Sliders begone! New app makes touchpad or tablet your interface to image editing bliss


posted Monday, March 25, 2013 at 9:46 PM EST

Have you ever wished you could spend a little less time fiddling with buttons and sliders while you're editing the results of your latest shooting session, and a little more time focusing on the photos or videos themselves? You're not alone; the folks at software company Arctic Whiteness -- creators of the Photographer's Toolbox plug-ins for Lightroom -- have made exactly the same observation, and they've come up with a solution.

The Touch, as its name might suggest, is a tactile interface that lets you use gestures much like those you're accustomed to from devices like smartphones to control your software, allowing you to put down your distraction (and carpal-tunnel)-inducing mouse -- at least for a while. The application is available only for Apple hardware, and relies on your possessing either a Macbook, Apple's Magic Trackpad accessory, or an iPad tablet. (If you opt for the latter, you'll also need an iOS app called The Touch Pad.)

An introduction to the premise behind The Touch.

Once installed, you can control two programs using touch gestures: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, and Apple Final Cut Pro X. Some gestures are coupled with the keyboard, as well, to increase the range of functions available.

A demonstration of The Touch being used with Adobe Lightroom.

In Lightroom, you can change screen modes, navigate between images, control zoom, flags, and rating, and make adjustments to variables such as exposure, saturation, contrast, vibrance, and more. Fianl Cut Pro X support is similarly rich, allowing timeline and marker navigation, color grading, instrument selection, and even editing functionality such as in/out points, insertion, connection, and replacement of clips.

The Touch in use with Final Cut Pro X.

If you're using an iPad as your touch input device, the tablet also offers a customizable interface with guides to available gestures, adjustable brightness, and more.

UI of The Touch Pad app for iPad, which optionally interfaces with The Touch on your Mac.

Available immediately, The Touch for both Lightroom and Final Cut Pro X is priced at around €20 (or US$22, for American customers). A trial version is available, which will work free of charge for the first 300 gestures used. The Touch Pad, meanwhile, is free of charge. More details on The Touch's official website.

(via John Nack on Adobe)