The Touch

Hardware iPad

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The Touch is a great way of controlling Lightroom (or Final Cut Pro X) from an iPad or from a trackpad via multi touch gestures. Personally I’ve been using it with an iPad, but with my deskspace being more limited these days (I recently bought a smaller one to create more space in my room), I’m thinking of getting a trackpad to use with it.

The Touch was created French filmmaker Vincent Zorzi and British software engineer and photographer Timothy Armes. You may be familiar with Timothy, he’s the guy that has all those plugins for Lightroom and runs Photographers-Toolbox.com.

Here's the promo video they made for it.

Watch this video on YouTube.

The Touch is intuitive and the instructions are onscreen when you launch it, and are available by clicking 'The Touch' icon in the status bar. As I've only used the iPad version, that's what I'll talk about.

To make most effective use of The Touch, you need to turn off the Multitasking Gestures off in the iPad settings. To access the features, you then alternate between 1-5 fingered double taps for main settings, and 1-5 fingered drags for sub settings.

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A 1 fingered double tap opens Library. 1 fingered swipe moves between images, 2 fingers is the standar pinch zoom. 3 fingered swiping changes between Flags, while 4 fingered controls star ratings.

A 2 fingered double tap opens Exposure mode. Each additional finger controls a different section of the histogram. 1 for Blacks, 2 for Shadows, 3 for Exposure, 4 for Highlights and 5 for Whites. It's really straight to use.

The 3 fingered double tap opens Creative mode. Per finger this is 1: Temperature, 2: Contrast, 3: Clarity, 4: Vibrance and 5: Saturation.

4 Fingered taps lead to the Detail panel, specifically Sharpening, where number of fingers control: 1: Amount, 2: Radius, 3: Detail and 4: Masking. I kinda wish Luminance was in there as 5, but it’s not.

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With 5 fingers you can swipe between display modes and making a squiggle will reset sliders.

To use with an iPad, start The Touch on the Desktop, then open it on the iPad, while connected via Wi-fi.

The Touch will launch on the http://www.arcticwhiteness.com website later today for €19.99, with the iPad companion being available on the App Store shortly (possibly today). As the launch is dependent on Apple, the exact timing is available. Mac only and requires Lightroom 4.2 or higher.

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