Photoshop MultiTouch Image Editing

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 24, 2007
Updated • Jun 1, 2013

I do like futuristic looking demonstrations of technologies that will play a big role in the coming years. One demonstration that I found absolutely fascinating is a Photoshop multi-touch image editing demo.

Working with small screens and a mouse plus keyboard is the current state of the art when it comes to image editing.Sure, there are options to add pen input to that but that is about it.It becomes problematic in a number of way including working in a team.

It is also not natural to use a mouse to draw and edit images. Multitouch image editing uses a natural flow and offers a bigger detailed view of the image at hand.

The technique may not be suitable for fine-tuned granular work that you sometimes have to do in Photoshop, but it certainly can become an alternative for operations that do not require this.

You can for instance use it to browse images in a natural flow, do resizing operations, mark areas that you want to cut or copy, or perform other modifications that affect the whole image you are working with or a large enough part of it.

I found a video on YouTube demonstration how powerful this way of image editing is. Enjoy the show. It is clear from what is being demonstrated that the technology is not there yet completely. You clearly see the input lag of the touch commands in the video.

Adobe recently has released Adobe Photoshop Touch, a version of Photoshop for Apple's iPad or Google Android tablet devices that support touch input. While it does not come close to what is shown in the video demonstration, it highlights that touch input may become the next big thing in image editing.

Tablet devices are on the rise and a larger user base may certainly give companies enough incentives to produce specialized touch-based versions of their programs for touch-devices.


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  1. Christian said on April 1, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Dan, every think of the possibility of setting the table at an angle and lowered for a seated position? You’re missing the possibilities here.

  2. Dan said on June 16, 2008 at 5:22 am

    So… in the same time it would take a Pro with a mouse/tablet to retouch an image you can:

    – Pull up a few tools
    – Use the “Smudge” effect
    – Develop lower back pains AND wrist problems
    – Get fired for being too damn slow!!!

    Seriously… where do these developers think they are heading? The mouse/keyboard combination has been perfected in the last 20 years and now we have to step backwards for this “cool” new tech?

    I just don’t get it!

  3. yabby said on February 6, 2008 at 6:21 am


  4. OBeleza said on March 26, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    Humm… I think this is just a concept. It seems to me too that some gestures try to follow the interface.

  5. Martin said on March 25, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    I actually don’t think that this is fake. This was apparently a project by Thomas Gläser who is a student at a German university.

  6. Longinus said on March 25, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    Nice one.
    I’m intrestes in this technology too, but I admit i have some doubt about this video.
    I’m afraid this is something like that famous video of a touchscreen iPod that was a buzz some tome ago.
    I think some changes of the workspace on the “table” happen BEFORE the gestures of the operator.
    I hope to be wrong, but please watch it again aand tell me what you think.

    PS: i read your feed since some month ago, sorry to be “lurkin” all this time :P

  7. Ù?Sherif said on March 25, 2007 at 12:09 am


    so coooooooooooool…

    but is this technology had been intruduced into reality??

  8. Thinker said on March 24, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    wow, looks cool :)

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