Prof. Mary Brown | COMD 1162 - E058 | Spring 2023

09 Discussion

Each week you will need to respond to two questions posted. Your response should be a minimum of 300 words for both questions. You should also include at least one response to your fellow students. The responses are a requirement for participation part of your grade.

Question 01 –

Describe how to create a curves adjustment.

Question 02 –

How do you create a merged layer on the top of the stacking order?


  1. jasmin M

    In photoshop you can find the curves adjustment in layers.By going to the bottom of the panel you can find the adjustment icon then you select the curves option from the list. curves help you a better control to shadows, highlights and midtones separately.

    To merge layers you have to select the amount of layers you want and choose merge.

    • Prof. Mary Brown

      Jasmin, you told me how curves will affect an image, but how you actually makes those adjustments once I select the curves adjustment option?

    • Jamil


      How are you coming along with using these tools? I find it very difficult at times and its a bit of an annoying learning curve but I’m hanging in there. The adjustment layers are going to take a lot more practice for me to really get the hang of them. It’s really all about trial and error, I guess. I can say that Photoshop comes a bit more natural to me for some reason than something like illustrator.

      Thanks for your input!


  2. Jamil

    In order to create a curves adjustment, you need to have an image opened on an artboard in Photoshop. You also need to be able to see the layers panel (click Windows → Layers). If you navigate over to the very bottom of the Layers panel, you’ll see several small icons. Click the one that looks like a moon cut in half. From the drop down menu choose ‘Curves.’ You now have an adjustment layer for this particular image in the Layer order. You can make adjustments in several different ways. Some of the common curve adjustment options are: Close white gaps (aka Levels bump), Increase exposure, Decrease exposure, Flatten whites, Flatten/Matte blacks, Contrast curve, Decontrast curve, White balance, Color tone, etc. Just to name a few. So let’s say we’d like to increase exposure for example, we’d have to go over to the levels panel and move the middle bendy line upward in order to increase the exposure and conversely move it down to decrease exposure. 

    When merging layers in Photoshop, the layers selected are basically flattened into each other and you won’t really be able to work with them individually any longer. However you can still make smaller adjustments. There are a few ways to do this but the fastest way is to first select the layers in whatever order they are in and then typing Ctrl+E. This merges only the layers that have been specifically selected and flattens them. If you’d like to merge ALL layers, you would type the keyboard shortcut Shift+Ctrl+E.

  3. Greg Wallace

    Curves can be accessed in one of two ways. First, you can find it under Image -> Adjustments -> Curves. You can also find Curves in Adjustment layers, located at the bottom of the Layers panel. From here you can alter the shape of the curve manually or use the automatic settings in the menu.

    You can merge layers from the Layers panel. Select the layers that you want to merge Ctrl + E together to merge them together.

  4. Parth Patel

    Open your photo in Photoshop and go to the Layers panel. From there, you can add a Curves adjustment. Using the “Create new fill or adjustment layer” icon at the bottom, select “Curves” from the drop-down option. You will see the Curves adjustment layer. A graph illustrating tonal values is displayed in the Curves properties section. The brightness and contrast may be changed by dragging the curve line. Exact control over particular tonal ranges is made possible by adding anchor points. The Curves adjustment in Photoshop allows you to make personalized tweaks to improve the overall tone range of your image.

    Make sure that all necessary layers are visible and stacked in the proper sequence in Photoshop before you can add a merged layer on top of them. The top layer in the Layers panel should be selected. The combined content is placed on a new layer that is created by this command and is shown on top of all other layers in the panel. The merged layer can be renamed if necessary. You can individually hide or remove the original layers by clicking on the eye or trash can symbols in the Layers panel if you wish to maintain them in tact.

  5. Sarah

    Question 01 – Describe how to create a curves adjustment.

    To create a curves adjustment in both Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, follow these steps:

    1. Adobe Photoshop:
    • Open your image in Photoshop.
    • In the Layers panel, click on the Adjustment Layer button (half-filled circle icon) at the bottom of the panel.
    • From the dropdown menu, select “Curves.” A new Curves adjustment layer will be added above your image layer.
    • The Curves dialog box will open, displaying a graph with a diagonal line running from the bottom left to the top right. This represents the tonal range of your image.
    • To adjust the tonal values, click and drag on the line to create anchor points. You can add multiple anchor points to reshape the curve.
    • By dragging an anchor point up or down, you can adjust the brightness and contrast of different tonal ranges in your image.
    • Experiment with the curve adjustments until you achieve the desired tonal balance. You can also use the presets or the Auto button for automatic adjustments.
    • Click OK to apply the changes and close the Curves dialog box.
    1. Adobe Illustrator:
    • Open your document or artwork in Illustrator.
    • Select the object or artwork you want to apply the curves adjustment to.
    • Go to the “Window” menu and choose “Appearance” to open the Appearance panel if it’s not already visible.
    • In the Appearance panel, click on the “Add New Effect” button (fx icon) at the bottom and choose “Adjust Color” > “Curves” from the dropdown menu.
    • The Curves dialog box will appear, allowing you to adjust the tonal values of your selected object or artwork.
    • Follow the same steps as in Photoshop to create anchor points, adjust the curve, and fine-tune the tonal balance.
    • Once you’re satisfied with the adjustments, click OK to apply the changes.

    Question 02 – How do you create a merged layer on the top of the stacking order?

    In both Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, to create a merged layer at the top of the stacking order, you can use the following steps:

    1. Adobe Photoshop:
    • Ensure that you have all the desired layers visible in the Layers panel.
    • In the Layers panel, select the topmost visible layer that you want to include in the merged layer.
    • Hold the Shift key on your keyboard and click on the bottommost visible layer you want to include in the merged layer. This will select all the layers in between as well.
    • With the layers selected, go to the “Layer” menu at the top of the screen and choose “Merge Layers” or “Merge Visible” (depending on your preference).
    • A new layer will be created at the top of the layer stack, containing the merged content of the selected layers.
    1. Adobe Illustrator:
    • Select all the objects or layers that you want to merge into a single layer at the top of the stacking order. You can use the Selection tool (shortcut: V) to select multiple objects.
    • With the objects selected, go to the “Object” menu at the top of the screen and choose “Group” or press Ctrl/Cmd + G to group the selected objects together.
    • In the Layers panel, you will see a new group layer created at the top of the stacking order, containing the merged objects.
    • If you want to further simplify the group into a single layer, right-click on the group layer in the Layers panel and choose “Ungroup.” This will convert the group into individual objects on the same layer.

    By following these steps, you can create a merged layer at the top of the stacking order in both Photoshop and Illustrator, allowing you to combine multiple layers or objects into a single layer for easier management and editing.

  6. britney

    The way you would find curve adjustment is go into the the panel and finding the adjustment label where there are different options and one is the curves option. This option allows you to work with the lighting and tones of the pictures

    The way you would create a verge layer on top of the stacking order is by holding onto the layers and shift then pressing command E and move the layers onto one making sure that they are merged together. But make sure you leaving the layers viable so you are able to create the new one and you’ll have them all there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *