For all those who have been complaining about the absence of certain detailed photo editing features in Photoshop meant for iPad, there is a good news. Adobe has recently rolled out the Refine Edge tool in the Photoshop iPad App. This is arguably one of the biggest features that will be advantageous for photographers as it is the only way by which they can carefully select and work upon each strand of hair or for that matter the edges of a fur with absolute precision.
The Refine Edge tool basically enables easy edge detection. The entire design and the engineering that has gone behind creation of this tool was crafted such that users found it easy and familiar to use while ensuring that the pencil’s interaction with the pixels was significantly high. Another key aspect that went behind designing the tool was the speed with which it could be used.
The single largest advantage of editing photographs on an iPad is the ability to select the required areas by using the touchscreen option instead of the mouse pad. In the earlier versions of Photoshop there were limited features and scope for making adjustments to the selections made. However, with the advent or introduction of the Refine Edge tool, it will become much more easier to make selections simply by the tapping of the Apple Pencil or only a finger and then adjustments can be made to these selected parts around the specific objects that are extremely difficult to mark out, like the hair strands, their texture and even for eliminating elements from complicated backgrounds.
In addition to all these, the Refine Edge tool enables Photoshop for iPad to use a brush with the edge detection capability and fine tune the selections made. One can make necessary adjustments like feathering, smoothing and various other refinements possible. Basically, with the help of the edge detection feature, one can easily select those areas which are complicated to draw manually, the most common one being hair. By using the brush, a photographer can easily either add or remove aspects from the selected portions.
So, how does one use this feature? Well, the instructions or steps to use it are quite simple.
Firstly, the user needs to use the Selection tool to draw out a rough outline of the object that he or she wishes to refine. Secondly, one has to select the Refine Edge option. To do this, the user needs to tap on the More menu which is found in the selection toolbox located at the bottom part of the screen in the center,. Thereafter, the Refine Edge workspace has sliders inside it. User has to use the ones on the right side to adjust the size of the brush. Once done, user can automatically make adjustments to the edge detection by toggling the smart radius option. And lastly, user should select the plus icon to make addition to the selected area and use the minus icon to remove aspects from the selected portion.
In addition to the Refine Edge tool, the other recent update that have been introduced includes the touch gestures option which allows using only two fingers to rotate the canvas. The default angles of rotation are fixed at 0, 90, 180, and 270 degrees. Also, based on how close the fingers are, the app screen will respond accordingly thereby allowing the user to rotate as well as zoom into the canvas at the same time. This feature of rotation using fingers is quite convenient when one is sketching as it allows the user to avoid re-position the iPad repeatedly.
With the introduction this feature, the Photoshop for iPad app has proved very helpful for all photographers. However, it should be mentioned here that, unlike the desktop version of the software, the app version may still not have all the features that one wants. But the availability of some of the key features have definitely made the app more powerful, handy and a lot more usable.