Miracle of Curves in Photoshop Image Adjustment Part 1

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How to Open Curve Dialogue Box How to Open Curve Dialogue Box

I am fan of Photoshop from the beginning of my career as a graphics designer/3D designer because it is offering multiple ways to accomplish your intended tasks and leave greater scopes for the creativity. No doubt, the same is true for the 3D Max but we will discuss it later on in 3D tutorials. Today I am going to introduce the power of a simple Photoshop tool; curves, used for the image adjustment.


At first place, we will see how curves perform simple tasks and later on, we will see its some extra functionality.


How to Open Curve Dialogue Box

Go to Image menu > scroll pointer to the Adjustment > you will see the list of many image manipulation tools > where click the Curves and finally your curve dialogue box will open as shown in image below.


Introduction with Curves Dialogue Box



Curves Dialogue Box



Now, your curves dialogue box is ready for you. You can push the full size button located at the left-bottom corner of the dialogue box and make it big.


  1. 1.If you closely look at you will find a 4 X4 dotted gridlines at center where they simulate the graph like appearance with X and Y values.
  2. 2.You can see these values in input and output fields located at the bottom of the graph when you hover the mouse on the graph.
  3. 3.Moreover, your mouse pointer will change the shape and becomes a + sign shape when it reaches at the adjoining areas of the solid diagonal line drown at one bottom end to the top of the graph from right to left.
  4. 4.At the bottom-left corner of the graph, you will find two signs/icons: one is S shaped curve that is in pushed position by default and let you work on S shaped preset.
  5. 5.Second shape is a pencil icon that let you draw you custom curve in other words it is an Arbitrary Map Option.
  6. 6.You can experiment with this pencil tool once you get good command over the Curves. When you push the pencil icon the Smooth button will be activated and you can use once you accomplish your freehand curve on the graph to make it smooth and nice looking.
  7. 7.There are three pencil icons located at the left side in a raw. They are to set black point, grey point, and white point in the images as we do with adjusting levels using levels dialogue box. You can set black, white, and mid-tone points with this eyedropper like tools.
  8. 8.At the top right Channel field is located and it can be used for the RGB (3 channels, red, green, and blue); CMYK (4); and Grayscale (1-black only) channels. We will see their miracles later on, but they are working akin to the Color Balance dialogue box.
  9. 9.If you are a seasoned Photoshop user, you can save your own preset making by freehand tools and load afterwards when same kind of image needs same types of works/tasks.
  10. 10.Sliders on the X and Y-axis are mean to toggle the tone/contrasts and you can find button on the mid of the X-axis. This is highly useful when you play with S-shaped preset and want to invert it effects by making it inverted S-shaped curve.


Up to this point, we have get intro with the Curves dialogue box and in next part we may have details of its usage in different contexts and purposes.



I hope with these tutorial series you will imagine our capabilities as the PSD to Joomla conversion designers and how we can make even designs from the scratch and how we can modify and offer sumptuous graphics in your web and mobile development projects at Lujayn.