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App Review: TouchRetouch

APP_TITLE_TouchRetouch

Pictures are worth a thousand words and maybe even more! With so much up for interpretation in each picture, the less interference by surrounding objects or people, the better!   It's that perfect beach sunset in Maui interrupted by the old wrinkly man tanning behind you, or the amazing seafood you’re dying to post to instagram so your followers can envy your meal instead of your friend scrolling through his timeline across the table. Now as much as I would have loved to have been on a Maui beach or enjoying some scrumptious seafood (TRUST me), these two DREAM pictures would only be able to be corrected with photoshop which would require sending the picture to my email, saving it onto my computer,then once in photoshop the editing would begin (headache…..headache…..headache).

Now, what if I told you that you could make photoshop-esque edits straight from your device with a few clicks. (Inception, right?) No, unfortunately we are not blessed with the presence of Leonardo DiCaprio or Joseph Gordon-Levitt but this is just as spectacular. This is the app that everyone’s been waiting for...the one-click photoshop for your mobile device is here! Unlike the difficult and hard to navigate program that photoshop is, TouchRetouch allows you to remove any unwanted objects or material in a picture with the touch of a finger! The old wrinkly man can finally be removed!

Let's go back in time to the VSCO Cam app review, the image we used was a beautiful skyline partially obscured by stop lights and telephone lines, it will be the perfect test for this app.  Just in case you forgot, here it is again to refresh your memory:

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Ok, first stop is the Landing page:

Upon opening TouchRetouch, they give you exactly what you want. They use a sleek black user interface with everything you need.They provide the options of uploading a photo from your gallery, taking a new photo, watching a tutorial for beginners, or watching an advanced tutorial. What first caught my eye was how efficient and simple the home screen was.

They give you all the options you need without obfuscating the process for the user by giving you too much to deal with. The developers created this with the everyday user in mind and this makes the process better for everyone.

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At the bottom of the landing page, you can share this app to any of you social networks through the “thumbs up” button or see what the developer has added to new versions with the “lightbulb” button.

In the top right corner you can access the settings and help where you can change the settings, email the developers, or read help articles on specific issues. The landing page is very simple and efficient, providing ease of use for new users of the app.

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Editing Page:

Whether you upload or take a picture, the first step before heading to the editing screen is selecting the output resolution of the image. With 4 options: Original (3264 x 2448), High (2581 x 1936), Medium (1600 x 1200), and Low (1024 x 768), I’m going to select the highest resolution (original) to get the best quality image.

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Nothing exemplifies California better than palm trees and skies as blue as the ocean, which is why this is the perfect photo to edit.  As pretty as this picture is, it would be a lot more appealing without the ugly street signs in the way, so this will be what we remove.

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After you have your picture present, you are provided with an array of editing tools such as the lasso, brush, and clone stamp. The lasso and brush tool allow you to remove any object in the picture. With the lasso you draw around the object and it will remove the area inside this while the brush tool requires you to draw over what you would like removed. The brush tool is generally more useful because you can select how large or small you would like the brush to be as well as be more precise.

To start, I’ll use a brush to draw over both the stop light and the street sign using as thin of a brush as possible to make the retouch as unnoticeable as possible.

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Once I’ve drawn over what I want removed with the brush, I press the play button (hand symbol) to make the changes and voila! Just like that TouchRetouch worked its Houdini like magic and removed both the street sign and the stoplight, and we didn’t even have to pay admission! 

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Now that our ugly street signs are gone, the last, and most detail oriented step in this editing process would be using the clone stamp.The clone stamp allows you to copy from one source to the destination location on the picture. This can be used to clone objects in your image, but more importantly can fill in the background of whatever object you have removed.

The first step is setting your source. This is done by choosing what part of the picture you want to copy and setting that as your source. For background retouching purposes we would set another part of the background with the same color as the source. From here, you can choose between solid, smooth, and semi-transparent brushes to do your cloning. Now all you do is draw with your brush and your source will be what is drawn. I’ve realized the cloning tool is the most difficult to use and will most likely require the most time just because it calls for very precise drawing. For the image of paradise, I will use a source on the pavement for the street sign since that is what it has left revealed. The source for the stoplight would be a combination of different hues of the sky.

Unfortunately, in the midst of my cloning process the app crashed and I now have to start all over again. This is something that I hate to see happen and that any user would hate dealing with but is understandable due to the nature of the software.

Aside from all the cool ways you can edit your picture, the editing page has useful add-ins like an info tab in the top right corner if you need any help, a back and forward button to undo and redo any changes, and link to your photo gallery if you want to start over from scratch. 

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Finally all of our hard work is done and we have turned an average intersection into a California paradise waiting to be explored!

Rating: 3 logs

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Is TouchRetouch the mobile photo editing app of the future, or is the old wrinkly man tanning a reality that will never leave?

The combination of effective and versatile tools that accommodate the basic picture editing needs along with very few options provided make this app superb for the everyday user like you and I editing objects or blemishes out of their pictures. Whether you are perfecting an image by moving background objects, or removing things to create funny pictures TouchRetouch gives you plenty of flexibility.

Personally, I would improve the clone stamp tool to allow you to lock onto a source. After choosing a source, my source would follow the same movement as my brush, creating a huge mess and almost doubling the amount of time it took to use the clone stamp tool.

The app crashing in the middle of my editing was also frustrating, causing the oversized tips of my fingers to do a lot more work than they wanted retracing over what I needed to delete.

The plus is the file size and image quality were perfect to print on wood, the wood grain in the blue sky looks even better with out the stop lights and traffic signs. (natural gloss finish)

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Overall, TouchRetouch does an excellent job creating an efficient photo editing platform on your mobile device. Taking all this into consideration, TouchRetouch is a very effective app that almost anyone can use, warranting a rating of 3. These minor flaws can be easily fixed, and that beach on Maui can look as stunning as it was, or as you want it to be.

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For more information on Touch Retouch please visit: http://adva-soft.com/products/touch-retouch/