The photographs you’ve dumped onto your iPad via the Camera Connection Kit are already pretty swell, but what if you had an app that took an ordinary shot and turned it into something seriously beautiful? With TouchUp by RogueSheep, you can quickly swipe over your photographs in an elegant and friendly interface that encourages creativity. Example photos are included to get you familiar with what’s possible with TouchUp, and we’ll be taking a look at one of these pre-included items to help you get started.
TouchUp works on the idea that effects are laid over the images as masks, and can be applied or erased at anytime with a quick stroke of the finger. Effects essentially become layers, stacking on top of each other and giving you the ability to adjust blur or a black & white mask at any time. These effect masks can be inverted in state, copied, deleted, and used to beautify your photos as blur out backgrounds and sharpen textures. By default, effects are applied to the entire image: by browsing and selecting on an effect, you essentially apply it. You can erase the effect where you don’t want it, pinching and zooming into the picture to control how much surface area you want to cover, or you can apply the effect with the draw tool. If you want the effect applied to the entire image (but still want to work with it), you can invert the effect of the mask so you can start from scratch to draw the effects in where needed.
The concept of drawing and erasing is consistent throughout the app, providing only two very simple (yet graceful) tools to manipulate images. In the case of the black & white flower provided as an example, a black and white effect was added to the image. The erase tool was then used over the flower to erase the effect and highlight the flower in the image. I went ahead and shifted the colors to make the flower appear more orange than yellow, and also darkened the background (again erasing over the flower to make it brighter).
As you work with your image, you’ll have the option to undo any mistakes you might make. Unfortunately, there’s no unlimited undo option (it changes to a redo once you tap). If you really screw up, you simply have to delete the effect and apply it again. While unlimited undo is a something I miss, the idea that you’re never altering the original image is welcome. You only ever work with the effect that’s currently selected or applied.
Lots of attention to detail was brought to TouchUp, and you’ll find the interface to be quite exquisite in use. The drawing tools are simple without being burdensome (there are no palettes of tools buried in menus or floating over your image), and effects are applied easily and are maintained with clear and informative options. The classy interface used to touch-up your photographs is maintained throughout the app as menus fly open and delightfully present the option to import (and from the drawing interface export) photos. But the real trick? The help items included in TouchUp will playback video that teaches you how to use the tools available.
Once you’re finally done doctoring your photos to perfection, rest easy in knowing that you can easily share your TouchUp photos to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, or your AirPrint printer. While you can import images from your Photo Library, you can also access recent Flickr photos from the Flickr stream or pull photos from your Flickr account while on the go.
Featuring a smart UI that gives beginners and advanced users alike the ability to easily add effects to their photographs, TouchUp is a must-have photography tool I’ve fallen in love with on the iPad. It’s simply fun to use, and gives you the opportunity to turn a mundane photo into a standout piece of art you won’t be afraid to share on your Facebook profile. Available for $9.99 in the App Store, TouchUp is the uncomplicated way to instantly make something of your photographs.
We’re also giving away two copies of the app to two lucky readers below, so you’ll want to check out the rules and enter for a chance to win.