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New Auto-Curves Behavior & Getting the Old Way Back

PhotoJoseph's picture
November 10, 2011 - 4:35pm

Many users have noticed that Aperture 3.2 added a new behavior to Auto Curves [Luma], especially since I’d just done a Live Training video on Curves (#011) and what they were seeing on their systems was a little different than what’s on the video.

Auto S-Curves

The engineers did a lovely thing in Aperture 3.2 — now when you hit the Auto Curves [Luma] button (this doesn’t apply to Auto Curves [RGB]), instead of just resetting the black and white points, it now adds an S-curve to the curve. Which is great, since that’s probably what you were going to do with Curves, anyway. The shape of the S is not a constant, either. It’s calculated by some mathemagical formula and applied just-so.

Auto-Curves applied. Notice the points automatically added to make an S-curve.

But I don’t want that!

Of course, progress is sometimes just “progress”, and if all you really wanted was to have a basic black- and white-point set, then you might be pretty upset by this change. I had a user ask in the forum if there was any way to remove this functionality, and I replied that there wasn’t one that I knew of, however, I hadn’t tried any key combinations yet. Some functions in Aperture behave differently if you hold down a key while pressing the button — for example, the Option key.

And in fact, that turns out to be the magic key here! In Aperture 3.2 or above, if you option-click on the Auto Curves [Luma] button, you get the “old” curves — a simple reset of the black and white points.

Auto-Curves applied while holding the Option key down. Notice that only the white- and black-points have been set, with no addition points to “curve” the curve.

So there you go… if you don’t want the S, just option-click.

-Joseph @ApertureExpert
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Apple Aperture

Every time I try to use this, Aperture crashes. Does that happen to anyone else?


Which part crashes it… doing anything in Curves, doing auto-Curves, or doing option-auto? Have you tried trashing the preferences yet?

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