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Color Correction with Curves

Lesson 4 from: Working with Curves in Photoshop CC

Jesús Ramirez

Color Correction with Curves

Lesson 4 from: Working with Curves in Photoshop CC

Jesús Ramirez

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Lesson Info

4. Color Correction with Curves

Lesson Info

Color Correction with Curves

I was thinking of house and explained this section for the class, and I just wanted to keep it super simple. There's so many different ways in which we could define color correction. The way that we're gonna define it in this class and how we're going to approach it in this class is simply by removing unrealistic color casts. So anything that had a neutral gray in person also has a neutral gray and the image so very simple. And I know we can get a little bit more technical and talk about cameras and talk about, you know, cooler temperatures and all that sort of stuff. But at least when talking about photo shop and we have a digital image and we want to control the unrealistic color cast, we're gonna just define it as that just removing unrealistic color caste, Um, essentially white balancing. And I have this horrible picture of a food truck and, um, it's a horrible picture, but I like using it because it is really good for showing how color correction works. Um, but I realize that it's...

a horrible picture, so yeah, don't think me on that, because if it was a beautiful picture that I wouldn't really have anything to show you. Right. Um so we have this with truck, and just by looking at it, we know that something is wrong. It's got too much green. You can tell just simply by looking at it. If you go into the channels panel, you can see the different channels in. No surprise. The Green Channel is the one that has the most light weekend. Just if we wanted to, we could just adjust the Green channel. Um but we're not gonna do that. Um, and I was trying to show you something, but I have to select the layers, have to select the food truck layer and what I was gonna show us if you go into the Green Channel, you can make an adjustment right to the channel itself and maybe reduce the light a little bit. Press OK, And the image looks a little bit better. Obviously, there's better ways of working with Photoshopped. But that again shows you that a relationship of colors of rgb then we've been talking about this whole time. So how can we color correct this image using the curves adjustment layer? I'm gonna go back into the curves Adjustment layer and photo shop has this really cool, wonderful feature called the Auto Options, which is right here that auto button. If I click on it, it creates a horrible image. Um, and the reason is that Adobe again will be giving me a job, So I shouldn't say this, but Joe Adobe likes to hide the good stuff. Um, so yeah, so if if there's something good adobes gonna hide it and the way that you bring out the good algorithm for the curves adjustment layers by holding the option key on your keyboard, that's Ault on the PC in clicking on Auto. And that brings up the Otto color correction options. And Photoshopped has four different algorithms that we can adjust. Oh, are. Then we can select toe apply a new auto color correction. In my opinion, find dark and light colors is the best one, and I also like checking snap neutral Smith tones and notice. The difference made it much, much better. Right now, it'll be so cool that if every time we hit auto options or the auto button, we just got that. Luckily for us, though, we did give us a check. Boxes way down here in the bottom, on the bottom, left. Save as defaults so I can check that check box press, OK? And I have so many later. So I gotta find right one. There it is, and I'm gonna click. Click on the reset button. That's the reset button right there. I'm gonna click on it and notice now that it's a straight line and the image went back to the fault. But if I click on auto now, it auto color corrects the image. Now, you might be thinking what kind of witchcraft this will be doing there. Um, I like showing auto auto features because it speeds up your work workflow. But I also like showing what photo shop is doing so that, you know, because sometimes the auto features don't really work. And I'm gonna show you an image where this is not gonna work. And that may be the case on the images that you work with at home or at work. Um, so let me just reset the curves adjustment layer. So what is Photoshopped doing? Well, in the older days before the auto color correction options, there was a way of sort of color, correcting the images by finding the darkest and brightest points on a channel. So we have the Red Channel here, and we sort of did what we did earlier. With that contrast. Example, I would click and drag the black point. Let me a just track down so I could really click on it. Click and drag the black point where we had some information. Click and drag the white points where we had some information on the other side and do the same thing for all three channels. And I'm eyeballing it here, so I may be a little off, but you'll get the idea it ISS, and there it is. Site. So essentially, that's what photo Shop is doing. Is finding the brother the black and white point of the channel, and it's sort of color corrects your image. Um, so that's what that auto option is doing. If if I click on it again, you'll see fine, dark and light color. So I'm finding the doctors and brightest colors, and I didn't do that in the RGB, I think, Yeah, in the end, our journey. So I wanted to color corrected here, so I mean, that's basically what it's doing. Doesn't work as well. Um, and it's also remember I clicked on snap neutral mid tones. That's essentially clicking on this eyedropper and selecting a mid tone and color corrects the image. But it does that all in just one Ah, button if you have the right algorithm. So I guess the point that I'm trying to make here is if you're gonna use auto color correction options, select the algorithm that works best. I think find dark and light colors were expressed, and that's what I have as a default. So I would recommend doing that Now. I said earlier that sometimes you it is another horrible image. Yes. Oh, so you can see him a terrible photographer, but it helps me out because it makes me good at photo shop. Uh um, So I have the curves adjustment layer here again, and I have that algorithm set as default. And if I click auto colors, it, you know, makes it a little bit better, but not that much better Now. This is a terrible image. Way really can't make it perfect. The worst the image is, the less that we can do to it, but we can always improve it just a little bit more now with the knowledge that we already have, we can look at the problem and we can see how we can try to make it a little bit better. So the image is a little red, in my opinion, so we can click on this, um, icon here, which allows us to hover over the image and clicking a point and then adjust that value in that area. Actually, I just sort of wanted to show you if you click on the fly out menu here, make sure that you have auto select targeted adjustment tool that way to always selected by default. So notice right now that if I select it and click on something else and I come back into the curves adjustment layer, it's no longer selected to have to click on it again. So you know that could become annoying if you're working with many layers. If you're working on a composite like the one I showed you earlier and you got like, 1200 layers and you click on something and it, you know, just wasted a lot of time, so click on auto select targeted adjustment tool. That way, when you select something else and come back into the curves adjustment layer, it's always selected. I see almost everyone writing that one down. So I guess you guys like that one. Um, so now that we have the curves adjustment were selected, I can hover over the image, and I like I said, I think this image has too much red. It's a lot of red on the leaves here. Someone over over one of these leaves click and drag, um, down to reduce the red. So that's bringing in some green, maybe going to the Blue Channel. And maybe there's some blue in the sky. So click and drag that up. I actually think there might be a little too much red and this guy as wells or keep reducing that. So you sort of start looking at the image and you find areas that have too much of one color or not enough of another, and you can start clicking and dragging. Now again, we have this image that it's not. It is never gonna look perfect because we started with a terrible image, but it's much, much better. And sometimes you can start adjusting, blending modes and opacity and doing maybe even different adjustment layers. So even though this is a class about curbs, I do want to make it very clear that curves is my favorite adjustment layer. I use it for a lot of things, but sometimes it just helps using other adjustment layers. We have three eye droppers here in the curves adjustment layer. I created a new curves adjustment on top of the food truck layer, and these eye droppers help you select um, the black point, the white point and the mid tone. So essentially, what's the darkest point was the brightest point. And, um, what's unusual? Grace? So if I click on the eyedropper and I just randomly clicks, let's help clicking on this part here. Notice how the food truck turns black because I told photo Shop, this is gonna be the darkest point of the image. Obviously, in this case, this is not what we want. What we really want is find the darkest pixels in the image and one way of doing that. I already showed you guys, if you hold option and click on the black point in direct to the right. You'll see where the darkest points are, right where we start seeing some information and it looks like it's somewhere in the tires there on the left hand side, I would say so. They know what click with the black point right about here to tell Photoshopped this is the darkest part of the image. I would do the same thing for the white point. Now, with the white point, you have to be careful that you don't accidentally select spectra highlights or anything that is white. That shouldn't have any detail. You want to find something that's off white, just the tiny little bit of detail. So if I hold on option and click and direct to the left, you'll start seeing some white here. So it's probably here in the sky somewhere. So there there's white so you can see the image is much better now that we set the black point in the white point, and we can also click on the neutral gray eyedropper and select the point of the image that you think should be a neutral gray. A neutral gray is just something that shouldn't have a color caste, and I'll explain what neutral gray is in a moment. But essentially, in this case, the white food truck would be a neutral gray. White shouldn't have any color cast, so if I click on the food truck, it removes that color cast. So that's why you would use the the eye droppers to find the white points or just to neutralize the image. You don't even have to find the black and white points if you don't want to, you can just click on on the food truck itself, and that neutralizes the image. But it's a little washed out. So if you wanted to at that point, you could, um, find the black and white points to give it more contrast. I hope that answers the question. It's early to to use the option with blacks and with the white to get the meat very to get to get close to the 18% because on certain images yeah, you won't have, like, something that is white or something that is great to kinda strike a way around that. So I mean too far. I guess that the way you can answer that is every image is gonna have a darkest part in a brightest part. That's not the problem. Because there something always is. The dark is and something always is. The bright is the problem is the 50% gray. Um, sometimes we may be dealing with an image that maybe it's in the forest and there is no neutral grace. And there is a way that, um, you can create several layers and do a thresh one of blending mode type of thing that I personally don't like, which is why I'm not gonna show. Um, but essentially, it's a mathematical way of getting the neutral grays. And I don't to me is just so much work to get something that it doesn't give you the results so personally what I would do in a case like that. So maybe maybe our image is just, you know, you know, something like that. There is no neutral grace. What I would do in that case is just eyeball it, really like, you know, the I mean, if you shot the photo, you were probably there. You probably remember what it's like, and you definitely know if it looks good on screen. That's the way that I would approach it. I wouldn't do a mathematical thing because at this point were dealing with organic color screens and all that sort of stuff. So I think you're I might do a better job in trying to get mathematical with it. But if you're dealing with buildings and you know, like, cities and stuff like that, then there's definitely neutral grazing. You could use those guys. So that's how I would approach that. Yeah, you're welcome. Okay, So let me just make sure Oh, yes. So we're with this image here, and I I I think I already mentioned everything that I want to mention with this image. But just to reiterate and get back to where we were, um, the worst that your images, the harder it will be for it to look good. And you can do so many things with curves and adjustment layers and mass. And whatever you want about Adina, today we have a bad image is going to be really hard to make it look good, But you can make some improvements as I just showed you in the best way for something like this is just to select the different channels and hover over the different areas and click and drag to make adjustments. Now, sometimes you can start stacking adjustment layer. So I have this curves adjustment layer here, but I can create. I can create one more, and I could use something like the quick selection tool and decide that I could select maybe the background here. So now I have that selection of the background that can continue selecting different parts of the image. But for now, we're just gonna focus on that part. Um, actually, the smarter way to do it is by first creating the selection, then creating the curves adjustment layer because it creates the mass for you. So if I hold the option key, you'll notice the mask was created for me automatically. So at that point, I can only now just focus on that part of the image. And I think there's a lot of red in there so I can just click and drag down to subtract, read, or I could use the targeted selection tool. Oops. I didn't click on it. Um, maybe select so I can make Aiken continue fine tuning the image just on that spot. So that's how you would color correct an image that is just terrible like that. But in most cases, you're not gonna have that problem. In most cases, especially if you're the one shooting the photo and definitely very buying stock images. You don't really have to worry about color correcting them, but in most cases is gonna be something like the food truck example where you are gonna be able to bring it back to make it look somewhat decent. And actually, I wasn't really thinking about showing this. But if you follow my instagram page, sometimes you'll see some random pictures that have, um, something like, let me show you. I do that sometimes I'll think of ideas and I show you guys, I hope that's OK. Oh, that I'll have, like, maybe black and white images are all have something Where, uh, let me reset this and I'll actually what I'm doing in a moment. So I'll have something like that because I'll take a picture of something that I like. And for whatever reason, the colors are not working. I can get him to work. I'll just do something creative. So essentially creative color correcting. Um, and one of the easiest and best ways of doing it is by using a grating, a great map adjustment layer. So that's right down here. Greeting map adjustment layer. And what this adjustment layer does, is it maps, colors, toe luminous values. So I guess one of the best ways of showing it to use probably with this one here. What this great aunt is doing is mapping this purple to the darkest values of the image and the orange, the brightest values of the image and all the colors in between are a great J Grady ation of those two colors. So then I'll do something like that. And I was like, Oh, that looks cool And that's little post on Instagram. But, uh, yeah, so that's the magic behind some of the stuff on on Instagram just because sometimes, like I said, for whatever reason, I'll take a picture of something and I just can't get the colors to work. So, um, anyway, that was yes. One of the things you said about the points is that you could add more points. What would be the practical application for using more points? Yeah, so let me see what would be the best. The mystery meat. Answer something like that. Um, good question. So I don't have the best example, but I'll try to use this image to to answer your question. It's, um sometimes you're dealing with images where you may want to. For example, let me think I'm gonna do this. So, um so let's me. I guess we'll do the outer color corrections first, and then I will deal with tones and not worry about color. So maybe there, maybe I want to make the sky brighter or darker. Excuse me, Excuse me as we can click and drag down, but notice that if if I'm making the sky darker, multiple adjusting the food truck because all the values are compressing, expanded together when we make adjustments, so I can then maybe hover over the food truck and click and drag up to not affected as much. So that's the same thing. You would do what color in different tones. So maybe even here in the shadows, like way down here. Maybe that's too dark. It was even dragged that up even higher, so you can create different points to adjust different tones individually. The downside of adding too many points, though, or dragging him too far apart is that are closer together, Rather, is that you flan out the image? So, for example, this black point here that I created just a second ago if I click and drag that one up too high is gonna flatten the image is gonna make things great. So I guess to answer your question is you would create multiple points to target their from values. But you have to be careful that you don't make drastic adjustments in between the values because then you'll flatten the image out. Use that targeted adjustment tool. It makes a new point. Yes. So heating. Yes. So notice that some hovering over the image there's like, this little assuming here. So you could see Look at this line. And I'm hovering over the images that there's that little circle. So that's where that tone wrist size on the curb. So the food truck is here. Click. Now I can drag up or down. You can see the, um um little handler with the up and down arrows so I can drag up or I can drag down. And if you remember from earlier What we're really doing is changing the input and output, so the input is a value of 1 56 and the output is a value of 1 91 And you're probably thinking, what is 1 56 and what is 1 to 1? I'm sure what that is is if you double click on the foreground color picker here, you can select any color. Doesn't really matter what the color is. You'll see the RGB values, so that's what it is. So this particular red here that I have selected is a value of red of 2 30 to a value of nine for Green and a value of nine for blue. So that is the numbers that make up that color. So if we're in the let's say we're in the Red Channel and we click on that point and we drag up. What we're really saying now is that the Red Channel is 1 51 and now is 1 So essentially is the Red Channel 1 51 and obviously these are 00 so that's one. So that's the original red, and we're turning into essentially that read. So that's that's what those values are

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Ratings and Reviews

user-7963ec
 

This is a terrific course. I am an intermediate Photoshop user. I really learned a lot about understanding the use of curves for different situations but Jesus provided an excellent base of knowledge about color modes, color interactions, histograms, and blend modes. I have heard all of these topics discussed before but now i feel like i actually understand the technical aspects so that i can make decisions, not just memorize formulas. Superb. Thank you.

artmaltman
 

This class is fantastic. Teacher has a great depth of knowledge and explains very clearly with great examples. Well paced, well organized and very clear. I had no idea how much power "curves" have, and now I know. Very highly recommended.

Tomas Verver
 

Good course from an engaging teacher abou the curveseffect. Showing lots of examples what you can do with effect. A nice course about a specific subject! If you need a more general course and have limit amount of resources this one might not for your. If you would like a course that goes into detail this one is a nice to have. Projectfiles are included.

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