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This appears to be a workflow problem. you are not using the tool in the way it was intended for.
Let me ask you this - why would you use the pencil in the first place? I assume the pencil is only there just for experimental extreme color manipulations and in this case it doesn't matter if you get more points or not. Curves is one of the most powerful tools for Color Correction but it's also the easiest for a user to cause a whole mess out of the image. you really use only 2 points most of the time, maybe 3 or 4 but these will have to be accurately placed to avoid banding.
Does anyone know if it's possible to get back to the Bezier tool without adding so many points,
When you convert from pencil/smooth to bezier this is what happens - the curve is converted from freeform to bezier points with handles
if there's a more simple way to delete the unnecessary points other than dragging them off one by one
You should not be having that many like I explained earlier, but it appears that NO. in photoshop you can just press delete when you have a point selected. you also can press = - to move between points. you can submit a feature request, this could be a useful feature: Feature Request/Bug Report Form
I agree, the Pencil isn't really very useful. I just ended up with it a couple times by hitting the Smooth button, which I thought seemed like a nice shortcut for tightening up the arc. Since the tools are there, I thought I'd look into them a bit to see what the possibilities are. I always wonder. But you're right the solution is clearly not to use the Smooth button Thanks for your input, Roei! I appreciate your advice.
You're welcome. take some time to learn this incredible tool. it's the least intuitive of all the CC tools, but the most versatile. I would recommend this course if you are interested in learning about color correction in after effects : After Effects Compositing 03: Advanced Matching and Looks . and there's a segment on curves too. well what do you know! it's your lucky day because this one is free! watch it now! After Effects Compositing 03: Advanced Matching and Looks