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Advanced Curves Layer

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  #1  
Old 02-06-2011, 10:14 PM
photo2216 photo2216 is offline
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Advanced Curves Layer

Hey everyone,

I stumbled across the blog of Waldermar Hansson. He has some really advanced curves layers that he is showing his readers (at least for me). Can anyone figure out how to get these curves layers to work? I tried, but failed. I can't figure out if I need to change the layer mode or something else. Check out the three examples that I'm talking about by going to:

http://www.waldemarhansson.com/blog/

Thanks!

Last edited by photo2216; 02-06-2011 at 11:55 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-07-2011, 12:32 AM
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Aladdin Aladdin is offline
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Re: Advanced Curves Layer

I don't understand. What do you mean "Can anyone figure out how to get these curves layers to work?" ?

It just "works", I mean, nothing special about it at all. He has "curve" for each look he is after, one for "Chanel", one for "Louis Vuitton", so on and so forth. Keep in mind though, that, this is not the only curve you might use, each curve lays down the "ground" work for the particular look/theme he is after. In other words, you don't just drop a "Gucci" curve on an image and voila, you have Gucci! it is just a starting point for "uniformity".

Now, if you are asking how to create it, it is really simple:
1- open curves adjustment layer on top of your subject matter
2- go to the red channel, play around, use the point, pen or whatever to tweak the curve (you can edit or hand draw the curve, you may also want to smooth it out, but not for this particular curves) - play around.
3- repeat for the blue and green channels
4- go back to the rgb channel, do the same to the "master" curve, the solid black one.

Unless I totally misunderstood your question.
Done!
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:55 AM
photo2216 photo2216 is offline
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Re: Advanced Curves Layer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
I don't understand. What do you mean "Can anyone figure out how to get these curves layers to work?" ?

It just "works", I mean, nothing special about it at all. He has "curve" for each look he is after, one for "Chanel", one for "Louis Vuitton", so on and so forth. Keep in mind though, that, this is not the only curve you might use, each curve lays down the "ground" work for the particular look/theme he is after. In other words, you don't just drop a "Gucci" curve on an image and voila, you have Gucci! it is just a starting point for "uniformity".

Now, if you are asking how to create it, it is really simple:
1- open curves adjustment layer on top of your subject matter
2- go to the red channel, play around, use the point, pen or whatever to tweak the curve (you can edit or hand draw the curve, you may also want to smooth it out, but not for this particular curves) - play around.
3- repeat for the blue and green channels
4- go back to the rgb channel, do the same to the "master" curve, the solid black one.

Unless I totally misunderstood your question.
Done!
I think you misunderstood my question...I did alter the curves like he did in the examples "gucci, chanel & luis vuitton. The colors came out flat. I know it's not magically gonna come out a gucci ad! I was just wondering if someone had experience with taking it to "uniformity." In other words, I wanted to see the final images of what other people got when they fooled around with it. And maybe added a few of their own steps. Because my final images sucked and I wanted to see what I could do better! That's all....
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:57 AM
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Re: Advanced Curves Layer

did you play with curve layer mode? this make big difference, also, opacity is another factor. Softlight & overlay come to mind, I am getting consistent results with softlight, as is, however, on overlay, you will have to lower opacity. Again, it depends on the shot.

I am not getting the exact look, to get the exact look, a lot more will have to be done.
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:00 AM
photo2216 photo2216 is offline
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Re: Advanced Curves Layer

Yeah I did. That's why I posted the question. Maybe someone out there is a expert with the curves layer and knows where to take the three examples.
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:08 AM
photo2216 photo2216 is offline
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Re: Advanced Curves Layer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post

I am not getting the exact look, to get the exact look, a lot more will have to be done.
That's exactly what I was saying...I was sort of challenging people to see what they could get. That's all. Thanks!
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:38 AM
Luke Kaven Luke Kaven is offline
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Re: Advanced Curves Layer

I wish the blogger had posted some examples. I was guessing they were intended to be applied first in "color" blend mode. At least that preserves the luminosity of the original and produces weird color effects. But the purpose of the RGB curve (along with the separate curves for R,G and B) isn't clear then.

I'm struck by these enigmatic curves...I hope someone can shed some lumens on them.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:44 AM
Luke Kaven Luke Kaven is offline
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Re: Advanced Curves Layer

Though come to think of it the "color" mode blending does look a little like what Hansson himself is doing here: http://www.waldemarhansson.com/blog/?p=328
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  #9  
Old 02-09-2011, 11:57 AM
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ray12 ray12 is offline
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Re: Advanced Curves Layer

These images look to have used advanced curves, blending modes, and layer masks all together to achieve the effects. Heres what I mean:

Curves Part: The curves give you the ability to change the colors in certain parts of the image under your control. You adjust the RGB, R, G and B curves in the highlights, in the midtones, and in the shadows, to give you the coloring effect you see in these pictures...and in your own artistic mind. They are adjustment layer curves which means they are non-destructive and therefore do not alter the skin textures or the stone textures below the curve color layer...so this way... you get great image detail and image integrity without blocking up or obscuring the image below. You can have any part of a shadow, or mid tone, or highlight be any color or vibrancy that you choose if you know how to control these 3 tools mentioned.

Blending Modes: There is also evidence of using blending modes that are located in the upper left part of your layers pallet. They would also affect the way the curve colorations affect the image below and how they blend together. There are blend modes that darken the blending, lighten the effects, or control the way colors and images overlay with each other. Blending modes give you an additional way to get vibrant or moody colors that are not possible with the normal blend mode in your layer. Most artists will experiment with curves, masks, and blend modes interactively till they get the visual effect that pleases them the most.

Layer Masks: There is also strong evidence of using layer masks. The problem identified by photo2216 is that his color curves came out looking flat and not artistic. Thats because your colors and blendings were not controlled by layer masks. Layer masks allow you to artistically paint in the colors and the blendings EXACTLY where you want them, and how strong, and where the colorations begin and end. Without the control of layer masks you would just have a crazy color overlay effect from the curves you showed. Layer masks give you the complete artistic effects you want and make them infinitely controllable. You can make the dark shadow down below look very saturated in one place and then very moody in another place on the same image...but NOT have any effect on the face at all. Thats the artistic and visual power of learning Layer Masks.

The Artistic Combination: Its the combination of a good and well thought out base image... that has good design and exposure and artistry in it to begin with. These shots done in a studio environment, for example, would not look right. You have to apply these techniques to a base image that is appropriate and worthy to get the WOW effects you are looking for.

With this technique of using selective curves, blending modes and masking...then the visual photographer/artist can decide that he wants this shadow here in the bottom to be dark blue, this midtone to be ivory, and this highlight on the top to be changed into a totally vibrant yellow. The Photographer/Artist...Photoshop Craftsman...can make up almost any image their mind can imagine... by capturing thoughtful base images and modifying them to his intended vision.

This particular photographer/artist may have had 15 to 20 different layers in his image. One layer per specific effect of color, vibrancy and part of the mood of the image.

Since adjustment layers do not degrade the original image details below...you can get some amazingly complex and artistic looks that really tell a visual story rather than just depict reality. They are all blended together using masks, and all with some form of well chosen blending mode, that made the colorations look vibrant, or moody or highly exciting.

By mastering and using all 3 tool sets at the same time...thats when Photoshop can get really fun and visually exciting. Then the only limit is the quality of your artistic vision... and your intent.

Thats my .02 guess.

Cheers,

Ray12

Last edited by ray12; 02-09-2011 at 12:04 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-09-2011, 10:08 PM
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Aladdin Aladdin is offline
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Re: Advanced Curves Layer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Kaven View Post
I wish the blogger had posted some examples. I was guessing they were intended to be applied first in "color" blend mode. At least that preserves the luminosity of the original and produces weird color effects. But the purpose of the RGB curve (along with the separate curves for R,G and B) isn't clear then.

I'm struck by these enigmatic curves...I hope someone can shed some lumens on them.
Exactly! What is the point? I am part photographer, part retoucher and fully feed-up with show and tell
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