Our website will be down for scheduled maintenance on Thursday, September 18, at 11 p.m. Pacific Time and should be back up by Midnight. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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

The new automatic Curves function

From: Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: The new automatic Curves function

Now I would be a remiss if I failed to mention that just like Brightness/Contrast, and Levels, Curves offers its own unique auto function, and it's new to CS6. So we might as well see how it compares to the other two and how it might serve as a jumping off point for a custom correction. So I have opened this image that we first saw in Chapter 12 of the Intermediate course and I'm going to duplicate it a couple of times by going up to the Image menu and choosing the Duplicate command and then I will call this image Auto Levels and press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac, Zoom on in, then create another Duplicate by going back to that same command and this time I'll call my image Auto Curves and press Enter or Return on the Mac and zoom in as well.

The new automatic Curves function

Now I would be a remiss if I failed to mention that just like Brightness/Contrast, and Levels, Curves offers its own unique auto function, and it's new to CS6. So we might as well see how it compares to the other two and how it might serve as a jumping off point for a custom correction. So I have opened this image that we first saw in Chapter 12 of the Intermediate course and I'm going to duplicate it a couple of times by going up to the Image menu and choosing the Duplicate command and then I will call this image Auto Levels and press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac, Zoom on in, then create another Duplicate by going back to that same command and this time I'll call my image Auto Curves and press Enter or Return on the Mac and zoom in as well.

All right, let's start off with the first image here and I will drop down to the black/white icon and choose Brightness/Contrast and I'll go ahead and click on Auto, it's going to take a moment to calculate, and then you'll see the correction in the background, and quite honestly for this particular exercise, we don't need a big huge properties panel. So that's the Brightness/Contrast correction. I am going to switch over to the Auto Levels image, drop down to the black/white icon and choose Levels and then I will click on its Auto button and we end up with this variation.

And then I'll switch over to the final Image drop down to the black/white icon and choose Curves and I will click on its Auto button, and we end up with this. So for the sake of comparison here, this is the automatic Brightness/Contrast variation. This is the Automatic Levels variation, not nearly so garish, probably the most successful of the bunch where this particular image is concerned, and this is the Auto Curves variation. Now naturally, everything we are seeing is specific to this particular photograph, your results may vary dramatically, but the real point is you may luck out and Photoshop may do a great job or what Photoshop comes up with may be a great jumping off point.

Now when I corrected this image back in Chapter 12 using Levels, I had to apply two applications of a Levels Adjustment layer. One, across the entire image and another just to brighten up the shadow regions and the awnings on these wooden shutters here, whereas, I can correct this whole image using one pass of curves, as I'm about to show you. So I will go ahead and double-click on the thumbnail for this Curves 1 layer, and I will also increase the size of my Properties panel, so that I can take in the entire curves graph. I am going to start things out by dragging this white slider triangle, until I get to an input value of 194.

So I am mapping everything, that's 194 or brighter to 255 which of course is white. Then I will press the minus key in order to select that bright point right there. Notice that it has an Input of 173, I am going to press the left arrow key a few times to back it off to 170, and then I will press Shift+ Down arrow to take the Output value down to 220. All right, so that takes down some of the heat inside of those highlights, but now I need to brighten the shadows, and I will do so by switching over to the Target Adjustment tool and I'm going to search for a very dark color like right about there, you can see that my cursor is very close to the top of the image, above the wooden shutters and I found an Input of 14 at this location and I'm going to drag up in until I get to an Output of 28, should do the trick.

And then I'll move my cursor back into the Properties panel, so I can see those values and I'll press the left arrow key in order to nudge that Input value to 15. So Input should be 15, Output should be 28. Then I wanted to open up the shadows a bit, by taking this point right there, the point that Photoshop created automatically and I'm going to just kind of drag it up to graph to about this location, actually I want the Input value to be 96, so I will go and press the Right Arrow key a few times and an Output value of 115 is exactly what I'm looking for.

And that takes care of it, so I will go ahead and close the Properties panel, so we can see what we have done here. I will turned the Curves layer off, this is the before, dark low contrast version of the image, this is the after version of the image with more contrast. Now the thing about those kinds of radical curves adjustments, I will go and bring it back up here. Where you're brightening the shadows and then you're dimming the midtones and then you are brightening the highlights again, so you are going back and forth, is that they have a habit of reducing the Saturation of the colors, so we can end up with some drab images or patches of gray, you need to watch that.

But one way to solve the problem is to add a Vibrance layer. So I'll drop down to the black/white icon, click on it, choose Vibrance and I'm going to take that Vibrance value way up to 70, so I'm pressing Shift+Up arrow seven times in a row and we end up with this effect here. Now that looks great where the shutters are concerned and where the awning is concerned as well, but the colors are a little bit too hot in the bright sections of the wall. So we need to mask this Vibrance Adjustment using the opposite of Luminance Mask, which is a Density Mask.

Let me show you how that works. I'll Alt+Click or Opt+Click on the eye in front of background. Then I will go to the Channels panel, and you can see here that the Red Channel is the brightest, the Green channel starts darkening up and the Blue channel does the best job of showing us those shadow regions, regions that need more vibrancy. It shows them up the darkest and we have the most contrast across the entire image. So I will go ahead and Ctrl+Click or Cmd+ Click on the Blue Channel in order to load it as a selection, so we are selecting the highlights, deselecting the shadows, switch back to the RGB image, switch over to Layers panel, turn those layers back on by Alt+Clicking or Opt+Clicking on the eye in front of the background.

My Vibrance layer is selected and this time instead of clicking on the Add Layer Mask icon, I will press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on it. And that will go ahead and give us a layer mask that looks like this. Just go ahead and Alt+Click or Opt+Click on the layer Mask Thumbnail and you can see that we have an inverted version of that Blue Channel and that is what is meant by a Density Mask. That is we are masking the image based on ink density. All right, now I am going to increase the contrast of this mask by pressing Ctrl+L or Cmd+L on the Mac in order to bring up the Levels dialog box and I'll take this black slider up to about 60.

The point in which the Histogram begins, and then I'll click on the white point value and press Shift+Down arrow a few times, until we really dramatically open up that shadow detail, that is to say the highlights that we are using to select the shadows, and then happens at about 195. So 60 for the black point value, 195 for the white point value, that's it, click OK and then Alt+Click or Opt+Click on the layer Mask Thumbnail again, in order to achieve the effect you see before you. All right, and just to see what we've been able to achieve, I will Alt+Click or Opt+Click on the eye in front of the background, that's the original version of the image, and this is the corrected version of the image based in small part on the Auto button, that is included along with Curves and in larger part on your ability to edit those Curve Settings, anyway you like.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

124 video lessons · 19363 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

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.

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 CS6 One-on-One: Advanced.

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.