My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: US$10 Project Rigel is Adobe Photoshop for smartphones - Why a Stylus is needed form Pocket sized Professional Editing

Thursday, August 27, 2015

US$10 Project Rigel is Adobe Photoshop for smartphones - Why a Stylus is needed form Pocket sized Professional Editing

“Project Rigel is designed and built in a way that serves the needs of professionals familiar with retouching tools on the desktop, but more so for people not familiar with Photoshop tools like content-aware fill or spot healing. It democratizes them and makes them easier to use”

Adobe's Senior Product Manager for Digital Imaging, Manu Anand in an interview with CNET News about Project Rigel, their Photoshop for Tablets and smartphones

Adobe Photoshop on smartphones and Tablets is far from dead.

Come October 2015 at the Max Conference, just in time for Christmas, Adobe plans to unveil a new Photoshop app as reported in the article “Adobe aims to bring Photoshop to mobile masses with upcoming app”, published August 26, 2015 by Stephen Shankland, CNET News

This Photoshop app is for editing photos on Apple's iPhones and iPads with and Android devices being thrown into the mix a lot later. As a lover of Photoshop myself, especially for making book covers as explained in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How to remove Image Backgrounds to make an e-book cover”, I use Photoshop as well as other free photo and image editing tools on a daily basis for my blog.

Project Rigel is a follow on to Adobe Creative Cloud launched back in September 2014 in partnership with Google as explained in my blog article entitled “Google and Adobe launch Adobe Photoshop Streaming Edition - Adobe Creative Cloud pips Chromebooks to Graphics Design students on the Move”.

Back then, Adobe Creative Cloud was launched to basically stream Adobe's suite of products to Chromebook users, so that they too could use Adobe’s creative suite of products! Adobe's Project Rigel is the same thing but for smartphone and Tablet toting professionals graphic editors!

Adobe's Project Rigel is free with a paid subscription of US$10 a month that gives you Photoshop and Lightroom, with US$50 giving you access to Adobe’s entire Creative suite of software that requires a yearly commitment.

Adobe's aim is to improve upon the failure of Adobe Touch, an earlier attempt at a Smartphone app as noted in “Adobe discontinues Photoshop Touch, previews its next generation”, published May 21, 2015 by Lori Grunin, CNET News, and make photo editing an easy transition from one device to the next.

Interestingly too, you're not tied to Adobe Creative Cloud, as you can pull your material from any source, be it Dropbox, Google Drive or elsewhere. More interestingly, Adobe is joining the Social Media crowd as your finished work can be posted immediately to social media, iOS's camera roll and even Adobe's Lightroom tool for photo editing and cataloging. 

So what's changed with the interface that'll make you shell out US$10 per month just to edit photos when free photo editing apps are available?

US$10 Project Rigel is Adobe Photoshop for smartphones and Tablets - Pocket sized Subscription to Professional Editing

Dubbed Project Rigel, the product is free and is made with more touch friendly, intuitive interface to simplify the otherwise complex interface that is Photoshop.

Interestingly, despite being formatted for the smartphone, it's made with professionals in mind, as many of them take photographs that they may start editing on tablet or Smartphone and finish up on a PC, to quote Adobe's Senior Product Manager for Digital Imaging, Manu Anand: “It might seem a little cheesy, but this is something we've actually worked with professionals on”.

There is a menu of editing tools at the bottom of the screen and a floating control bar tool adjustment on the left of the screen. Thanks to the presence of front facing cameras, it even sports face recognition technology that Photoshop for PC lacks, allowing you to change facial features on the fly.

That facial-recognition tool will eventually be coming to the PC version of Photoshop and is compatible with the Liquefy tool on the Photoshop for PC.

 The menu bar at the bottom has some options familiar to Photoshop users:

1.      Cop
2.      Adjust
3.      Liquify
4.      Heal
5.      Smooth
6.      Light
7.      Color
8.      Paint
9.      Defocus
10.  Vignette

Tapping on each reveals a submenu of other choices that makes working in the tiny space that much easier.

Photoshop on Tablets and Smartphones – Stylus is needed to do Great work

But most important to such a small workspace is the ability to zoom in for finer detail, which is very important for doing graphics work on a confined space like a smartphone or tablet.

Each edit you make becomes its own editing layer within the Photoshop file (the PSD file format), making changes reversible once you jump around a PC for greater control. As part of making that transition easier from non-Photoshop inductees, a lot of the custom terms have been changed e.g. “dodge” and “burn” become lighten and darken.

The floating menu on the left helps you adjust tooltips and brushes, which is really your finger or stylus if you're using a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 as noted in my Geezam blog article entitled “Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is a flatteringly fabulous Phablet with an improved S Pen”. 

Still, I'd recommend that you make your own Stylus if you really want to accomplish great editing masterpieces in Photoshop as explained in my Geezam blog article entitled “How to make a Stylus for your Apple iPad or Capacitive-Touch Device”.

US$10 a month for Photoshop and Lightroom is beginning to sound like a steal, albeit the subscription model does need a little work. For the Professional, this is a great tool to have in December 2015 on hand to work on your next great ad campaign.

Here’s the link:

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