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Photoshop Elements & Curves Adjustment Layer

Dec 31, 2009 8:10 AM

Hi.  I know that PE does not have curves or curves adjustment layers. 


However, there are curves plug-ins that can be downloaded that work pretty well. I am trying to figure out though if there is a way to fake a curves adjustment layer using one of those plug ins.  I want to avoid having to make a new layer that is a merge of the other layers and then applying curves to the resulting new one, because it not only does not act like a curves adjustment layer, but it also makes the file bigger and more difficult to apply tweaks later on.  If anyone knows a way to fake a curves adjustment layer, can you please post it here?


Also, I hope that a future release of PE includes real curves and an adjustment layer for curves.  I have PE7, but am not planning to upgrade to 8 because they have not included this.



  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 31, 2009 8:24 AM   in reply to Spodeworld

    Elements does have curves. Enhance>Adjust Color>Adjust Color Curves. Now, it's pretty paltry compared to PS curves, but it is there. If you have windows, you should check out the free easy filter curves:



    Whether you use windows or a mac, you can also add a curves adjustment layer from many of the add-on sites. However, in recent versions of PSE you will be limited to adjusting only the combined RGB channel, just as you are with the PSE built-in version. The only advantage is using a graph instead of sliders so you have more tweaky adjustments.

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    Dec 31, 2009 11:20 AM   in reply to Spodeworld

    Grant's tools, Richard Lynch's tools, Elements+, for starters. But as I say, you will be subject to the limitations adobe put into the underlying code of PSE starting in PSE 4. Although the easyfilter plug-in doesn't create an adjustment layer, I think it gives you more flexibility than any of these do.

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    Dec 31, 2009 1:44 PM   in reply to Spodeworld

    No, what you're doing is what you have to do if you do it that way. But even a curves adjustment layer doesn't allow to go back and tweak it: you have to throw it out and create a new one (although I realize that's still more flexible than the plug-in, in that respect). It's less flexible in that you don't have as many ways to adjust to begin with, not in a curves adjustment layer in PSE.

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    Dec 31, 2009 10:22 PM   in reply to Spodeworld

    You could try using a black/white gradient set to luminosity blend mode. This is the idea although the gradient that the author builds in this tutorial doesn't do anything for my images.


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