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Author Topic: Is the TONE CURVE in Lightroom equivalent to CURVES and LEVELS in Photoshop  (Read 3454 times)
sunshine1234
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« on: October 28, 2013, 03:09:41 PM »
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Is the TONE CURVE feature in Lightroom equivalent to CURVES and LEVELS in Photoshop? i.e. can it yield as tonal adjustments with the same precision as PS?

I'm not yet sure when it's necessary or best to launch an image from Lightroom into Photoshop for additional work.

Some 'for instances' would be really helpful.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2013, 03:18:02 PM »
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Hi,

In general I think that Lightroom is superior to Photoshop, unless you need to do things that Lightroom cannot do. I essentially use Photoshop for:

- Pixel level edits
- Stitching
- Darkening sky (as decribed here: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/46-fixing-sky-with-luminosity-mask )
- HDR

This is a bit of a blanket statement, other posters have different opinion and experience for sure.

Best regards
Erik




Is the TONE CURVE feature in Lightroom equivalent to CURVES and LEVELS in Photoshop? i.e. can it yield as tonal adjustments with the same precision as PS?

I'm not yet sure when it's necessary or best to launch an image from Lightroom into Photoshop for additional work.

Some 'for instances' would be really helpful.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2013, 12:46:17 AM »
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I think Eric summed it up pretty well.  If you're not aware, equivalent versions of ACR and LR use exactly the same processing engine, although the controls are a bit different.  Photoshop itself is an entirely different way of working.  Instead of Levels in LR you have the Basic panel - Exposure, Highlights, Shadows, White point, Black point.  The Tone Curve in LR works in two different ways, either as a point curve as in PS, but also with sliders for the different regions.  In Point Curve mode you can also pick and R, G or B channel to adjust independently.  I use LR exclusively, except for things it can't do, like stitching, stacking/HDR, layers/composites, content aware fill...

Mike.
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Rhossydd
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2013, 01:30:52 AM »
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Is the TONE CURVE feature in Lightroom equivalent to CURVES and LEVELS in Photoshop? i.e. can it yield as tonal adjustments with the same precision as PS?
Very simply, no. The smaller size of the UI and reduced control set mean that it's difficult to achieve the same degree of precision, plus there are some things, like output levels that can't be adjusted from the tone curve panel.
However they are very similar and some aspects of the control system do offer more than curves and levels, eg the variable zone based options and the targeted adjustment option.

I've found I never need to go into PS any more for general tonal corrections.
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PhotoEcosse
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2013, 10:53:57 AM »
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I've found I never need to go into PS any more for general tonal corrections.

Likewise.

I can't really comment on the specific question as I rarely use CS6 other than for layers now that Lightroom 5 is so powerful. Partly, however, that is because I find LR so much more intuitive than PS (which is not necessarily the same as saying it is better.)
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picturesfromthelow
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« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2013, 02:59:22 AM »
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You should also note that in Ps you can choose the blending mode, which could be seen as an obvious advantage depending on your needs. As far as I know curves adjustments in Lr affect tonality AND saturation at the same time. So if you want to work on tones only, you better use curves in Ps with luminosity blend mode.

Saluti,
Luca
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digitaldog
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« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 08:56:48 AM »
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It's not the same as the data is quite different along with the processing. You can produce the same net results but don't expect the same settings to produce the same results. All the data in LR/AC is encoded and processed using linear data, that's not the case in Photoshop. All edits in LR/ACR is just instructions used to build new pixels, Photoshop will alter the existing pixel values. So there are differences abound. When should you use LR? Whenever possible. It's faster. It's non destructive. It will apply edits in the best order, not necessarily the user order.
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Andrew Rodney
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Bryan Conner
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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2013, 11:44:22 AM »
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All edits in LR/ACR is just instructions used to build new pixels, Photoshop will alter the existing pixel values.

This the best, most concise, explanation of the differences between LR/ACR and Photoshop I have encountered.  I would almost buy a t-shirt with this on it!   Cheesy
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2013, 11:50:19 AM »
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Well, that might be on the front but on the back would be "but don't ignore adjustment layers".

John
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2013, 12:18:20 AM »
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This the best, most concise, explanation of the differences between LR/ACR and Photoshop I have encountered.  I would almost buy a t-shirt with this on it!   Cheesy

Sounds good!
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sunshine1234
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2013, 11:26:07 AM »
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Many thanks to all of you who took time to post - I feel that I've come away with more knowledge at the conceptual level.
 
What I need now is to find a way to see all these concepts 'in action' so that it can help me make better photographs.

I will continue my hunt...thanks again.
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rovanpera
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2013, 06:06:43 PM »
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The point curve is similar to curves in photoshop, you can adjust the output levels as well by moving the endpoints of the curve. You get to the point curve by clicking the small box at the bottom right corner of the tone curve palette. You can also save custom curves as presets.

Unfortunately the user interface of the point curve is not as nice as in photoshop, the window is smaller, it's more difficult to move the endpoints of the curve, and there is no numeric control of the points.

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wolfnowl
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« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2013, 12:47:06 AM »
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One tip for working with the point curve in LR is to try (one at a time) holding down the Ctrl, Shift, and Alt keys while moving a point on the curve.  And that's all I'm going to say.  Oh, that's Cmd, Shift and Opt for you Mac folks.

Mike.
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If your mind is attuned to beauty, you find beauty in everything.
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My Flickr site / Random Thoughts and Other Meanderings at M&M's Musings
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