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Curves To Levels?


marcbkk

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Greetings everyone, I just landed here for the first time. :wave:

I just had a quick question on curves. I normally work with levels and someone sent me a file with a curves color adjustment layer in it.

I have been struggling with trying to see if I can somehow convert or reverse engineer the curves adjustment layer into a levels adjustment layer so that I can create an action from it.

I realize I can save the curves layer as a curves preset, but I would prefer to be able to create an action so that I can share the action with others more easily.

If I could even figure out the exact settings of the curves layer using the numbers then I could also recreate the curves layer as part of an action. So that would do it too.

If anyone has any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it.
 

IamSam

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Hello and welcome to PSG.

I'm not much help with your question.

Curves or Levels Adjustments for two different photos would be very different. How are you planning to use the adjustment layer in an action?
 
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To make you more comfortable, just think of a curves layer is basically the same thing which their task is image tone control. Curves is just more flexible with creating multiple points. The histogram is the same when you look at your levels or curves adjustment layer. When you push the blacks on the levels layer to the right, you are pushing it to match the output level of the midtones and even further to the highlights. This is can be translated with the curves layer because it is sectioned off between highlights, midtones, and shadows. You push a point up in the shadow section, your shadows are brighter. Just play around more and look at videos so you can get a better understanding. As far as an action to transfer the same information, there isn't one that does so.
 

marcbkk

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Thank you both for your good replies.

I am trying to create a color adjustment layer to give an image a bit of a retro look. Someone created a curves layer for me already, which I am using together with some other layers I have created myself. I would like to put the whole set of adjustment layers into an action to apply to other images like it in the future.

Please let me clarify a bit further. I am not actually not trying to create an action to convert the curves layer to a levels layer. I would like to try and do one of the two things:

1 - Figure out the exact settings in my excisting curves layer so I could recreate the curves layer as part of an action

or

2 - Figure out the settings of the curves layer by the numbers as it is done in levels (if that is possible) and then create a levels adjustment layer to mimic the exact adjustment effects of the curves layer.

Cheers...
 

Tom Mann

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A curves adjustment can contain a huge number of interior control points in addition to the 4 endpoint adjustments. A levels adjustment has exactly one adjustment besides the 4 endpoint adjustments. Therefore, in general, there is no way you can reproduce a complicated curves layer with a levels layer.

You might be able to approximate a curves adjustment layer that only contains only one interior point that is located near the center of the curve, but that's about as good as you are going to be able to do.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Tom M
 

marcbkk

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Thank you Tom M. That is good to know. At least I know it's not an option now.

Is there anyway I can at least figure out what the exact points are from within the curves adjustment layer I have? Then I could write them down and make them part of an action by adding the settings I have in the existing adjustment layer to a new curves adjustment layer when I create the action.

Cheers...
 

thebestcpu

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Hi marcbkk
Why not open up the Curves Adjustment Layer, apply the desired preset, and then just hover your cursor over each point in the gray tone image and record the X,Y values by hand, and do the same for the R, then G, then B curves. You would have al the points you need to create the Adjustment Curve Layer n an Action at that point. Alternately, you could save the presets for each curve as a preset and share those presets with any person or any computer to do what you want Do the above for each Curves Adjustment Layer you are using and you should be good to go. No need to make it any more complex. Am I missing something?
 

marcbkk

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Hi marcbkk
Why not open up the Curves Adjustment Layer, apply the desired preset, and then just hover your cursor over each point in the gray tone image and record the X,Y values by hand, and do the same for the R, then G, then B curves. You would have al the points you need to create the Adjustment Curve Layer n an Action at that point. Alternately, you could save the presets for each curve as a preset and share those presets with any person or any computer to do what you want Do the above for each Curves Adjustment Layer you are using and you should be good to go. No need to make it any more complex. Am I missing something?
That is perfect. Thank you. No, you were not missing something. I didn't know how to record the values, but figured it out and was able to do that as you suggested. I was then able to recreate the curves adjustment layer and record the steps as part of an action and problem solved. Cheers for the help,
 

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