In early October Adobe announced a new tablet application focused primarily on photographers. This was the second such application to be announced over recent months. The first, Adobe Carousel, had been announced a month earlier and is now available from the Apple App Store. This new application, which I have been privileged to be testing for this past few months, is called Photoshop Touch. As I was away on holiday at the time it wasn’t possible to keep up with all the news surrounding the announcement, but now that I’m home…
Why am I more interested in, and therefore blogging about Photoshop Touch? Well, in terms of photo editing, Carousel’s toolset is intended for fairly simple edits to images. Photoshop Touch, on the other hand includes a more comprehensive toolset which includes the ability to make selections, insert text, create layers, and apply layer blends and effects filters – effectively Photoshop for tablets.
Photoshop Touch includes a comprehensive set of adjustment tools such as Levels, Curves, Temperature, Shadow/Highlights, Colour Balance, etc. Carousel has a similar set of adjustment tools, but they are based on Camera Raw code and therefore benefit from being nondestructive. Does this give Carousel a quality advantage? Not that I see, at least not with images that don’t require significant adjustments (i.e. substantially under/over exposed)
A feature unique to Photoshop Touch is the new “Scribble” extraction tool. With this tool you can scribble a selection with either your finger or stylus. I’ve found the Wacom Bamboo Stylus to be a much easier for making selections, but then I again, I have big fingers 😉 The selection identifies the elements that you want to keep (e.g. foreground) and those to be removed (e.g background).
Scribble Tool Selections
I mentioned using the Wacom Bamboo Stylus above. However, I should make it clear that Photoshop Touch does work well with finger control. For example, you can pinch and zoom. Also, when scaling, cropping or warping an image the objects have finger-sized handles so it’s fairly easy to resize or distort them.
Other useful features for those into making composite images is the ability to search Google for copyright free images. Images found by Google are displayed within the Photoshop Touch UI and can easily be downloaded straight into the application.
Photoshop Touch use the new Adobe Creative Cloud to automatically sync images to your desktop computer. Also, Photoshop Touch processed images can be opened directly into Photoshop via a plugin for finessing or printing. Using this plugin Photoshop Touch layers and blends, etc are fully supported by Photoshop.
Images stored on Adobe Creative Cloud
A unique feature of the Creative Cloud includes the ability to toggle on and off layers. It’s also worth mentioning at this point that the Creative Cloud is a subscription service, although no prices have been announced yet.
Adobe have made a number of video demonstrations available via their Adobe TV service. They are presented by Russell Brown and should give you a good sense of what Photoshop Touch is capable of.
At present Adobe are intending to release Photoshop Touch on the Android platform first. The iOS version for the Apple iPad 2 will be released sometime later. There has been much criticism of this decision, which I can understand, but it’s a matter that Adobe can address, not me. For more information on availability of Photoshop Touch sign up here.