The Power of Touch: Digital Finger Painting with Photoshop

The Power of Touch: Digital Finger Painting with Photoshop

Jesse Leikin
Apr 12, 2011

Remember back when you were a child and you used to do finger paintings in art class? Well Adobe does, and they seem to think that there is something to this input method, which is why yesterday they unveiled the Photoshop Touch SDK. This will open the door for incredibly entertaining, and potentially very powerful new tools. It is obvious that Adobe thinks that when you combine the power of Photoshop with the touch interface that some amazing new techniques and applications will emerge.

At launch - expected to be May 3rd along side the CS5.5 launch - Adobe will have three apps of their own. These include Adobe Eazel (a finger painting app), Adobe Nav (a Photoshop navigation tool), and Adobe Color Lava (a digital palate for color mixing). In addition, the Adobe Photoshop Touch SDK will provide third party developers with the ability to build unique applications to enhance the Photoshop experience through touch devices. While much of the early attention for touch device integration has been grabbed by the iPad, Android and Blackberry device owners need not fret. Adobe has not forgotten about you and included development support for those devices as well.

After watching the demo video, we can't help but be amazed. Gone will be the days of using the color picker to try and find the perfect shade of orange. Instead we will just whip out our tablet and start using our fingers to find the perfect combination of colors - like grade school minus the mess. And if these three initial Adobe apps get you excited, just wait until the talented developer communities get their hands on this. Who knows what type of creative and useful apps this technology will yield!

Are tomorrow's promises a little too far off and you're looking more in the realm of "now"? Here are three touch-gesture based apps you can download now for your iPad:

Brushes: a painting application designed from scratch for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Featuring an advanced color picker, several realistic brushes, multiple layers, extreme zooming, and a simple yet deep interface, it is a powerful tool for creating original artwork on your mobile device.

SketchBook Pro: MacWorld's 2010 "Drawing App of the Year" is designed for sketching for all levels. Layers, brushes, and virtual tools like airbrush and markers gives this app a professional feel to it, even though anyone can just get started playing around and creating.

Layers for iPad: like Photoshop, as the app's name implies, this painting program supports up to 5 layers and 30 steps of undo for painting and image manipulation. Using many of the same recognizable tools as Photoshop makes this app a solid on-the-go tool for touch illustration (partner it up with your own DIY iPad stylus for better utility).

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