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Photoshop Creative Effects and Filters
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Applying a wild curve


From:

Photoshop Creative Effects and Filters

with Tim Grey

Video: Applying a wild curve

The curves adjustment is one of the most powerful adjustments for applying tonal and color adjustments to your images. But curves also has a bit of a wild side, let's take a look at how we can use curves to apply a creative effect to your image. I'll start off by adding a Curves Adjustment layer. So at the bottom of the Layers panel I'll click on the add Adjustment Layer button. The half black, half white circle icon and then I'll choose curves from the pop up menu that appears. That will add a Curves Adjustment layer on the Layers panel and also provide me with the curves controls on the Properties panel. Now normally, a curve is literally a curve.
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  1. 1m 24s
    1. Welcome
      1m 24s
  2. 16m 23s
    1. Adding a single filter
      3m 21s
    2. Using the Filter Gallery
      4m 51s
    3. Using Smart Filters
      4m 2s
    4. A flexible filter workflow
      4m 9s
  3. 36m 0s
    1. Creating an ethereal effect with Clarity
      2m 13s
    2. Creating a black-and-white interpretation of an image
      3m 12s
    3. Adding a monochromatic tint effect
      2m 27s
    4. Using a gradient map preset
      2m 42s
    5. Creating a gradient map preset
      7m 48s
    6. Adding a vignette
      3m 17s
    7. Adding film grain
      5m 25s
    8. Oversharpening
      3m 17s
    9. HDR tone mapping
      5m 39s
  4. 37m 47s
    1. Creating a filtered edge effect
      4m 6s
    2. Producing a dreamy look with Surface Blur
      3m 4s
    3. Iris Blur with a twist
      4m 32s
    4. The Tilt-Shift blur effect
      3m 52s
    5. Creating an oil paint effect
      4m 36s
    6. Adding selective motion blur
      4m 36s
    7. Adding lens flare
      5m 21s
    8. Adding a lighting effect
      5m 6s
    9. Adding an ethereal glow
      2m 34s
  5. 24m 21s
    1. Applying a wild curve
      3m 1s
    2. Playing with blend modes
      4m 0s
    3. Creating a painterly effect with Find Edges
      2m 41s
    4. Creating a sketch effect
      5m 26s
    5. Crystallizing pixels
      3m 6s
    6. Getting extreme with Mezzotint
      3m 42s
    7. The Solarize filter
      2m 25s
  6. 38m 38s
    1. Smearing with Liquify
      7m 0s
    2. Going fish-eye with Polar Coordinates
      3m 38s
    3. Using the Spherize and Pinch filters
      3m 18s
    4. Using the Ripple, Twirl, Wave, and ZigZag filters
      5m 45s
    5. Getting blocky with Mosaic
      2m 44s
    6. Creating huge pixels with Pointilize
      3m 0s
    7. Creating tiles
      3m 42s
    8. Creating blocks with Extrude
      4m 29s
    9. Mapping the image with Trace Contour
      2m 44s
    10. Creating a stylized wind-blown effect
      2m 18s

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Photoshop Creative Effects and Filters
2h 34m Intermediate Oct 11, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this one of-a-kind workshop Tim shares his favorite techniques for using Adobe Photoshop's effects and filters to create imaginative, out-of-the-ordinary images. He starts with simple things like black-and-white interpretations, monochromatic tints, vignettes, and film grain, then moves on to more dramatic effects like Surface Blur, Tilt-Shift Blur, Oil Paint. From there, head into "wilder territory," as Tim explores some experimental ways to stylize and distort your images.

Topics include:
  • Working with the Filter Gallery
  • Creating a black-and-white effect
  • Applying a vignette
  • Adding motion blur
  • Creating a painterly effect with Find Edges
  • Smearing with Liquify
  • Mapping the image with Trace Contour
Subjects:
Photography video2brain
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Tim Grey

Applying a wild curve

The curves adjustment is one of the most powerful adjustments for applying tonal and color adjustments to your images. But curves also has a bit of a wild side, let's take a look at how we can use curves to apply a creative effect to your image. I'll start off by adding a Curves Adjustment layer. So at the bottom of the Layers panel I'll click on the add Adjustment Layer button. The half black, half white circle icon and then I'll choose curves from the pop up menu that appears. That will add a Curves Adjustment layer on the Layers panel and also provide me with the curves controls on the Properties panel. Now normally, a curve is literally a curve.

We can drag anchor points on the curve in order to change the shape of that curve, and that affects how the overall total and color values are shifted in the image. But for a wild, creative effect, we can be not so subtle. And that means not using anchor points to bend the curve, but rather, using the Pencil tool to draw our own curve. I'll go ahead and click the Pencil tool at the left side of the Properties panel. And then within the curve itself over the histogram essentially. I'll click and drag up and down drawing a zig zag pattern sort of a saw tooth pattern just going up down, up down, up down as I make my way up the curve from the black end all the way up to the white end.

Now generally speaking, this sort of very small saw tooth sort of pattern will create what I think of as a little bit of an oil slick effect. You can see that we have some posterization throughout the image. We've got some very harsh transitions and some very interesting color effect, but we can go much wilder than this. If we create a much larger pattern. If I drag very high up an then very far down, zig zagging up an down through the extremes of this curve, then I can really create what's essentially a psychedelic sort of neon effect. What's happening is we're drawing a curve where it goes very steeply up, then very steeply down, an steeply up an steeply down, an so on. The steep up portion creates very high contrast, an the steep downward portion, creates an area that is inverted in terms of color values. And that can create a very wild effect indeed.

You can continue experimenting around, drawing different shapes, different zig-zag sawtooth patterns as you try to find just the right effect for the image that you're working on. Depending on how large those sweeps are, in other words how high up or down you draw that curve. Or, how many little steps there are in your curve, it will have a big impact on the final result, in your photo. So, I can, this is looking pretty good, sort of a pastel, neon, sort of effect, in the image. So, I think I'll leave that one as my final effect.

But I encourage you to experiment around a little bit, with curves, in this way. There are seemingly infinite number of possibilities for this particular Creative Effect. And I think you'll find that you never get the same effect twice.

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