The Curves tool is a versatile color corrector. Each curve graph line represents the range from the darkest (lower left) to brightest (upper right) portion of the image for Master/Luma, Red, Green, and Blue. Simply grab a point along the line and move it to “bend” the color and brightness values. Mode selects the color math for how the curves are applied.

Master + RGB

When Mode is set to Master + RGB, the leftmost graph (white) functions as a master curve, equally adjusting RGB values. When you create a simple S-curve in the Master, you will increase the contrast of the image, however this also increases overall saturation because you are pushing the RGB values.

Luma + RGB

When Mode is set to Luma + RGB, the Master curve changes to a Luma curve and only affects brightness and contrast without changing saturation. In the same S-curve example, contrast will ?include? without also increasing saturation. If you adjust one of the RGB curves lower, it will affect the overall brightness of the image.

Luma Preserving

When Mode is set to Luma Preserving, changes in the Luma graph appear to have the same result as in the Luma + RGB mode, however if you change one of the RGB sliders, the output is different. The Luma Preserving mode maintains image brightness when the other values are changed.

In addition to grabbing a point along the curve line, you can also use any of the color pickers to select an area or color within the Final Cut viewer. This will automatically add a corresponding control point along the line. Right-click any control point on the curve to delete it.

Last modified December 22, 2020