Join Taz Tally for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting and working with Curves control points, part of Photoshop Color Correction: Advanced.
In this movie, at the beginning of this chapter, I want to focus my attention on setting a color sampler point based curve control point. because that's the real key to understanding how we're going to get real tight control over our color, and doing it numerically. Previously, we've already set our color control points you know, one, two ,three and four, notice this is closer to the diffused white highlight and the two and three are the quarter tone neutral areas and it will go to shadow point-set here. So this is what we're going to be using for our guide and remember that for each of this points we have starting and then after we edit, did rgb values for each of this four point.
We're going to monitor this as we make adjustments in our image. Well what we're going to be doing is taking these color sampler point here and we're going to be placing control point over here on this curve in order to activate this feature placing control points on the curve we have to click on activate this hand that you see here. In the properties panel, it's important to do that. If the hand is not turned on and you click over here, all you get is the ring if your color sample point ring is turned on here, and you really don't get any control points.
You really must click on this. Remember to do that. Then, wherever you click. Or, actually you just move your eyedropper tool, and if you watch the curve over here, all right? Notice that there's a little circle that moves up and down, showing you where you are on that curve. Well then if you click on any portion of that image, it places a control point. And if you're familiar with this hand tool, you know that once you click on this, you can Click and drag, and move the curve up and down just by doing that. This is designed to allow you to click on an area of an image, and then make adjustments based upon that particular area.
So we're going to be taking advantage of that. But we're going to be doing it specifically with the color sample point we set earlier. But the way, if you set a color sample point like that. And you don't want it anymore, you can drag it off to the side like this, or you could just set another one. If the color sample point is selected, you can just hit the delete key. And you can tell if it's selected because color sample point that's selected is solid and the non-active ones or the non-selected ones are, they're clear in the inside. So just make sure that that's selected and then you can hit the delete key to get rid of it.
Alright, so, what we're going to be doing is activate the hand tool, and then we'll be clicking on individual control points like one, two, three, four, and notice when we do this, it places a color sampler point directly on the curve, and the total range that particular point is associated with. Now notice that When we clicked in color sample point number four, right down here. It was so close, that we ended up actually just clicking on the, and moving the, far left-hand side curve control point that's preset.
Same thing when we click real close to a highlight point. If you're very, very close to 255, you'll be clicking on the same point, or placing one very close to the actual highlight point on the curve that's preset. And typically, if I'm working really close to the highlight, I don't place into the color sample point. I just use the highlight preset one and the same thing on the curve end. And we'll do that when we actually adjust this image. Alright, so there's setting color sample points. Now, if we take and we drag on any one of these points, we can make adjustments based upon that particular point, or we can delete it.
And I'm just going to take these away for now. Then that's how we set color sample points on the master curve. See so far we're just working on the rgb curve. Now, one other thing to remind you of and let's just click on color sample point number three here is that I can move this by dragging up and down which I really don't ever do. What I do is once I set a color sample point, I use my up and down arrow. See that? My up and down arrow to move that point? I can come over here and click and drag on that, as well.
But it's hard to keep it just in a straight line, and it kind of moves back and forth. And it takes time to mouse. You'll find that you can be a lot better off just using your up and down arrows, or left and right, if you want to move it that way. And then while you're doing that with one hand you can kind of monitor what's happening over here with the rgb values as you see here and you can also monitor what's happening on your Histagram. So, if you're not using your mouse, one it's a lot faster, alright? It's less taxing and so forth it terms of having to use your mouth all the time And you can monitor what's going on on your Info panel and in your histogram at the same time, which is a huge benefit.
All right, so we're going to be doing all these things. And then finally, what we want to be able to do, of course, is work on our individual channels, not just the rgb channel but the individual red, green, and blue channels. And you'll notice that there's keyboard shortcuts. Here for each of these channels and I recommend that you learn how to use these its option on mac and alt on windows and that allows you to go from the master channel which is 2 option or alt 2 and then option or alt 3, 4, and 5 take you through the individual channels. You're really going to want to learn these good. It's going to allow you to work an awful lot faster.
Now, remember, I said once this hand tool is active, you can click like on color sample point number three and it places it on the master curve. Notice that it doesn't exist on the other three channels. You see the little open circle, but you don't actually see the control points. Here's a keyboard shortcut for you. If you command or control windows and then shift and then click on that point notice when we go to the individual channels those color sampler points have been placed on every individual channel as well. So again command or control on windows.
Command on mac control on windows and then shift and click on And individual point you'll do color sample point number two, alright. Doesn't place it on the master curve but it places it on three individual channels which is what we want to be doing for doing our color adjustments, alright. So that's the easy way to do that. You can of course just be working on individual channel and that you can just click anywhere that you want, say if I'm in a dark area of the image like this here. And I click you can put a color sample point just on that individual channel but typically we're going to be working on all three channels and we want to be able to switch quickly and easily from one channel to another so that's up to you if your working on an individual channel you click on some place and place the sample color point and then edit it.
And then, finally, one other skill that you're going to want, and it's a keyboard shortcut related skill is, instead of coming in here and trying to click on those individual control points, there's a really easy way to shift from one control point to the other. That is, if you press on your equals sign or plus sign key, which is in the upper right end corner of your keyboard and notice that you can very easily switch from one control point to another. You see, I'm just pressing that key, I'm toggling that key and selecting one control point after another. And that's how you can just easily select one or the other control point, and if you want to delete them or move them.
There I deleted one, and I'm switching to the quarter tone one, and I'm going up and down, left and right with the arrow keys, and then I hit the delete key and plus or equals sign and then you can move edit or delete as you like. So let's practice this for just a minute, practice moving from one channel to another using your option or alt alright? And then two, three, four and five and then on the individual channels go ahead and just hit the equal sign and practice adjusting the position of the control point on the curve.
Either up and down or left and right. Or hitting the delete key, pressing the plus or equal sign to change your control point. Just practice doing that, and switching from one channel to another. It'll be a little slow at first cause you're not used to it. But boy you're going to be glad, that it just becomes second nature to you, cause it makes it very easy. To move from one channel to another and perform your color correction adjustments using your up and down, left and right arrows. Remember all of this can be done manually but these are some shortcuts that are going to allow you to work faster and easier and remember when you're using your arrow key rather than mousing It's much easier to allow you to monitor your info-panel and or your histogram as you go.
Alright, so here's some tips and tricks for placing and then adjusting color sampler based control points in your master and individual curves.
- Using color workflow tools: Bridge, Photoshop, and Camera Raw
- Setting color workflow settings
- Setting up a monitor and viewing options
- Assigning a workspace and color keyboard shortcuts
- Understanding grayscale values and color
- Working nondestructively
- Working with neutrals
- Using targets for color correction
- Evaluating tone and color
- Evaluating and correcting skin tones
- Working with color sampler points and Curves efficiently
- Adjusting tone and color
- Performing target-based corrections
- Sharpening a color-corrected image in Photoshop