The PicMonkey Editor has an Advanced effect group that can dramatically change the look of your picture, but requires slightly more knowledge to use. The Advanced effect group is at the very bottom of the Effects tab list.

Curves

The Curves tool shows you the shadows, midtones, and highlights in your photo in grid form. The left side of the grid represents the shadow tones in your image, the center of the grid represents your midtones, and the right side represents the highlights. 

  • Move the line in the grid around to make the shadows look deeper, or make the highlights look brighter. You can add anchor points to the line to keep it from jumping too drastically.

  • The channel is preset to show "RGB" colors (all red, green, and blue) but you can also choose "Red," "Blue," or "Green" to see how each of these colors shows individually in your picture.

  • The presets drop-down is a selection of effects that you can highly customize to your liking by changing the anchor points on the curve.  

  • The Color override slider mutes the colors in your image, and the Fade slider fades the Curves effect as you’ve applied it. 

  • To apply the effect, click Apply.

For a more in-depth explanation of the Curves tool, check out our video tutorial

Levels

With the Levels tool, you can adjust the color, contrast, and tonal range of your image. It’s helpful for editing slightly overexposed or underexposed photos. The Levels tool uses a histogram (a graphic representation of the pixels in your image) to let you make these adjustments.

  • The pixels on the left side of the histogram are dark, the pixels in the middle are midtones, and the ones on the right are light. The dark slider on the bottom controls the dark tones, the gray slider in the middle controls the midtones, and the white slider controls the light tones.

  • The Channel drop-down lets you select the pixel colors you’re evaluating in the histogram. The channel is automatically set to RGB, but you can specify Red, Green, or Blue separately. 

  • The presets drop-down menu lets you create pure black and white either with a combination of all the channels (Auto Monochrome) or one color at a time (Auto Per Color). If you select Preserve Mid Tones under either of those options, it will keep your gray slider exactly in the middle of the histogram.

  • Lastly, the Output slider controls the tones of the blacks and whites in your image. Moving the black slider to the right will make the blacks more gray, and moving the white sliders to the left will make the whites more gray.

  • When you’re happy with how your image looks, click Apply.

To learn more about the Levels tool, check out our tutorial.

Dodge and Burn

Dodge and Burn are two separate effects, but they each mirror photo developing techniques from the darkroom. Each effect has a Light, Mid, and Dark setting that you paint onto light, medium, or dark parts of your image.

  • Dodge makes the light parts of your image lighter and brighter. It also works to lighten midtones, but we wouldn’t recommend using it on dark tones since it’ll make them look washed out.

  • Burn makes all the dark tones in your image darker and richer. It also darkens midtones, but we wouldn’t recommend using it one light tones since it’ll make them looked muddy.

  • Adjust your Brush size for more precise application, and click Apply to apply the effect.

For more information on Dodge and Burn, see our video tutorial.

Clone

Clone lets you fix image mistakes or remove background distractions by copying one part of your image and applying it to another. 

  • Adjust your Brush size and click a source. This is the part of your image that will be copied.

  • Click your mouse on the part of your image that you want to replace and start painting. Your source is always relative to where you initially clicked your mouse click was, so it moves as you continue to paint. The larger the area you want to clone, the more you'll need to keep re-choosing a source. 

  • The Brush hardness slider will make the edges of your cloned area softer and the Fade slider will fade the cloned area. 

  • You can always click the Eraser button to erase something you cloned.

  • To apply the effect, click Apply.

For a more detailed explanation of clone, check out our video tutorial.

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