Photoshop: Dynamic Curves layer tricks |

Photoshop: Dynamic Curves layer tricks |

In the previous exercise I showed you staticcurve editing tricks, by which I mean tricks that work inside of the StaticCurves dialog box.

In this exercise, I'm going to share with you some dynamic curveediting tricks, and these would work with a Dynamic adjustment layer.

So I'm still working in the High- contrast elephant.

Jpg image.

Haven't made anychanges to it so far, because I've just been canceling out of dialog boxes.

I'mgoing to go ahead and make sure that I have made my Adjustments palette up onscreen, and I'm going to click on the Curves Adjustment.

So again, if Levels isfailing you, this whole notion that I'm trying to share with you is that, ifBrightness/Contrast doesn't work, then you move over to Levels, and if Levelsdoesn't work, then you move over to Curves.

Curves is always going to work, soyou needn't bother with Exposure.

I'm going to click on Curves to bring up theCurves panel here inside the Adjustments palette.

It's very important whenyou're working with Curves to make sure that you have the Expanded Viewof this palette.

So make sure it's nice and big like this.

You can confirm thatyou have the Expanded View working for you, if you go up to the palette menuand you check that Expanded View has a check mark in front of it; which it doesfor me, so that's good.

Because you really want to be able to see the entire widthof 256 different Luminance Levels.

If you can't see that, if you're working inthe Small View, like this, then you don't have as much control of your curve,you actually lose control over the process, because you're going to make largermodifications.

You missed some Input and Output Levels.

It's a terrible thingactually.

Really limits your control.

So I'm going to make it bigger, and then Iwas telling you, how we got the bouncing ball.

Remember the bouncing ballthat we saw on the previous exercise, how in the world do we get to it? You mightthink, well, you just move your cursor out of the Adjustments palette andyou should get an Eyedropper.

Well, you don't.

Or you might think, I'll grab one of theseEyedroppers right here; the Black Point Eyedropper right there or the WhitePoint Eyedropper, or you could even try out the Gray Eyedropper, which controlsthe Mid-tones.

But if you do that, notice what happens, if I grab the Black Eyedropperand I click some place inside the image, I say make the color thatI click on black.

That's really going to make a mess of this elephant.

Wedon't want that.

So I'm going to press Ctrl+Z, Command +Z onthe Mac in order to undo that modification.

Same with white, it's also goingto destroy the image.

I'm not very fond of these Eyedroppers in general.

They also occur inside of Levels dialog box, incidentally.

But I'll just showyou how they work.

If I click on a color now, it will changethat to white, so again that just makes the image that much worse at this point.

It does automate the process of course.

Notice it has just gone ahead andfigured out exactly on a Channel by Channel basis this curve needs to be modifiedin order to accommodate this Edit that I have requested there.

Of course, it'sa terrible Edit, so who cares.

So I'll press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac toundo that modification.

This one, the Gray Eyedropper is a littlemore useful, because what it can do, if you get it, then you just click on thecolor and it will neutralize that color and modify all the colors to compensate.

So watch this.

If I say gosh, this sort of orangey poo area right thereneeds to turn gray.

Sure enough, Photoshop goes ahead and does it, but it comesat the expense of a lot of other colors inside of the image.

Now, if you have a Gray Card, like you've got a Macbeth Card that you've shotinside of your photograph, then you can use this Gray Eyedropper to click onone of the Gray Swatches on the Macbeth Card or your Gray Card or what haveyou, in order to ensure that you have proper white balance.

But unless you havesomething like that, unless you have an industry standard Gray Card, I do notrecommend this tool, because it's very difficult to predict what is going tohappen to your image.

So anyway, I'm going to press Ctrl+Z, Command+Zon the Mac, and I'm going to click on this Eyedropper again to turn itoff.

So none of these Eyedroppers are the Eyedropper we're looking for.

Which isthe Eyedropper we're looking for? The Eyedropper tool.

This is new to PhotoshopCS4.

This has not been this way in the past.

You've got to go get your Eyedroppertool, and this will allow you to get to the bouncing ball functionality,and it will allow you to lift points; both on a composite and componentbasis.

So go ahead and get that Eyedropper.

You canget it of course by pressing the I key, if you like.

Well, you'd think you wouldjust drag inside of the image to see the bouncing ball, but notice a completelack of bouncing ball over here inside the graph.

That's because what you'vegot to do, this is totally top secret hidden thing, and even people who havebeen using the program for years, it would be no way they know this.

You press and hold the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac, which does notchange the Eyedropper to any other tool, so it just keeps it the Eyedropper; soCtrl on the PC, Command on the Mac, and now drag inside the image, and look atthe bouncing ball, there it is over there on the right side of your video,bouncing around inside of the luminance graph.

Notice it just went ahead and added a pointautomatically for me, because I had that Ctrl or Command key down.

That's theother way that of course you add a point.

It's just the Ctrl+Click inside ofa region or Command+click inside of a region, it will add the point to the compositegraph here.

If you want to add a point to the RGB components,then you press Ctrl+Shift at the same time or Command+Shift at the sametime and click.

You're not going to see that point appear here inside the compositeview, you're going to have to actually switch over to the Channels, whichhave the same keyboard shortcuts we saw just a moment ago, in order to see thatnew point.

So there's one of the new points anyway and there's another oneand there's the third one.

I'm switching between these Channels of courseby pressing Alt+3 for Red; that would be Option+3 on the Mac.

Alt+4 for Green,that would be Option+4 on the Mac, and Alt+5 for Blue, Option+5 on the Mac.

Let's go back to RGB by pressing of course Alt+2 or Option+2 on the Mac.

I sayof course for no good reason, because it doesn't make any darn sense, so mesaying of course is totally wrong.

But anyway, those are our new keyboardshortcuts that we have to work with.

What else? Oh, we also have, if I were tojust sort of throw a few more points here, we also have the ability to switch betweenpoints, just as we saw inside the dialog box.

Now everything is the same.

So you press the + key to cycle forward through the points, or the – key tocycle backward, like so.

Then of course you can also modify the location ofthe points from the keyboard by pressing the Up and Down and Right and LeftArrow keys, and you can press Shift with an Arrow key for a bigger modification.

One more thing that I forgot to tell you inside the Curves dialog box thatworks both inside the Curves dialog box and here inside the Adjustments paletteis the ability to select multiple points.

So for example, if I Shift+Click on pointslike so, I'm going to select multiple points as I've done here, and thenI can drag them around as a clump like so.

Or I can go ahead and nudge themfrom the keyboard if I want to by pressing, for example, the Up Arrow key orthe Left Arrow key or what have you.

Now I'm pressing the Right Arrow key.

What I want you to notice is now notice that we're seeing 3 and -3.

What doesthat mean? Well, that's the relative modification from where all these pointsstarted.

So if they started at 0,0, then I have moved them up 3 and over to theleft 3 as well, which is presumably going to go ahead and lighten these colorsjust a little bit, especially as I raise that Output Level, that's always goingto end up brightening.

All right.

So that's everybody there.

Thoseare the secret hidden tricks.

Of course, these work by the way when this Pointtool is active.

That's very important.

I'll show you more, more, muchmore.

We'll actually correct this elephant and also demonstrate the behaviorof the Target Adjustment tool, which exists both inside the Curves dialog box andhere inside the Curves panel of the Adjustments palette, beginning in thenext exercise.

Source: Youtube