03 Duplicating control points
One control point isn’t always enough. Their circular shape means they don’t always match the areas you’re trying to adjust. The solution is crude but simple – just click the ‘+’ button in the tools panel on the right and click on the image to create another. It’s part of the same levels & curves effect, so the same curve adjustment will be applied to this one too. The alternative is to select a control point (1) and use ctrl/command-D to duplicate it (2).
But what if you want to create a different curves adjustment in a different part of the image? Here, I also want to brighten the front of the figurine, which is going to require a different curve shape.
That’s easy – I simply click the ‘Add Filter’ button (3) underneath the Levels & Curves panel in the tools panel on the right, then select Levels & Curves again from the filter list on the left.
04 Additional Levels & Curves adjustments
This time, I create a control point on the front of the figurine and push the centre of the curve upwards to produce a brightening effect (actually, I realise my curve is a little more complicated than that, but I’ll save complex curve shapes for another tutorial – you get the idea, anyway).
Again, one control point isn’t enough, so I’ve actually created three more – you should be able to make them out in this screenshot. There’s one on the pirate’s forehead, another on his leg and one more on the windowsill below.
Remember, all these control points act in unison because they’re associated with the same levels & curves effect – when you change the curve shape it affects all of them. This is actually an advantage in many situations. Remember too that if you want to apply a different adjustment elsewhere in the picture, you’ll need to create a new levels & curves effect.
05 The finished picture
I think this is pretty good result for a program that looks at first sight like a simple plug-in filter collection. This single tool, easily overlooked in the filter list, provides the kind of localised levels and curves adjustments you’d normally associate with a full-blown image editor.