Apps | Adobe packed the most powerful parts of Photoshop into a free retouching app

adobe-fix

Learning the intricacies of Photoshop can be a daunting task if you’re not a pro and really only want to use a few tools.

So Adobe added another app to its growing mobile lineup on Monday with Photoshop Fix, which breaks out Photoshop’s retouching capabilities into a free app.

One of the biggest problems with photo editing apps is that developers try to cram too much in. The editing tools may be exactly what you need, but you’ll never find them because they’re buried beneath layers of menus and submenus. Or, once you find what you’re looking for, it’s really easy to overdo it. Our collective Instagram addiction has trained us to expect bold, saturated colors and grainy filters.

Neither is the case with Photoshop Fix, which presents just the right mix of (good) editing tools in an intuitive way.

The basics
There are 10 sets of tools within the app; crop, adjust and vignette allow you to make changes to the entire image, while the rest let you selectively apply edits to specific areas. Adjust is where you’ll find basic controls for tweaking exposure, saturation, contrast shadows and highlights.

The other tools — light, color, smooth, healing, defocus, liquify and paint — offer much more fine-tuned control over the changes you make. Open up the paintbrush icon within each tool to adjust the size and opacity of your brush and swipe over the area of the photo where you want to apply the effect.

One of the nice things about Photoshop Fix is that changes are easily undone and each tool has a “restore” feature that allows you to quickly revert back to before the last change.

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One of the most useful adjustments is the light tool, which houses the “lighten” and “darken” controls (the app’s form of “dodge” and “burn” on the desktop version of Photoshop). Photos are rarely perfectly lit, so the lighten and darken tools make it much easier to adjust that with a few swipes.

Of course, as with all editing software, Fix’s magic can only go so far. If an image is totally obscured by shadows, you’ll be able to lighten it up quite a bit; however, this can add a considerable amount of noise to an image. Shadows across faces, shaded buildings and chunks of overexposed sky can all be easily corrected.

Healing
If you’ve ever attempted to retouch an image in Photoshop, chances are you’re familiar with healing, which allows you to replace parts of an image with pixels from a different section of that image. The healing menu in Photoshop Fix includes spot heal, patch, clone stamp and red eye correction tools.

If you want to remove something from your image — from a blemish on a face to an unwanted tree on the horizon — then spot heal is the tool you’ll want. The tool isn’t perfect, but it works well when trying to remove an area with a solid background. You can use it in combination with the clone stamp or smooth tool to work around patterned areas.

In the photo below, removing the two swimmers doesn’t fix the area of the ocean around them, which still shows traces of the disturbed water. But using the clone stamp to replace it with a different section of water all but eliminates the traces of what was once there.

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Overall, the tools works best with higher quality images; trying to spot heal a pixelated area will have mixed results.

Liquify
This toolset was the subject of the ill-conceived demo during Apple’s iPhone 6S launch event.

Yes, you can use the “face” adjustment to change smiles, eye shape, lip shape and eye size. Yes, the results can be a bit creepy if you go overboard, but the tool is surprisingly effective at making subtle (and not so subtle) changes to faces.

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Liquify can also do a lot more than change facial features. You can use the warp, swell and twirl tools to distort portions of your photos, or go all-out for funhouse mirror-like effects.

iOS for now
Photoshop Fix is free to use and doesn’t require a Creative Cloud subscription, so getting started is fairly simple. If you are a Creative Cloud subscriber, you’ll be able to move images (and edits) between your mobile devices and Photoshop CC on your desktop.

The app is iOS only for now but Adobe says it plans to release and Android version as well.

Source | www.mashable.com

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