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The Tools Palette’s twin on the right, Photoshop Touch’s Layers Palette falls equally nicely under your other thumb. Though it appears deceptively simple, the most common options are still present.
Layers can’t be grouped or locked, but they can be hidden and moved up or down at a swipe of a finger, and you can have up to 16 in a single project. Perhaps the coolest feature, and one unique to Photoshop Touch, is that double-tapping any layer will bring up a fully 360-degree 3D view of the layer stack with real-time transparency. Usefulness aside, it’s an awesome visual effect.
Tapping the Layers icon below the stack lets you control the Opacity and Blend Mode of the selected layer, including all the usual options for the latter such as Darken, Multiply, Linear Dodge, Difference, etc. This menu also lets you Merge, Flatten, Colour-match or Delete the layer(s). Beside it, the Layer Palette’s tiny Plus icon lets you create a new Empty/Duplicate/Photo layer, or one from an active selection. Really, the lack of grouping is our only serious annoyance here.
We’ve covered Touch’s two side menus in its main interface. Now it’s time to look at the top menu. For your left thumb, the Back icon takes you back to the main menu; Add Image chucks in a new layer (like the visually identical button on the main menu); the Pen gives you Cut, Copy, Copy Merged, Paste, Clear and Extract; while Selection gives you all the options missing from the Tools Palette, like Select All, Deselect, Select Pixels, Inverse, Feather, Resize and Refine Edge. Yep, that’s pretty comprehensive.
On the right, the Resize icon lets you resize and transform your layer or project. Adjustments, as the name suggests, gives you access to Saturation, Brightness/Contrast, Temperature, Replace Colour, Levels, Curves, etc, including instant modes such as Black and White, Invert and Replace Colour. Again, this will be plenty for most users.
Next up in the top menu we have fX. Here you’ll find a nice selection of filters and effects, such as Blur, Shadow, Lighting, Posterize, Gradient Maps, Cartoon, Acrylic, Old Sepia – and the list goes on. Suffice to say that again the basics are very well-covered indeed.
Meanwhile, the ‘&’ icon gives access to further tools- basically what didn’t fit into any of the other categories. Here you’ll find Crop, Image Size, Fill & Stroke, Add Text, Add Gradient, Add Fade, Warp (we would have expected this under Resize), and Add Camera Fill (which drops you directly into your tablet’s camera app). Last but not least is a small icon that makes everything but the main image disappear, giving you a clean space in which to view your project.