3s
    5. Using the visual HUD color picker
      2m 2s
    6. The interface and performance settings
      5m 31s
    7. Adjusting the color settings in Photoshop
      7m 0s
  2. 47m 0s
    1. Smart Objects
      1m 36s
    2. Three ways to place a Smart Object
      3m 6s
    3. Copying and pasting from Adobe Illustrator
      4m 11s
    4. Transforming and warping a vector object
      4m 48s
    5. Blending a Smart Object into a photograph
      3m 10s
    6. Blurring with a nested Smart Filter
      4m 57s
    7. Editing a Smart Object in Illustrator
      3m 20s
    8. Creating "true clones"
      3m 50s
    9. Duplicating a group of clones
      2m 53s
    10. Breaking the Smart Object link
      2m 53s
    11. Styling and blending Smart Objects
      2m 44s
    12. Editing originals; updating clones
      3m 41s
    13. Removing people from a scene with Median
      5m 51s
  3. 29m 59s
    1. Luminance meets sharpening
      1m 2s
    2. Correcting for lens distortion
      4m 39s
    3. Introducing Shadows/Highlights
      3m 54s
    4. Mitigating halos with Radius values
      4m 19s
    5. Enhancing the effects of Midtone Contrast
      3m 18s
    6. Creating a "bounce" with Gaussian Blur
      3m 29s
    7. Sharpening on top of blur
      2m 47s
    8. Masking a group of Smart Filters
      2m 53s
    9. Reducing the density of a layer mask
      3m 38s
  4. 49m 10s
    1. Using Curves
      2m 40s
    2. Introducing the Curves adjustment
      7m 36s
    3. Adding and editing points on a curve
      6m 27s
    4. Winning Curves tips and tricks
      8m 12s
    5. Correcting a challenging image
      6m 33s
    6. Selecting and darkening highlights
      4m 39s
    7. Neutralizing colors and smoothing transitions
      6m 6s
    8. The new automatic Curves function
      6m 57s
  5. 1h 31m
    1. Camera Raw
      2m 11s
    2. Opening and editing multiple images
      8m 1s
    3. Correcting white balance
      4m 8s
    4. The revamped Exposure controls
      8m 8s
    5. Working with archival images
      7m 54s
    6. The Spot Removal and Graduated Filter tools
      6m 4s
    7. Painting edits with the Adjustment Brush
      7m 23s
    8. Tone Curves (and why you don't need them)
      5m 57s
    9. Straighten, crop, and geometric distortions
      5m 17s
    10. Applying manual lens corrections
      5m 14s
    11. Vignette, chromatic aberration, and fringe
      6m 49s
    12. Selective hue, saturation, and luminance
      6m 36s
    13. Working with JPEG and TIFF images
      6m 36s
    14. Camera Raw Smart Objects
      6m 48s
    15. Editing Camera Raw images from Bridge
      4m 24s
  6. 32m 30s
    1. Duotones
      1m 23s
    2. Creating a professional-quality sepia tone
      4m 18s
    3. Introducing the Gradient Map adjustment
      5m 42s
    4. Loading a library of custom gradients
      3m 48s
    5. Creating a custom quadtone
      5m 48s
    6. Colorizing with blend modes and Opacity
      4m 6s
    7. Creating a faux-color, high-key effect
      7m 25s
  7. 1h 6m
    1. Noise vs. Details
      1m 28s
    2. Introducing the Reduce Noise filter
      7m 29s
    3. Correcting a noisy photo
      5m 33s
    4. Smoothing over high-contrast noise
      5m 50s
    5. Protecting details with an edge mask
      4m 52s
    6. Adjusting overly saturated shadows
      3m 35s
    7. Correcting with High Pass and Lens Blur
      3m 45s
    8. Brushing away blur and sharpening
      6m 42s
    9. Creating texture by adding noise
      5m 28s
    10. The Camera Raw Detail panel
      7m 8s
    11. Correcting noise and detail in Camera Raw
      8m 10s
    12. Adding noise grain and vignetting effects
      6m 47s
  8. 44m 30s
    1. Blur Gallery
      1m 36s
    2. Creating depth-of-field effects in post
      5m 29s
    3. Modifying your Field Blur settings
      4m 57s
    4. Editing and exporting a Field Blur mask
      6m 15s
    5. Adding a synthetic light bokeh
      3m 52s
    6. Using the Selection Bleed option
      7m 29s
    7. Creating a radial blur with Iris Blur
      6m 59s
    8. Creating "fake miniatures" with Tilt-Shift
      4m 35s
    9. Combining multiple Blur Gallery effects
      3m 18s
  9. 1h 34m
    1. Blend Modes
      1m 16s
    2. Using the Dissolve mode
      9m 47s
    3. Multiply and the darken modes
      8m 30s
    4. Screen and the lighten modes
      8m 10s
    5. Cleaning up and integrating a bad photo
      6m 38s
    6. Blending inside blend modes
      6m 55s
    7. Overlay and the contrast modes
      6m 53s
    8. A few great uses for the contrast modes
      9m 7s
    9. Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide
      5m 5s
    10. Capturing the differences between images
      4m 18s
    11. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      4m 45s
    12. Blend mode shortcuts
      6m 21s
    13. The Fill Opacity Eight
      8m 57s
    14. Using the luminance-exclusion slider bars
      8m 8s
  10. 44m 20s
    1. Color Range
      1m 14s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      7m 24s
    3. Selecting a complex image with Color Range
      5m 49s
    4. Refining a selection in the Quick Mask mode
      7m 4s
    5. Viewing a mask with or without its image
      4m 24s
    6. Painting directly inside an alpha channel
      5m 39s
    7. Correcting fringes around a masked layer
      8m 5s
    8. Turning a layer into a knockout
      4m 41s
  11. 59m 43s
    1. Refine Edges
      1m 28s
    2. Laying down a base layer mask
      6m 49s
    3. Introducing the Refine Edge/Mask command
      7m 57s
    4. Edge detection and Smart Radius
      4m 42s
    5. Using the Refine Radius tool
      7m 31s
    6. The transformative power of Refine Edge
      3m 37s
    7. Perfecting a mask with overlay painting
      10m 58s
    8. Combining Quick Selection with Refine Mask
      10m 37s
    9. Bolstering and integrating hair
      6m 4s
  12. 1h 18m
    1. The Pen tool
      1m 50s
    2. Pixel-based masking versus the Pen tool
      6m 45s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path outline
      6m 57s
    4. Moving, deleting, and adding anchor points
      6m 10s
    5. Dragging control handles to modify curves
      5m 27s
    6. Converting a path outline to a vector mask
      5m 36s
    7. Customizing a geometric shape
      5m 53s
    8. How to position points and control handles
      7m 7s
    9. Drawing smooth points with the Pen tool
      8m 7s
    10. Duplicating and scaling a vector mask
      5m 21s
    11. Cusp points and the Rubber Band option
      6m 21s
    12. Setting anchor points in the pasteboard
      6m 8s
    13. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 43s

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