Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Making On-Click Curves adjustments

From: Photoshop CS4: Image Adjustments in Depth

Video: Making On-Click Curves adjustments

In Photoshop CS4 Adobe added an important feature to the Curves adjustment, an on-click image adjustment tool. This is a visual method of adding points to the curve and reshaping the curve from right within the image. The process is really intuitive, and it streamlines the work of finding a particular tone on the curve, adding points to a curve and adjusting those points. Here's how it works. I'm going to add a Curves adjustment layer to this image by going up to the Adjustments panel and clicking the Curves icon.

Making On-Click Curves adjustments

In Photoshop CS4 Adobe added an important feature to the Curves adjustment, an on-click image adjustment tool. This is a visual method of adding points to the curve and reshaping the curve from right within the image. The process is really intuitive, and it streamlines the work of finding a particular tone on the curve, adding points to a curve and adjusting those points. Here's how it works. I'm going to add a Curves adjustment layer to this image by going up to the Adjustments panel and clicking the Curves icon.

In the Curves adjustment panel, I'm going to enable the On-click feature by going to this icon and clicking there. Now that I've enabled that feature, I can do several things. One thing I can do is just move my cursor over the image, and notice that when I do that I get a hollow circle in the part of the curve that corresponds to this area of the image. So if I'm looking say for the lightest part of the image, all I have to do is move my cursor around the image, and that hollow circle will move on the curve, identifying where the lightest part of the image might be. I think it's just around there.

Another thing that I can do with the On-click adjustment is to add points to the curve from inside of the image. So if I wanted to add a point here in the lightest part of the image, I would just click and I now have a point there on the curve. I can add another point in the mid- tones by moving over a middle gray area of the image, and clicking there, and I can add another point to the dark areas by moving over some dark shadows and clicking there. Now that I have some points on the curve, I can use those to manually reshape the curve.

So right now I have the dark point selected on the curve. If I go to the arrow keys on my key board and press the up arrow, I'll be opening up the shadow areas. To move to another point on the curve, I can just click on that point, or I can click the plus or minus keys on my keyboard. So I'll click the plus key to move to that mid-tone point, and I'll click the plus key one more time, and it selects the highlight point that I added. Then I'm going to use the down arrow key on my keyboard to darken the highlights in the image. So that's one way that the On-click adjustment comes in handy.

But I think that the biggest advantage of this On-click feature is that I can use it to make adjustments to the curve directly from the image. I'd like to show you that, so I'm going to go back to the default curve by going up to the Curves menu at the top of the Adjustments panel, and from the list of presets there, I'll choose. That sets the curve back to its original shape without any adjustments to the image. I still have the On-click adjustment enabled here. What I can do is come into the image, find that part of the image that I want to adjust. Say I want to open up the shadows down here, click and hold, and I get this icon that shows a finger with a double pointed arrow facing up and down.

What that icon is trying to tell me is that if I drag up, I'll be lightening this area of the image, and if I drag down, I'll be darkening. So I'm going to drag up here to open up the shadows, and you can see that that has reshaped the entire curve. So that adjustment has made the shadow areas look better. But I don't like what it's done to the sky. I had some really nice contrast-y clouds there a moment ago, and now they are all washed out. To bring them back, I'm just going to move my cursor over at the sky, and I'm going to click and hold and drag down to darken the highlight areas. Keep your eyes on the curve as I do this and you'll see that I'm basically reshaping the curve from inside of the image.

This is such an intuitive way to use Curves that it really makes the feature accessible to everyone. And I've realized that if you've been using Curves for a while and you have an establish workflow, that it may take you while to get used to the new on image adjustment workflow. But if persevere, I think you'll agree that it really is intuitive and a time saver in Photoshop CS4.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS4: Image Adjustments in Depth
Photoshop CS4: Image Adjustments in Depth

48 video lessons · 16031 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 39s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. Using the exercise files
      59s
    3. Setting up a workspace
      3m 22s
  2. 21m 2s
    1. Creating and editing adjustment layers
      6m 38s
    2. Adjustment layers vs. direct adjustments
      6m 9s
    3. Using the new Adjustments panel
      5m 38s
    4. Reusing adjustment layers
      2m 37s
  3. 39m 57s
    1. Clipping adjustment layers
      4m 36s
    2. Including adjustment layers in a layer group
      3m 13s
    3. Including adjustment layers in a Smart Object
      7m 29s
    4. Using the adjustment layer mask
      5m 43s
    5. Using selections with adjustment layers
      4m 19s
    6. Using the Masks panel with adjustment layers
      8m 30s
    7. Using the Blend If sliders with adjustment layers
      6m 7s
  4. 49m 43s
    1. Reading the Histogram panel
      5m 23s
    2. Using the Levels adjustment for tonal corrections
      7m 42s
    3. Using the Curves adjustment for exposure
      8m 12s
    4. Using the Curves adjustment for contrast
      4m 14s
    5. Making On-Click Curves adjustments
      4m 0s
    6. Applying Shadow/Highlight nondestructively
      7m 59s
    7. Reviewing Brightness/Contrast
      3m 18s
    8. Dealing with exposure
      2m 22s
    9. Using adjustment layers with blend modes
      6m 33s
  5. 54m 36s
    1. Making Vibrance adjustments
      2m 22s
    2. Using Hue/Saturation adjustments
      7m 4s
    3. Understanding color correction
      3m 21s
    4. Using color samplers and the Info panel
      4m 25s
    5. Using Levels eyedroppers for color correction
      5m 54s
    6. Using Levels channels for color correction
      5m 7s
    7. Understanding Curves adjustments for color correction
      7m 21s
    8. Making Color Balance adjustments
      3m 49s
    9. Making Photo Filter adjustments
      3m 6s
    10. Making Variations adjustments
      6m 48s
    11. Using the auto-correction features
      5m 19s
  6. 13m 5s
    1. Using the Dodge and Burn tools
      4m 56s
    2. Dodging and burning nondestructively
      6m 38s
    3. Working with the Red-Eye tool
      1m 31s
  7. 16m 9s
    1. Applying Black & White adjustments
      7m 30s
    2. Making Channel Mixer adjustments
      6m 31s
    3. Understanding the Threshold adjustment
      2m 8s
  8. 25m 23s
    1. Colorizing with Hue/Saturation adjustments
      3m 9s
    2. Tinting with Black & White adjustments
      2m 8s
    3. Making a Gradient Map adjustment
      4m 18s
    4. Applying a Selective Color adjustment
      1m 49s
    5. Using the Replace Color adjustment
      4m 39s
    6. Making Match Color adjustments
      4m 24s
    7. Applying the Equalize adjustment
      4m 56s
  9. 42s
    1. Goodbye
      42s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Photoshop CS4: Image Adjustments in Depth.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.