RetouchPRO (
-   Photo Retouching (
-   -   Solar Curve (

Cameraken 04-28-2007 02:44 PM

Solar Curve
2 Attachment(s)

How to make a Solar Curve.

To create a solar curve, add a curves adjustment layer and add 6 equidistant points.
Then drag the first point to 100%, the second to 0% etc. See the picture.

Once the curve is made it can be saved as an ACV file for re-use

This will give your image a really strange look but it also accentuates the highlights and shadows and midtones to reveal things that are normally hidden or don't match.

Add it above dodge and burn layers. It really highlights skin blemishes
Add it above a restoration to find missing detail
Add it above cloning to check for variations etc.
It will also highlight banding on gradients etc.

Just toggle the curve on and off as required.

Lots more uses. Please post here if you find it useful or find any other uses for it.


DannyRaphael 04-29-2007 01:06 AM

Re: Solar Curve
2 Attachment(s)
Facinating concept / application of this effect, Ken. Screenshots really helped.

This curve works pretty well if one is in a colorful, abstract art mood, too. :)

Thanks for sharing this method -- and the inspiration.



The .zip contains 2 Photoshop actions I just crafted:
* Curve only adjustment layer per Ken's specification
* Arty varuatuib based on the Solar curve

Cameraken 04-29-2007 08:58 PM

Re: Solar Curve
Hi Danny.

I almost mentioned the art possibilities with this curve. Great job.:bigthmb:

A Solar Curve is an accepted retouching tool. I just thought that it had had very little mention at Retouch Pro and deserved a thread of its own.
I have seen them made with more than six points. But I think six points are enough for most situations.


TheVeed 04-30-2007 09:21 AM

Re: Solar Curve
I always use a solar curve, it's a great asset. It's very helpful when using D & B and clone/healing

Cassidy 04-30-2007 09:41 AM

Re: Solar Curve

Originally Posted by TheVeed (Post 153767)
I always use a solar curve, it's a great asset. It's very helpful when using D & B and clone/healing

A description of methodology would be appreciated on this one

Cameraken 04-30-2007 01:20 PM

Re: Solar Curve
1 Attachment(s)
Hi Cass.

The idea is that this curve will exaggerate differences. So it is useful for finding flaws that are normally difficult to see.
It does take a little getting used to because the image looks so weird.

Here is one use.
Picture 1
Is a red spot on a green gradient (but it could be dust on a background or a pore on skin)
Picture 2
I added a blank layer and cloned out the spot to the best I could do.
Picture 3
I added a solar curve to check my cloning. As you can see there are still some marks left which shows that my cloning was not perfect.
The vertical lines are the 'banding' caused by a PS7 gradient.

So if you want to get things perfect then add a solar curve to check your work.

Hope this Helps.


niloc 09-26-2009 07:51 AM

Re: Solar Curve
Thank you, a very interesting thread.

Cuervo79 09-27-2009 01:22 AM

Re: Solar Curve
Godmother told me about this but I haven't been able to see the actual practical use of this... other than "make things perfect" do clone or healing problems show out on printing? I feel that working with that is overkill.

Quantum3 09-27-2009 05:54 AM

Re: Solar Curve
I feel the same than cuervo, but how other uses this weird technique has? What about in D&B? Which of all those weird colors are the midtines?

Thanks for the stuff, it's the first time I see something like this.

0lBaldy 09-27-2009 11:40 AM

Re: Solar Curve
You might think it is overkill because your eyes are probably not seeing the minor imperfections.... the printing press will not miss those imperfections, especially when there are gradients of any kind involved! (banding)

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:46 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved